1979 datson

1979 datson DEFAULT


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1979 Datsun 210 2-Door Deluxe 4-speed ( © Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd.)


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1979 Datsun 210 2-Door Deluxe 5-speed ( © Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd.)


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1979 Datsun 210 2-Door Deluxe automatic ( © Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd.)


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1979 Datsun 210 2-Door S 4-speed ( © Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd.)


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1979 Datsun 210 2-Door S automatic ( © Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd.)


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1979 Datsun 210 4-Door Sedan 4-speed ( © Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd.)


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1979 Datsun 210 4-Door Sedan 5-speed ( © Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd.)


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1979 Datsun 210 4-Door Sedan automatic ( © Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd.)


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1979 Datsun 210 2-Door Deluxe 5-speed ( © Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd.)1979 Datsun 210 2-Door Deluxe 5-speed ( © Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd.)1979 Datsun 210 4-Door Sedan automatic ( © Nissan Motor Co.,Ltd.)

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Sours: https://www.automobile-catalog.com/make/datsun/210_b310/210_b310_sedan/1979.html

From the November 1978 Issue of Car and Driver.

When Datsun introduced its 1979 model to the press, the joke of the meeting was that these cars would be competing head-on with Buick and BMW by Christmas—not because of a massive overhaul in the Japanese company's marketing philosophy, but rather because of the plummeting value of the dollar relative to that of the yen. Datsun would not be building Buick-style cars; it would simply be offering its weight-watcher compacts at Buick prices.

But driving the new 280ZX coupe suggests that Nissan has been anticipating exactly this sort of repositioning in the market all along and has already dialed in the appropriate correction. The new Z-car (ZX-car?) is strongly biased toward the luxury side of life. It's longer, lower, and wider than the old version; quieter and more vibration-free on the inside; calibrated for a mashed-potatoes ride underneath; and just itching to be dolled up with all sorts of packages and gadgets, which the option list cheerfully offers. What was once an appealingly lean sportster has been transformed into a plush boulevardier, a personal cruiser not altogether different from what you'd expect of Buick if it took up a position in the two-seater and 2+2 market.

All of this probably makes perfect sense from a hit-'em-where-they-ain't marketing point of view. The closed-roof-sports-car business—once the almost exclusive province of Datsun—has become a hotbed of activity in the last few years. Porsche now occupies the high end of the middle-price class with its sleek and nimble 924, an automobile that places great emphasis on handling and driver participation. Mazda is putting the squeeze on from the bottom of the price range with its RX-7, a two-seater that's winning friends everywhere for its agility and sparkling performance. The TR7 has been brought to its knees temporarily because of labor problems in England, but it will be back in full strength by spring, bringing along with it the V-8 powered TR8, which will surely set the performance pace for this class. So what was Datsun to do? The only space left uncontested is the comfort-and-luxury slot. The old Z-car always was a bit more of a tourer than its competitors, and the product planners apparently decided to aim its replacement even more in that direction.

The term "replacement" is used intentionally here because the new ZX is essentially an all-new car. It retains certain visual characteristics of the Z—the scalloped headlight tunnels, the power-bulge hood, and the large, multi-cell taillights—and the powertrain is carried over with only minor recalibrations, but the body and the chassis are altogether different. The greatest dimensional change is in width, the new car being 2.3 inches wider overall and having an extra inch of wheel track (more with the optional alloy wheels). The wheelbase has been increased by 0.6 inches, and although the new model looks considerably longer, the actual increase is less than an inch. Apparently what happened here is that the sheetmetal is longer but the bumpers don't stick out as far, resulting in an appearance of greater length with little real change. Some similar optical illusion must also affect height, because, while the new model looks lower, the company specifications list both the Z and the ZX at 51.0 inches. But even these relatively minor dimensional changes are viewed with great significance in certain quarters. Dick Roberts, head of the competition department, was very pleased indeed with the new body shape. He observed that the greater overall width of the car would let the racers get by with smaller fender flares. That, combined with the more steeply raked windshield, would go a long way toward eliminating the Datsun's considerable top-speed deficit in GTU racing.

The street value of the new shape is less obvious. In profile, the ZX brings to mind the Ferrari Daytona. While the fastback of the old Z-car dropped away quite rapidly, the roof angle of the new car is shallower, and its high tail combined with a long, thrusting nose gives it an unmistakably Ferrari-like silhouette. Yet side by side with the Z, the ZX does not make it look dowdy or obsolete. The short, truncated tail of the old car provided a highly functional appearance that is absent in the replacement. Probably the biggest tip-off as to which car is newer can be seen in the crisp lines of the ZX. The original Z was designed in the days when Pininfarina was doing soft, rounded Ferraris. The Datsun didn't have the full, molded-Jell-0 look of, say, the Dino 246GT, but the sheetmetal of its roof and fenders was formed with rather large-radius curves. Since that time, fashion has swung in the Giugiaro direction—sharply creased and folded shapes such as those of the Scirocco and the Lotus Esprit. The ZX doesn't go wholeheartedly in that direction either, but its curves have been tightened considerably, particularly at the roofline and where the body sheetmetal ends at the tail. So Datsun's new skin does seem more modern while retaining at the same time a strong family resemblance to the original Z.

