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Is this 1978 280z a Black Pearl?

  • Yes, the original color code and maintenance of the color alone makes it a Black Pearl Edition

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, the original color code alone makes it a Black Pearl Edition. But re-painting does not

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, it requires the SAP package to be a Black Pearl Edition

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1978 280z (638)
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

New member here, and a similar post can be found on the "New Member Introduction" forum titled "New Z Car Owner & New Member". However, I figured that that the "70-83 Tech Discussion Forum" would generate more attention.

The car I just purchased is a 1978 Datsun 280z. Color Code 638 (the paint appears to be original), 4 speed, with an A/C unit and 66k miles on it. Given the condition of the car, the miles appear to be original. (Pictures coming soon after I clean it...with before and after clean as well)

I really want to do right to this car and to the S30 community.

I know that this particular description leads to some controversy: Black Pearl Edition or 280z with a Black Pearl Paint?

If it was a 5 speed with the SAP package, there would be no doubt that it is a Black Pearl Edition. Without those items, it seems many disregard it as a Black Pearl. Please let me know what you think.

I have some restoring to do. But considering the color code, I consider this car to be a responsibility I owe to the community of S30 and classic car lovers. I think it would be sacrilegious of me to modify this car too much, but that also depends on the general sentiment around the Black Pearl Debate.

If general sentiment states this car is not a Black Pearl, I am going to modify it.

If one person sounds extremely passionate about this being a Black Pearl, while most do not, I will try to restore to OEM.


Right now here is the list of items for restoration.


Necessary
  • Rust on driver side floor pan (will need to be cut and replaced)
  • Rust on dog legs as well as right fender (usual suspected areas)
  • Roof has some paint missing (very odd chunk taken out, but with no body damage..it almost looks pealed off)
  • Small crack in paint on the driver side fender area
  • Very mild dents in the passenger door
  • Interior doesn't have any major issues, but does need restored.

Considering (pending community response)
  • Watanabe Wheel Upgrade
  • Remove shag carpet (I cannot tell if this was original or a cover. The seats had a similar material as a seat cover....replace with leather or vinyl)
  • Disk Break Conversion
  • Rocket Bunny Body Kit
  • 5 speed upgrade
  • Seatbelt upgrade
  • BC Coil over conversion
  • Bore out engine for 3.0L + Polyurethane Engine Mounts
    109073
 

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1978 280z (638)
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I follow one simple rule on mods. If it will take a paint gun and/or welder to undo, it's a NO-GO.
That's a solid rule to follow. But do you believe I have an obligation to keep this car OEM or anything for any reason?

I really am on the fence here and am hoping to hear some others' opinions
 

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518 Posts
Some photos of the actual car would certainly help to get the opinions going. I don't think anyone owes anything to any car community, it's your ride. Some folks may look back one day and regret hacking up these cars as they increase in value.
 

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1,250 Posts
If your asking for opinions you will get plenty. I keep it as stock and original as possible. Or at least drive it some before making changes. These car were way ahead of the times, but they are nothing compared to a modern car. I don't understand why folks modify an old classic into something not classic and not as good as a honda civic performance wise.

And for gosh sakes do some research, esp on the use of PU. example the diff M bar mounts.
 

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If you keep it OEM nobody is every going to say, "man, I can't believe he did that to his car". Personally, if I wanted to modify a Z car, I'd buy one that had already been modified. That way I wouldn't feel like I had any "obligation" or "responsibility" to do right by any community.

If that were my car, given the wish list you have: Yes to: watanabe wheels, carpet, seat covers, front disc upgrade. No to: rear disc conversion, 3.0, PU engine mounts, coil overs, 5 speed (unless new trans is needed). H*%$ No to: rocket bunny body kit.

But, that's just like, my opinion, man. You have a good lookin car. <-- Also my opinion
 
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