What’s This Engine Bay: Merry Owners And Squirrels Edition

It's time again to test your automotive intellectual fortitude by figuring out what car this engine bay's from before you click through. Sure, you'll say you got it right in the comments, but only you'll know the truth.


It is certainly an engine that will make any owner happy, as you can probably tell from the picture, taken in the two-hour window when ownership passed from the man on left to the man on right.

If you know your Datsuns well, you’ve already got the answer: it’s the 2.8-liter Nissan L28 straight six, used from the late ‘70s to the early ‘80s in various Nissans and a lone car which retained Datsun badging: the 280Z, the last of the first-gen Z-cars, replaced in 1978 by the 280ZX.

Its 150 HP powered a coupé which had grown unseemly kinks in its chassis, the lovely purity of the 240Z fattened and stretched all the way to 2+2-ness.


As for the very rustbucket surrounding this very L28? It was a 1983 Datsun 280ZX, its engine bay home to squirrels, as evidenced by forlorn walnut shells.


After six stationary years below that quarry you see in the first picture, it sold for $400 to my friend Nino Karotta, a prolific collector of weird Datsuns. I called it The ZX of Doom and you can see more sad pictures over on Hyperleggera.

It was a misstep on Nino’s long journey to turn an old 260Z into the mother of all Zeds, an amalgamation of Shelbyan and Sharpian ideas. From June 2009:


Once the winter snows melt and fiberglass season blooms yet again, the Z shall return.

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