15-Mile Time Capsule: Rare Datsun 280ZXR Special

IMSA/SCCA Racing Special Spoiler Homologation

Are you familiar with the Datsun 240Z or the lesser-known 280Z? Well, if you’re not, you should know about the exclusive 280ZXR! Not too many people have heard of this singular homologation special because only 1,001 units were produced. However, one of them is currently up for sale at Mecum Auctions.

The Datsun 280ZXR was based on the 280ZX coupe and is an integral part of Nissan Z-car history. It was built to homologate the special rear “whale tail” spoiler, designed by Don Devendorf and John Knepp of Electamotive. The 280ZX utilized the aero bit to compete in the production class category at IMSA and SCCA events.

This particular 280ZXR has remained unaltered, with its classic look still intact, and it remains nearly untouched, having racked up only 15 miles.

This automobile has a striking coat of Silver Mist Metallic paint, along with bold blue and black stripes running the length of its frame. The front fenders feature Datsun ZXR logos, while there is an extra stock panel stripe kit that can be used if any damage accrues during the cleaning process.

As opposed to the run-of-the-mill version, the 280ZXR comes with a heftier rear spoiler that has been created out of molded rubber material. Speeds of 100 mph have reportedly caused the spoiler to bring about around 400 lbs of downward force. To further augment its aerodynamic abilities, the car also features a front air dam which serves the purpose of keeping the vehicle’s nose steady in high speed scenarios.

Just like its base iteration, the 280ZXR comes with a 2.8L I6 OHC engine that incorporates two valves per cylinder and is mated to a five-speed manual transmission system.

The homologation special isn’t fitted with performance alterations, and, as a result, its original power output is likely to create about 138 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque when it left the production line – figures much less than what newer Nissan Zs generate. The maximum speed for this special is estimated to be around 120 mph.

Within, the 280ZXR is as basic and unconcealed as possible, affording comfortable leather-padded bucket seats, an AM/FM radio, as well as air conditioning. Held by the original St. Yves Motor Sales owner over these past four decades, there should be little to no surprise rust detected.

The 1979 Datsun 280ZXR will be made available to the public in an auction on January 2-14, 2024 at Mecum Auctions’ Kissimmee gathering in Florida. With no established cost, it is uncertain what this classic car could be sold for.

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