Category Archives: 280Z

mystery brown Z

i’ve been seeing a clean rootbeer brown Z on the streets around mariners the last few weeks, typically during lunch.

today, i need a sylvania 2721 bulb to replace the impossible to find holder that fits into the EDU on my 9000’s dash. o’riley had one!

i’d already had one great Z story in the parking lot, (see mariner blue miata story) so i had no idea that my brief interaction with the salesperson would lead to another.

you see, when i mentioned that this bulb was for a digital display on my 1986 saab, he mentioned that his car too had a digital display. a little more curious questioning and i found out that his car was a 1983 280ZX with a digital dash, 102,000 original miles and 5-speed of course. i reminisced about my 1987 300ZX Z31. he commented how he really liked the looks of the Z31. when i told him i had to sell it because it was an automatic, he completely understood.


this young man was obviously quite proud of his ride. he told me too that another employee (who had stepped out for a moment) also had a 280 Z… when i learned a bit more, i mentioned seeing a similar car behind UCI and that i worked at mariners. he lives over there and it quite likely was him that i saw. i told him i’d wave next time i saw him.

he popped the bulb out of the package, and i was able to firmly fit it into the holder. it was a perfect fit.

not only had i solved the dash light delima, i’d made 2 Z friend within a few minutes of each other. important and interesting to note, on opposite ends of the demographic spectrum. over 60 and under 25. all different nationalities. yet all 3 of us with a passion for driving and a love for the Z cars.

i’ve got to stop by this shopping center more often!


the whole Z story… so far

found this timeline in a story about the 40th anniversary 370Z coming out in 2010…

Z car milestones

Oct. 22, 1969: The Datsun 240Z (Nissan Fairlady Z in Japan) goes on sale in the United States.

1974: The inline six-cylinder engine grows to 2.6 liters and the name changes to 260Z. A 2+2 model is added.

1975: The engine grows to 2.8 liters and the name changes to 280Z.

1979: Second-generation 280ZX is introduced.

1981: 280ZX Turbo joins the lineup.

1984: Nissan launches third-generation 300ZX with 3.0-liter V6.

1990: Fourth-generation 300ZX arrives, with 222 hp. 300ZX Turbo follows with 300 hp.

1996: Nissan drops Z car from U.S. market.

1999: Nissan shows a 240Z concept at the Detroit auto show. But it is rejected for production.

2001: Nissan shows a reworked Z Concept at the Detroit auto show. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn says the car will go into production.

2003: Fifth-generation 350Z goes on sale with 3.5-liter V6.

2008: Sixth-generation 370Z unveiled at Los Angeles auto show.

2009: A convertible version of the 370Z goes on sale.


i had just swapped cars in fountain valley, and was in my Z on the way to get gas. i pulled up next to a faded red toyota tercel and noticed the driver was trying to get my attention. as i reached over and rolled down the passenger window, she shouted, “bitchen car!” as she waived her cigarette, she explained that she had a 1978. she had several cars now, according to her recounting of her situation. but unfortunately, she said, she had to spend alot of money on the one getting her around town now, replacing the catalytic converter and spending almost $800. the light turned green and i stalled until that last possible moment before the car behind me honked. i’m sure there was more to the story. i’m betting she didn’t even own a Z. maybe in her smokey, wrinkled, distant world’s reality.