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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have decided to start looking for a Z. I have owned 2 280ZXs and a 280ZX turbo. I was not overly impressed with the lag on the turbo model(well it was an auto too) and the handling was decent but did not really compare to my MR2 or TR8. I love to look of the 240s up to the 280s but what model is the best for handling and power. I have read a lot of literature, including the Buyers Guide, but want some real life opinions. I do not care about power windows and all that so that is not an issue. A/C would be a nice option because I live in Florida and it is umbearably hot most of the time, but that is not a priority. I am also on a budget. I am actually looking for a car close to home without rust and running decent for around $1000 to $1500. Any help is greatly appreciated. Also is there a mailing list for Zs anywhere?? I have always been on a list for the previous cars that I have owned and they were of great help.
Thanks
John
 

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No such thing as a rustfree Z for a $1500

John, I doubt if you can find a rustfree early Z in Florida!! When I lived there back in the 80's and early 90's I must have looked at over 40 Z's and all of them were rust buckets. The only one I found rust free was going for $9000!! BTW an early 240 is the best Z IMHO, but for $1500 you will only find a Fred Flinstone version. However, I drove a 240Z Fred Flintstone version for 5 years with some fiberglass to patch the 6 inch holes!! And Even with holes in the floorboard ,I had more fun times in that car than any body should be allowed !! I finally did find a rust free Z in N.C. for $2700 and have owned it for the last 6 years. Anyway, get a 240 ,you will not be sorry!! Later,norm
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
RE: No such thing as a rustfree Z for a $1500

I disagree. I drove many around 3 to 5 years ago. i passed up 3 in particular. A 71 for 800, no interior, theft recovery. A 260(cant remember year) for $1200 in very nice shape needing paint and did not run, and a 280 for $350 needing an engine. I also bought a 78 about 5 years ago for parts for $50. I needed the drivers door glass. It needed a tranny and I sold it for $250. My 83 ZX turbo with a rebuilt title had 45k on it and I bought it for $500. It was mint except for the interior. Was a flood victim and the interior was trashed. All were rustfree. My other 280s has minor rust on the hoods. If I have to get a newer 280 to get a rustfree I will and keep looking for a nice 240 or 260 but I dont want bad rust in the main body. I can replace the body parts if necessary.
 

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Make sure you have a repair budget

If you get a cheap 70's it's probably going to need a lot of work. I got my (relatively) rust free Z for $1800, but the repairs alone (not counting upgrades) have cost me a couple of grand in the last 6 months. Many of the parts have a limited lifetime and when you start putting regular miles on it those parts will start to fail. I'm not saying it's not worth the trouble, but make sure you know what you're getting into!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
<b>Go for the 240Z</b>

HI John,

I have a 73 sitting in my garage as I write this. The 240Z series, (70-73) are great cars. I paid $1.00 for it... just to keep it legal. It didn't run when I bought it (needed a battery). I tuned it up, paid for a few years of back registration and have totally enjoyed the car since. I do use it as a daily driver. However, sometimes its hard to perform upgrades in the garage over the weekend. So I have a back vehicle in case. The car is really easy to work on and I perform just about all the work on it myself

I also have dropped a few grand into it since I picked it up. But... it wasn't really a requirement. I just can't stand it when I see some of the cars some of the guys on this forum have. Then I look at mine... and go and raid the saving account. But for 2 years, I did drive it pretty much as I had bought it.

Compared to buying a new(er) car... I think this is the way to go.

Good Luck,
Dennis

P.S. I often see low rust cars in California going from $1500 - 2000.
 

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Get a 70-72/They all have rust

My *rust free* (that means minimal rust when you are talking 240's) z was $2200 in Ca.

