1978 Datsun 280Z V8 Restomod 240Z Tribute - Collector Car Canada
1978 Datsun 280Z V8 Restomod 240Z Tribute
1978 Datsun 280Z - 240Z tribute V8 restomod

1978 Datsun 280Z V8 Restomod 240Z Tribute


This is a 1978 Datsun 280Z V8 Restomod 240Z Tribute whose bare metal nut & bolt restoration was painstakingly thorough, resulting in an excellent likeness of the original 240Z with a modern, reliable and robust powertrain.  Originally a US-market car, it was imported to Canada in 1993 while the current owner acquired it in 2018 for the restoration.  There is a GM V8 under the hood but without seeing the engine or hearing it, most Z-car aficionados would believe this to be a 240Z.  The 240Z was released by Datsun (by Nissan) for model year (MY) 1970 to great fanfare.  It developed a somewhat cult following which it continues to enjoy.  For one year only, Datsun produced the 260Z, in model year 1975, while in 1976 the 280Z was released.  The next iteration, the 280ZX (MY 1979), showed more in terms of cosmetic updates and differences and further generations since have been the Z31 300ZX (MY 1984), the Z32 300ZX (MY 1990 – 1996), the Z33 350Z (MY 2003), the Z34 370Z (MY 2009 – 2020) and the RZ34 400Z which is being rolled out for the 2023 model year as this is being written, after a two-year hiatus for Z-cars.  A formidable automotive story, to be sure.


1978 Datsun 280Z V8 Restomod 240Z Tribute

Lot – 058
Seller – 94Woody (Private)
Seller location – Pangman, SK S0C
VIN – HLS30438507
Odometer – 7,000 miles (TMU)
Engine Info – GM L33 5.3L 8-cylinder, 310 HP
Transmission Info – 4L60e 4-speed automatic
Exterior Colour – Orange red pearl
Interior Colour – two-tone Paprika/charcoal
Other features – Complete bare metal nut-and-bolt restoration, Built to a likeness of an original 240Z, with modern, powerful, reliable powertrain.
Category – Japanese
Model page
Carfax N/A for pre-1981 car
Hagerty.ca valuation (#1) $78,000

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The paint was new in 2018 and the car has travelled under 7,000 miles since.  The 6,450 mile odometer reading represents distance travelled since the restoration was completed.  Describing the car’s exterior begins to tell the story of the restoration.  The car looks like a 240Z, not a 280Z, right down to the emblems.  A retired body man and painter, the seller reworked the front and rear ends to get the 240 look, accommodating the stainless steel bumpers, grille and lighting.  There are Hella Halogen headlamps in place, to go with new weatherstripping, a BRE-type front spoiler and a custom mix orange red pearl paint – with basecoat and clear.  Gunmetal finish with chrome ring wheels provide sharp contrast to the paint, they are Konig Rewind alloys shod in 205/55R16 General G-MAX RS tires at all four corners, installed in 2019 with 6.000 miles of use.  The car is equipped with cruise control but it currently is inoperable.

1978 Datsun 280Z - 240Z tribute V8 restomod


Inside, this 280 has been treated to all new carpets and headliner with new reproduction door cards.  The two-tone Paprika/charcoal colour scheme gives a subtly custom look while at the same time complementing the gleaming and unique-coloured paint.  Original Z gauges remain while a modern Clarion CZ509 head unit has been installed, backed by JL Audio speakers, a 10” subwoofer and 1000-watt MA Audio M1899i amp.  The big Z three-spoke steering wheel remains in place and the exaggerated round pods house speedometer, tachometer through the wheel with accessory gauges for temperature, fuel, oil pressure and volts in the centre of the dash flanked by an analog clock.  A period “Z” badge is on the passenger side of the dashboard, above the glove box, while a/c is functional and blowing cold – refrigerant is R12a and the compressor is a GM unit.

