I was somewhere out in the neighborhoods of Brooklyn amidst somewhat anonymous buildings when I stumbled upon this sporty little number:
A 1980 Datsun 280ZX! This is not some normal Z-car though, this is one of 3,000 10th Anniversary Black Gold special editions. It is rare, collectible, and in pristine shape. The 280ZX was treated to some of the more dynamic 2-tone paint arrangements, one of which is on display here. The 1st generation Transformers had a 280 named Bluestreak which had the same pattern as this car, but with the hood silver and the body blue.
These Z-cars started life as the Datsun Fairlady back in 1969, and changed little in the ensuing decade. In the States it debuted as the 240Z in 1970 before briefly becoming the 260Z for only the 1974 model year. From '75 on until 1983 it was the 280 (going from Z to ZX in '78).
These things are so fun to drive! I had 2 friends that had them over the years and despite the long hood with somewhat heavy straight-6 cylinder motor they handle really well. You basically climb down into them and feel like you can reach out the window and touch the ground once you're seated.
From this angle we can really appreciate the condition of this sleek ride. 2,500 of the 10th Anniversary editions were Black Gold like this one while 500 were Black Red. I've capitalized the color names because that is how they were referred to in their literature. T-tops are an amazing hallmark of the era, as are the body color accented sporty rims.
We've got a few fonts busying up the screen here between the tires, emblem, and decal, but this fat-numbered wreath arrangement is how it announced itself to the world.
The funny thing about the 280ZX is that is represents a top-to-bottom redesign of the 1975-1978 280Z, but you'd never know it. It is extremely rare in the automotive world to have a car go through massive changes underneath while keeping the outside looking intact. Most domestic cars were given different grills, lighting arrangements, or entirely different bodies before the guts were swapped out. This is all due to the design team headed by a Mr. Yoshihiko Matsuo; hats off to him for creating a truly timeless design!