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Well after a little work and some luck, I decided to road test the 280Z now that the clutch and flywheel are in. All I can say was I now remember why I fell in love with her years ago.

A Little history: The 1978 280Z that I own was bought by my older cousin either new or slightly new. All I can really remember now was, I was a senior in High School and first laid eyes on it in 1979. I had visited my cousin on a family trip. Didn’t really want to go in the first place but decided that it was in the best interest to visit the relatives with the family. When we pulled up, as soon as we entered the driveway, I saw the Z. LOOKED SHARP.

From there the love affair began.

During the visit I was able to catch a ride here and there with my cousin, well you could imagine. An 18 year old in a sports car. WHOOOOh. Then I finally got to drive it. Now that’s what I’m talking about.

That is what I remembered Saturday, that feeling.; there is no other.

As we left I remembered thinking well that was fun; now back to driving my 1976 VW Rabbit. On the way home I remember telling my dad; “If you ever hear if it is for sale I want to know”.

Well that was the last I saw of her for a while. She was passed around between my cousins (brothers) off and on and parked a lot of the time. Eventually wrecked and repaired, and parked; given up for a shiny Corvette.

Well it was time for a road trip to visit the relatives again on Christmas of ’84. Well to my surprise on that trip my dream car was coming home. Not to my home; I had moved out and was married then, but my Dad bought her from my cousin. At least she was in the immediate family now, and I could drive her some.

I did get to drive her from North Alabama to Birmingham……. Nice trip.

My Dad began to put a little time and money into her and began to drive her regular. He drove her for about 2 ½ years as his daily driver and then parked her. A few years later he became interested in another…..his love turned to a 1965 Buick Skylark convertible. He always wanted an older car he could show.

There she sat. I did not have a dime to spare or I would have bought it then and there. I told my Dad before he decides to get rid of her let me know, I wanted her.

Years went by….parked and under a cover. One day my father needed some room, and I said I could accommodate the Z in my garage. I would be willing to part with my parking spot in the basement for her. From 1989 until 1995 she sat….and sat…. dreaming of the day to get back on the road.

In 1995 I was forced to try to revive her as I found myself without a car and just needed transportation. With very little coaxing…. An new battery, fuel pump, and some gas flushing she was back on the road. Now she was not without some problems, but she was road worthy. Since the tag was not current and I had no insurance, her road time was limited to work and back. In the dark mostly. I remember then the feeling that I had before years ago. Awesome! The only problem, she was still not mine. After a week she was parked again.

Nine years later, (2004), I arranged to buy the Z from my father for $1. (guess all the storage time equaled the car cost). Then started the revival. My son, now 13, is not much younger than I was when I first saw my Z. It is a love story that he is now involved in and we are going through it piece by piece. You can see some of the pictures on the signature link below.

Well, back to what I first started. I got her out this weekend after the new clutch and flywheel were installed and all I can say is that the feeling is back. It is amazing at the looks she gets, even though she is stripped down and really looks rough right now. You would not believe all of the gear heads at the local quick lube that was drooling over her as I showed them how to lift the hood and where the dip stick was. COOL.

It is also amazing that the local Saturday night “ricers” all wanted to run her. But I was gentle to her after all she has been asleep for a long while. I would tease them a little through 1st and 2nd gear and then let them go. She sounds nice to with the MSA Turbo exhaust.

Just thought I would share this love story with my Z and it looks as though I am starting the 3rd generation with her………. My Son.

ZZZZZZZZoooom,



Post Edited (Sep 7, 5:46pm)
 

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Re: Z love Story: Recap of her first 25 years.

great story! glad to hear you finally are able to live out ur dream. looks like u have a great vehicle to start the revival with! keep us posted...
 

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Re: Z love Story: Recap of her first 25 years.