1978 Datsun 280Z - 240Z tribute V8 restomod

The excellent cosmetic appearance aside – inside and out – the engine bay provides the unexpected.  There is found a GM 5.3L L33 aluminum V8, the donor was a 2005 GM 1/2-ton pickup.  These engines are known for robust performance and long life – over 500,000 km on these powerplants is common; the donor engine here was at 200,000 km when installed into this 280 – 200,000 km, yes, but clean, clean, clean.  The brutish V8 is matched up with a 4L60e 4-speed automatic transmission getting power to the rear wheels.  And power there is, on hand:  when new, ratings for the engine were 310 horsepower and 330 lb.-ft. of torque.  Other performance and mechanical details are extensive and include the GM ECU being adjusted by HP Tuners, a Holley low-profile oil pan, custom cold air intake, American Eagle high flow two core aluminum radiator, dual electric 14” cooling fans, Custom ceramic-coated headers and Custom 2-1/2” stainless steel exhaust.  One look at the photos of the engine bay reveal that this was a careful build that has been well taken care of since.

1978 Datsun 280Z - 240Z tribute V8 restomod

Underneath, this car shows further attention to detail.  Upfront, 12.25” Willwood brakes have been installed while finned drums are in place out back as a nod to originality.  Lowering springs are by Tokico and gas shocks are also part of the suspension.  The R200 limited slip differential has a 3.54 ratio.  The original spare tire, tools and jack are on hand as are a vehicle-specific shop manual and three sets of keys.  The seller will also include a photo album that documents the restoration.

1978 Datsun 280Z - 240Z tribute V8 restomod

The owner assures that this whip is ready for any cross-country tour.  This 1978 Nissan 280Z V8 Restomod 240Z Tribute is available in Pangman, Saskatchewan – about an hour’s drive south of Regina.

Photo gallery and a Walk Around video appear below the bidding section.

1978 Datsun 280Z V8 Restomod 240Z Tribute

Auction Expired

Item condition: Used

Auction Expired because there were no bids

By bidding, I agree to CCC terms including immediate payment of buyer premium for auction winners.  All bids and buyer premiums in Canadian dollars (CAD).

Total Bids Placed:

Auction has expired

Bidder Name Bidding Time Bid Auto
Herbcars June 29, 2022 1:38 pm $26,000
Neil June 29, 2022 1:37 pm $25,251
Herbcars June 29, 2022 1:28 pm $25,000
Neil June 29, 2022 1:26 pm $24,000
Herbcars June 29, 2022 1:26 pm $23,000
Neil June 29, 2022 1:25 pm $22,000
Herbcars June 29, 2022 1:25 pm $21,500
Neil June 29, 2022 1:24 pm $19,500
Herbcars June 29, 2022 1:13 pm $19,000
BryceB11 June 29, 2022 1:11 pm $18,250
Herbcars June 29, 2022 12:46 pm $18,000
Neil June 29, 2022 12:42 pm $17,000
Herbcars June 29, 2022 12:31 pm $16,500
Neil June 29, 2022 12:25 pm $16,000
Herbcars June 29, 2022 10:58 am $15,250
Curtis June 28, 2022 10:29 pm $15,000
Sbirring1 June 24, 2022 9:16 am $10,000
vintageracer June 23, 2022 10:36 am $2,500
Auction started June 22, 2022 8:48 pm

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Comprehensive Walk Around Video

Walkaround, including interior

Engine Running at Idle

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I just talked with CCC briefly. They are looking into the problem. Will provide an update later.

how do you find out the reserve price?

tried to bid at 1 min 30 sec and the bid did not process

You are not alone with connection trouble.

Any body else have trouble with the auction in the final minutes? I tried bidding at the end but the site crashed. Still would not have come close to the reserve tho!

location is Pangman, Saskatchewan.

If you plan to fly and drive it home. I can pick you up at Regina International Airport.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ed

Where is the car located (pick up location)

The car eagerly awaits the next show or road trip.
Enjoy the ride!

Hello everyone. Should you have questions, just ask.
Ed (Seller)

No alteration to front cross member. A perch was made to go between the original mount location and the LS engine adapter mounts.

Was there a LS swap kit used or did you build a custom front subframe/ motor mounts?