Plan on setting aside approx. $10K in addition to that for a nice looking, mechanically reliable daily driver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
RE: Go for the 240Z

I personally have not owned a 240z. I hear they are really good cars. Probably the fastest of them all. I owned a 79 280zx. I loved that car. It died two years later. Now I own a 75 280z and I love it more then my zx just because to me it looks sportier and it is faster then my zx could ever dream of being. I have heard you should get the latest year of the model because by then the bugs have been worked out. I personally haven't seen any bugs in mine but they may pop up later. That seemed to be the case with the zx. Anyhow I don't know where you live but for me it is easier to find parts for a 280Z. and 280 ZX. After four years of hunting in junkyards I think I have seen maybe 2 240z. But that depends on where you live and how many are around.
Dodie
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<b>RE: Go for the 240Z</b>

i must agree with dodie. I myself was searching for a z abd was restricted both $$ and geographically. I live in MN and it is VERY hard to find a rust free z. You can forget about early z's due to the fact a rust free one is out of your range. Then if you do find one...big bucks to restore, (and time), again out of your range. The smart way to go is to go with a 280z or zx. I found a totally mint almost all original '79 zx with zero rust for $2700. Will make minor mods for close to nothing, (compared to those above talking grands), to make it MY z. But hey now I don't have to jack with fixing it just to drive it. Stretch your budget the best you can to buy a little nicer z so you do not have to invest so much ust to get it going. However, to each thier own........mks
 

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Go for a 77-78 280 with A/C & 5sp

The 77 & 78 5sp with factory A/C are the best Z cars if you want it for regular reliable & comfortable transportation. In every instance I've seen a stock 77-78 car is stronger than a similar 75-76 (I think this may be due to less valvetrain wear because of improved lubrication of the cam) & the A/C system is the best I have ever seen on any car - totally maintenance free. The body is also different, it is slightly more rigid so it has a more solid feel; the doors have a different latch that is more solid and takes less effort to shut, the window mechanism is also more robust and works better; and it has a larger gas tank. All of these things are small differences but the total effect is a more refined car.
 

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RE: No such thing as a rustfree Z for a $1500

Yes, there is such thing as a rustfree Z $1500! I am buying a '76 from a friend of mine for $1000. it has NO rust. The only problems are... 1. Clogged injectors and 2. the front drivers side carpet is gone.. thats it.. I can buy the car and have it in great condition for less than $1500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
RE: No such thing as a rustfree Z for a $1500

Jesse... you da man! I just wish some of the rest of us could luck into a deal like that. As for me, I need to get some metal and start striping and welding. My current Z is rotted far worse than I first thought. But then again, that's half the fun IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
RE: No such thing as a rustfree Z for a $1500

OK now that I have a few opinions let me clear up a few things. First of all as I have mentioned I have seen the cars in the condition I am looking at that price. Secondly they said I would never find a TR8 convertible for $1500 either and I did. I bought it cheap and completely restored it(myself in my own garage) and when I was done it had 300hp running the qtr mile in 11.9 and the fastest car in the twisties I have ever driven, or seen driven. The reason for getting it cheap is because no matter how much I spend on the origional car I will invest tons of money in it. So I must find it cheap. Since the suspension and drivetrain and paint and interior will be completely redone anyway, I just need a car that is rust free or at least close. I would like one that can be driven for a short time for me to get my junk Chevy running to sell it.
Thanks guys
 

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"California's the place to be. Arizona too.&q

You can P/U rustfree early models in CA / AZ for less than 1K, and have it trucked to FLA for under 600. The Southwest ticket might run you 200... or go through a broker. A few guys got greedy during the nissan buying spree, and got stuck with a yard full of Z's and no buyers. It's supply and demand. Capatilize! I personally have never paid more than 1000 for any of my Z's, and they're all rust free California and Arizona cars. Lein sales are great!!!There were a few nice units at the Motorsport show.
I agree with J. Peacock, get it as cheap as you can, and spend your money to make it "your car".
 

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I meant rustfree 240Z in FLORIDA

I didn't mean you couldn't find a rustfree Z ,I meant you couldn't find an early 240 Z that was rust free in rain soaked Florida for $1500.By rust free I meant NO RUST, not a little,but NONE! Sorry for the confusion. later,norm
 
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