Illustration for article titled Transplant a Turbo 280Z into Your Driveway for $8,500!
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Nice Price or Crack Pipe thinks an engine transplant, like that of a heart, can go terribly wrong without the right donor. Here's a 280Z with the heart of a younger, stronger Nissan at a price you might not reject.


A rip snortin' 77% of you damned the '93 Super Coupe to crack pipe hell yesterday, where, from the depths of which, it will stab at thee. While that car had its defenders, a lot of you would have just as soon used it to clean yourself after a nasty bout of the hershey squirts than spend ten grand for it. Today's candidate is cheaper, older, and has the same number of pots as that T-bird, and, as an added similarity, it's got forced induction too.


When Nissan introduced the Fairlady Z in 1969 it was something akin to printing money for the company. The 240, 260 and last of the original S30 line - the 280Z - helped establish the Japanese auto maker in the U.S. and the Z-ZX line provided strong product continuity for the brand name switch from Datsun to the corporate Nissan in the early ‘80s.

The original S30 body - on occasion erroneously exclusively attributed to Albrecht Graf Goetz - remains the most pure and is arguably the prettiest of all the Z cars. However, the L28 motor - despite the addition of Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection in place of the dual carbs - could not match the performance of the original 240 motor, as the 2,753-cc 136-bhp SOHC six had a lot more weight to drag around.

That issue has been remedied in this 1975 280Z. The seller has adopted a pretty common and effective non-steroidal horsepower boost which is the replacement of the L28 with a 180-bhp L28ET turbo out of an '83 ZX. Now, the melding of earlier, lighter car with later, beefier motor is nothing new, and the insertion of an L28ET into an S30 can be done without so much as a local anesthetic. Behind that big six is a 5-speed gearbox to help transplant the power to the pavement.

Aside from the new heart in the engine bay, this Z has its forty pieces of flair showing, although the mods aren't extreme and the blacker than the inside of a well digger's ass paint job is both ominous and evilly solemn. Smaller bumpers from a 240, suspension tweaks, and a freshened interior round out the upgrades, and while the wheels may not be your cup of sake - I know I could live without them - they're one of the easiest aspects of the car to change, so they shouldn't be a deal-killer.


What might kill the deal for you- knocking it out like a transplant recipient rejecting his new heart - is the price. The seller is asking $8,500 for this turbo-transplanted Z and while that's not nearly as much as he'd get for a kidney, that's not chopped liver either.

So, would you transplant $8,500 of your money into this Z-seller's account? Or, for that price, would you rather wake up in an ice-filled motel bath tub with a row of staples up your back?


You decide!


Seattle Craigslist or go here if Craigslist rejects the ad.

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