We like our Fairladies here at CC, or Z-Cars if you prefer. It seems the second gen Z, despite having been abundantly covered on this website over the past decade, has yet to have been illustrated in its T-top form. To address this (roofless) gap in our CCoverage of the many wares sold under the Nissan and Datsun marques, Tokyo provided a worthy example. It even came with a little surprise inside it – and on its rear bumper, as well.
Quick recap about this S130 generation, first. They debuted in 1978, taking over from the 240/260/280Z. Global market Zs, usually known as the Datsun 280ZX, were fitted with a 2.8 litre straight-6. In Japan though, that was a bit too much displacement, so most Zs of this generation made do with a 2-litre 6-cyl., but it was now available with a turbocharger, which provided the same output (145hp) as the standard big six did in late model 280ZXs.
In 1980, the T-top variant was introduced, based on both the 2-seater coupé and the 2+2. This one is a 2-seater – perhaps the better-looking one of the two. And despite that period-perfect bumper sticker, it’s definitely not a US-spec car.
It’s obviously had a lot of work done – those seats, for a start. But here we can catch a glimpse of the weirdest addition to this mechanical Fairlady: a picture of a human fair lady has been stuck on the steering wheel’s hub.
No idea who said fair lady is, just stuck there, staring at the driver. Must be a bit distracting… “The lady is for turning,” as Margaret Thatcher didn’t exactly say.
By contrast, the aftermarket Watanabe wheels look positively mundane. At least, when you look at them, they don’t stare back at you.
As to the Reagan-Bush bumper sticker, I don’t really care for that either. Political affiliations are best kept to oneself, I feel. Of course, in the Japanese context and 40 years later, the effect is a little different. Ultimately, the dead presidents on the rear are a lot less of an issue than the grinning and staring wheel in front of the driver. Talk about an over-the-T-top Fairlady.
Curbside Classic: Datsun 280Z – Seduction of Forms., by Rich Baron
CC Outtake: Datsun 280 ZX: Just The Ride For A Trip To The Dentist, by Chris O’Bryant
Vintage Ad: 1979 Datsun 280ZX – A Creature Of Comfort, by Perry Shoar
eBay Find: 1980 Datsun 280ZX – Enough To Make My Heart Melt, by Gerardo Solis