Almost a tear jerker there. I had to sell my 77 Z back in 1984 when it started nickle and diming me to death. Finally in 2002, my wife spyed a nice 78 on a car lot for a decent price, as soon as I heard the engine sound on my test drive, a flood of good memories came flooding back from a more free and innocent time. I told my wonderful wife that this is my mid-life crisis car, so be happy I picked it and not something with two legs to fill my time and energy. I drive mine to work on nice days when it isn't too hot (no A/C) about 3-4 days a week, 3 seasons a year. It never fails to give me an inner grin when the mindless lemmings in thier SUVs and econo-boxs can't stop staring at my car and some how wish they were me.
 

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Re: Z love Story: Recap of her first 25 years.

ya, i'm making my memories right now in an '83 280ZX Turbo. good story. was that feeling "awesome" a quote from the old z car commercials, cuz thats funny. wow, has advertising changed.
 

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Re: Z love Story: Recap of her first 25 years.

Not 25 years for me, but the tales of my two 240s have their certain emotional aspects:

I was driving a Saab Turbo and wincing at the bills for repair (I had previously worked at an auto shop, but had moved and taken an office job- no facilities for repair of b*tchy Swedish cars at my apt.) I recalled the great fun of driving my buddy's 73 240, and decided to acquire one of my own, and hopefully sell the Saab if I could make the Z streetable.

Found a nice black 72, with a quirky black vinyl top. (A guy on the street said that Albuquerque Datsun did that to every Z they sold, he should know, as he was the detailer from 1971-74!) Runs good, but overheats and can't pass smog. Great Southwest body. $1000 (in 2000)?

I bit, twice. Both times "Larry" the kindly old gent who owned her said that it was sold (he kept advertising it, then pulling the ad. On the third try, I beat out my flaky competitor, brought Larry the cash, and drove away.

I think I saw a tear welling in the 70 something man's eye... I vowed to keep the Z in similar style, but to try to bring it back to full glory.

Which I did. New paint, 5 speed box, new Firestones for the Shelby Cal 500s, and i had my favorite car thus far.

One year later I drove down Larry's street. A guy (I'm pretty sure it was his grandson, I think) put down the lawnmower and stared. I revved the L24 thru the 2.5 exhaust with cherry bombs, and tooted the Fiamm air horns and waved. The young guy broke into a huge grin and waved back. Grandpa's dusty old Datsun was returned to gleaming beauty! Hope the old man heard about it...

On april 1, 2003, my beautiful Z was destroyed by a Ford Excursion rear ending me at 45 mph while I was going 20. Hatch glass, rear side windows, fuel tank, spare tire, all ruptured. Couldn't open either door, either. I had the remains taken to my house so that I wouldn't have to pay any storage while I battled the insurance co. Whereupon, the next night, I realized that the tank still held a gallon or so of gas, and that the electricals were still intact except for the taillights. Although the exhaust was shattered at the downpipe, I put in earplugs, climbed in the window, and headed out to wake the neighbors one *last* time. (Nice to know when you're saying goodbye for good, eh?) I got to wind that sweet motor up thru the gears once more. I felt like the guy in the WWII cartoon who looks away with tears streaming down his face as he shoots his Jeep with its broken axle. Foolish and dangerous, but I'll always remember her last ride. Tracked straight even with the floor torn open! I was *unscathed* in this incident, almost like she gave her life to save me...

Two months later, after getting what even I thought was almost fair in $ for the 240, my pal Eddy called offering me his yellow 240. He was moving to England to be with his (pregnant) fiance. He thought he had the Z sold, but the deal fell through and he was leaving the next morning. Almost flat broke... I gave him the money and was a 240 pilot again. On the phone he was telling his girl that I had come thru again, and that he could afford to get to the UK, and that he couldn't be happier with the home his beloved Z was going to. Now, Eddy had owned this Z longer than any other car- since high school, for 12 years! I promised I'd take good care of the car, and I have (until the next SUV comes along with my name on it)

3/04: They got married here in AZ, I drove the 240 to the ceremony. Their wedding pictures were taken in an archway with the street behind. Therefore, I was all to happy to sneak Ed's Datsun into his *wedding pictures*... it's out of focus obviously, but unmistakably in the background in its shiny Ferrari yellow. When he got the pics, he called from the UK to thank me for the "product placement"...