The mechanical resemblance between the new and old cars is equally strong. The engine of the ZX is rated at 135 horsepower, down 14 from that of the Z, but Nissan spokesmen claim that the only changes are the addition of a catalytic converter and the associated recalibration of the ignition and fuel-injection systems. This, they say, should increase both economy and performance. Backing up the engine is a standard five-speed manual, the same transmission that was previously optional. You may also order a three-speed automatic if that is your pleasure. Axle ratios have been shuffled to no great consequence, a 3.70:1 replacing the previously standard 3.54:1 on five-speed cars. Disc brakes are now fitted on all four corners of the car, vented in front and solid in back. Power steering is standard equipment on the 2+2 and optional on the two-seater. In addition to the obvious benefit of easier steering, the power gear also speeds up the steering ratio from 3.5 to 2.7 turns lock-to-lock, with only a small loss in road feel.

All of this is minor stuff compared with the changes that have been wrought in the suspension. At first glance the pieces appear to be little changed from the old Z, but in fact they are altogether different and very similar to those of the 810 coupe and sedan. The front still uses the MacPherson-strut configuration, but the lower control arm of the ZX is positioned in the fore-and-aft direction by a tension rod ahead of the arm (the Z had a compression rod behind the arm). This is a significant change from a body-structure point of view, but it doesn't necessarily affect handling. The same cannot be said of the new semi-trailing-arm rear suspension that replaces the MacPherson-strut arrangement of the Z. Semi-trailing arms are everywhere these days. Mercedes-Benz and BMW use them, they've been adopted by GM for the new Riviera-Toronado-Eldorado body, and Datsun had them on the original 510 and the discontinued 610, and continues them on today's 810. But this system would seem to offer no practical advantage on the Z. It still requires two large spring towers in the trunk area, and the parts underneath are not significantly simpler or cheaper. Moreover, it has some clear disadvantages from a handling standpoint. Semi-trailing arms have a great deal more camber and toe change than MacPherson struts and therefore a greater potential for tricky handling. We've had plenty of opportunity to explore these limits because Datsun previewed its new models for the press well before public introduction and, to maintain security, our driving was confined to Portland International Raceway. For normal driving, typical of what you'd do on public roads, the ZX is well behaved. As with the old Z, the rear squats on acceleration. There is also a minor amount of self-steering over bumps and during hard braking. In general, the ride quality is plush and underdamped, more along the lines of a luxury car than a sporting machine.

And typical of luxury cars, the ZX is not very interested in hurrying around racetracks. By nature, the car understeers. Under power it will widen the radius of a turn in direct proportion to how far the driver has opened the throttle. But getting into the turns is the tricky part. Any driver input that changes the pitch attitude of the car—putting on the brakes, getting off the brakes, lifting off the power—encourages the rear to come unstuck. Probably what's happening here is that the change in the height of the rear suspension produces a corresponding change in the camber and toe of the rear wheels. When the back end of the ZX goes up, the rear wheels toe out and move more positive in camber. They may as well yell "surprise!," because you are now in a whole new party. In this regard, the ZX is very much like an old Porsche 911, except that the Porsche was blessed with very accurate controls that allowed the driver to keep on top of the situation. The ZX feels rubbery at all times, and even experienced drivers can find themselves sideways at speeds that should be well below the cornering limits. Curiously, we noticed considerable variation among what were supposedly equal cars. Datsun had four two-seaters and three 2+2s on hand for evaluation. One of the two-seaters was quite noticeably worse than the others, but we could detect subtle differences in both ride and handling between all of them. Generally, the 2+2s seemed more manageable for fast driving. They are 7.9 inches longer in wheelbase and weigh 150 pounds more, and their reactions to pitch changes were less dramatic. But, to be honest, we really didn't like how they behaved during hard driving.

For sedate touring, however, the ZX is easily more comfortable than its Porsche, Mazda, and Triumph competitors. The interior is wider than before, giving more elbowroom. The seats are wider also, gently curved for reasonable lateral support, and adjustable in every conceivable direction. The cushion can be tilted up in front, the backrest angled back, and the lumbar area made firmer. The driving position is fine, and the convenient footrest for the driver's left foot has been carried over from the Z. The pedals are located perfectly for heel-and-toe work. The gauge placement has not changed, but the instrument panel is all new: still molded plastic but now rather Mercedes-like in appearance. The steering wheel will be a source of frustration for those who have learned to hook their thumbs over the spokes at the three-and-nine position in the Bob Bondurant's School of High Performance Driving manner, because the ZX's spokes angle down toward five and seven. Fortunately, the rim section is fat and textured enough to allow a good, firm grip without hooking the thumbs.

