Folks - I need some advice. I'm looking at a 77 280Z for $1100. What are the trouble spots I need to know before I commit myself. The car is local to Louisiana. I'd appreciate any advice y'all might give me.
Thats not a bad starting price. The bigest thing I would look for is Rust, make sure the body is in good shape, and there is no rust. Past that the usual does it run well, does it start well, and a compression check is certianly adviseable.
I purchased my '78 280Z for about the same price and what sold me was the fact that the body was free of rust. Replacing the suspension, interior trim and rubber, and doing transmission work can really drive up costs. Personally, I feel a 77 or 78 280Z with A/C and a 5-speed is the most desireable of the 280Z's. Check for completeness of parts (missing A/C parts) and signs that the car may have been wrecked. Bring a friend along to look at the car ... a second set of eyes often helps.
My two main concerns are rust and whether the car is original stock. I prefer to make whatever alterations I want to stock configuration rather than try to figure out what the preivious owner has changed or fouled up. My 77 was a one owner car (a single lady who had every bit of maintenance done by professionals 100K miles and very little rust for $1200. Good luck .
I don't know what the weather is like in Luoisiana, maybe you guys don't get a **** of a lot of rust on your cars.
If you do, make sure you check underneath for rotten frame rails and floor pans, any structural rust is an expensive job, unless you're a do it yourselfer, unlike me. I bought a car for 1200 and it was totally shot underneath, I didn't look enough.
Get underneath it if you can!
So as you can see Bruce, eveyone here seems to think along the same lines, the RUST is the killer, the other place to look is along the windsheild, I had one that had rust, and it made windsheild replacement down the road almost impossible. The floorboards as someone else mentioned is also a good place. I would say the second most expensive part of the car would be the interior, if you have a good body and a decient interior for your price, you have a good place to start from.