I've got another car to drive also now ('87 Audi Quattro) and am working in a shop again, so both my rides get much affection- the Z not quite so often on the street, but I'm glad to preserve the legacy of the Fast Eddy Z pretty much like he left it.
 

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Re: Z love Story: Recap of her first 25 years.

Nice stories. Mine can be told in a few short sentences.

About 12 years ago (I was 6) my parents got a 260z 2+2 and I remember my dad and I driving it home. I can still remember what I was thinking that day "Man this is one awsome car" (Had the sunnies on, windows down and all heh). My mum used to drive it to work and back for about a year or 2 but other than that they clocked up about 20k of kilometres.

For a few years it sat beside the house and when it came time for me to get my learners I needed a manual car to drive. I couldn't drive the clubsport (5.7 v8 chev) but I loved the Z so they decided to fix that up, teach me to drive in it and give it to me as my first car. I never want to get rid of my Z.
 

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I bought Zel as a memorial to my daughters boyfriend who had been killed in an 82 ZXT. I had been sort of hunting around for another MG....or a sports car...like when I was a 19. I really missed the fun. My MG was green...British Racing Green...and I had thought it would be cool to have another green sports car--and I wasnt really being picky about what.

One Sunday, I told my daughter....get in the car we are going to such and such a town. She couldnt figure out why..and actually neither could I. It was Sunday, everything was closed but the grocery...I told her we'd buy groceries. But whatever, the pull was so strong, I knew something was waiting for me.


We crested the hill, and to the right was the car dealer that I had bought my Geo Metro from. He'd given me a good deal. To my shock..there she sat!! I slammed on the brakes, and whipped the Subaru into the lot. There she was. In all her glory... a beautiful, sleek, sexy piece of machinery... with my name all over her. I was stunned. I got out and looked..and looked. Beside her sat a paled yellow Jaguar. I knew what was the better... It was my Zel. My daughter was in awe...disbelieving that the very car she had prayed for sat in front of her.

The next day I called the dealership. Told him I wanted the Z. Loaded up...we headed for the lot. I looked her over again, took her for a drive. I was not happy with the accleration. Figured I could deal with it...work on it... it wasnt going to deter me. I knew, this Datsun 280Z was MY car. Was my Destiny. I talked price. It was on consignment. I was having trouble with the downpayment.

I called the next day....and found to my heartbreak, the owner wouldnt come down on the downpayment...but I told my daughter "If its meant to be...like we feel it...then it will be. " We talked back and forth...for days. One week went by. Then two. My daughter said someone was going to come in before we could settle it and buy it from under us. I said to her.. Keep the Faith...if its meant to be..it will. The next week, I called the dealer again. He offered to lend my the additional 200 bucks out of his own pocket! I was there in a flash..and I signed the papers on my Zel.

My daughter and I drove her out of there...and headed for home. We got about 30 miles down the road...and yep..the first of the electrical problems. I was not disgruntled..I said to my daughter...Its ok, one day...she will be fine.

That was Five years ago this October. I may not remember exactly all that happened. I do remember we waited and waited...wheeled and dealed..and I remember the owner of the dealership lending me 200bucks. Zel and myself were meant to be. God, I love that car!! And she is still on the road, kinks slowly coming out of her!!!



Elaine and Zel....


Somethings are meant to be, even if against the wind....


PS. Six months later my house burned to the ground. I arrived home, in Zel to see the house ablaze. All I had at that moment in time, was me, my cats, and my Zel. That was all there was left. My daughter was out of town, and I was alone. Zel may not be a spiffy, brand new Z...but by god...she was there when I needed her. I held her keys in my hand, while I watched the rest of my life go up in smoke....**** yeah, she is more than a piece of metal. She was almost my home.... The man that held the paperwork on her....forgave all interest...and allowed me to make payments on her when possible.



Post Edited (Sep 8, 1:07am)
 
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