A frequent complaint about the old Z was high steering effort. With power assist, of course, the ZX is easy to maneuver, but even the manual version requires less muscle than before. The new car does not have the fine lightness of the Mazda RX-7 or the Porsche 924, but neither is it ponderous in the manner of the old Z. That is a net improvement.

The Z always was a slick shifter, and that virtue continues in the ZX. Likewise the sensation of more allowable engine revs than you'll ever use. The redline is still marked at 6400 rpm on the tachometer, but by the time the needle reaches 5500, the noise is high enough and the acceleration is low enough to suggest that an immediate upshift would be in order. And although the engine still turns raucous at high revs, it does not produce such a din as before. As a consequence of this and all the other detail improvements, the ZX is a much quieter and more refined tourer than its forerunner.

Still, it's only in the package-and-gadget department that the ZX truly breaks new ground. Datsun has gone over to the Buick side in offering one all-encompassing Grand Luxury option (price not available at press time). Included are 6.0-inch-wide alloy wheels (5.5-inch steel rims are standard), a rear-window wiper-washer, raised white-letter Bridgestone tires, cloth upholstery, door map pockets, power steering, power windows, a central warning system (which tells you such useful bits of information as whether or not you have enough fluid in the windshield-washer bottle), a four-speaker stereo, an electrically adjustable passenger-side mirror (power mirrors are standard on the driver's side), cruise control, and a dual fuel gauge. That's a load of stuff, and some of it is clever enough to merit special mention. Take the driver's-side power-window control, for example. You have two buttons, one of which works in the normal manner. The other button is like a trigger: touch it once and the window goes all the way down (or all the way up if it was already down). You don't have to hold the button until the window arrives at its destination. Even Cadillac can't match this. The only thing wrong with the system is that the control buttons are positioned low on the door, just where the old left knee hits during hard right turns.

The four-speaker radio also has a neat gadget. Called a "surround-sound" control, it's a stubby lever that can be moved in any direction, much like what is commonly used to adjust remote mirrors. This one acts as a single control to adjust the balance among the four speakers. The radio, by the way, produces a fine sound.

The final item of note in the Grand Luxury package is the dual fuel gauge. The idea here is to provide a highly accurate measure of the last quarter of the tank for all you guys who stay away from gas stations as long as possible. This is accomplished with two needles. One reads full-to-empty in the usual manner, while the full-scale travel of the second is from one-quarter to empty. This should enable you to worry about running out of gas with far greater accuracy.

Apart from the gadgets, the Grand Luxury package also has a few elements of trim that spruce up the interior. The standard ZX is very much like the old Z in that the upholstery is all-vinyl and very little bright-metal decor is used on the dash. But the Grand Luxury models get the full treatment, right down to home-stereo-style knobs on the radio. And finally, Datsun is offering fully color-coordinated interiors, so you no longer have to look at a black instrument panel unless you really want to.

If all this emphasis on luxury seems to dilute the sporting nature of the two-seater, it only enhances the appeal of the 2+2, a model that we've shied away from before because of its curiously stretched appearance and isolation-chamber rear seat. But the ZX 2+2 makes sense. The proportions are happy—perhaps even more pleasing than those of the two-seater—and while the back is a bit too cramped for adults, it's plenty big enough for grade-school children. And best of all, its extra length and weight in no way make it less fun to drive than the two-seater.

The message here is that Datsun has made a bit of a side step. The old Z has grown up to be a 2+2 sort of car—a sporting carriage rather than a hell-raiser—and it'll haul your body around with a minimum of abuse. This is not the specialty of the other cars in the class, and it's not what made the Z famous, but there is room in the market for a car of this sort and Datsun once again would appear to have a corner all to itself.


A Onceover, Not So Lightly

The ZX gets a styling critique from a not exactly disinterested party.

Considering the population density of the island of Manhattan, there are maybe only a thousand people who live four blocks up and just around the corner from C/D's Park Avenue office. But as coincidence would have it, one of them just happens to be Albrecht Goertz, the man who, as a consultant to Nissan, designed the original Datsun 240Z. Because he can be counted upon for strong opinions on-automobiles—and a fair dose of personal charm besides—we couldn't resist inviting him around for coffee, opening up our file of still-secret 280ZX photos, and asking him what he thought.

Our neighbor goes back a ways in the history of automotive design. He was born Count Albrecht Goertz in Brunkensen, Germany, in 1914, but since the royalty business is usually a bit slow for the second son, he came to the U.S. just before WWII. After various jobs and some design study, he joined Raymond Loewy to work on the 1950-through-1953 Studebakers. But his most notable project by far, prior to the 240Z, was the beautiful BMW 507 sports car, an open two-seater that stands today as a high point of Fifties design.

The 240Z was actually the second car Goertz did for Nissan. The first (not exported to the U.S.) was the Sylvia coupe, a smooth, well-organized shape not unlike the Opel Manta of the early Seventies. "When that was finished, they wanted to do something different, maybe a sports car. They really didn't know what," Goertz says. "And because they didn't know what, I had a free hand. The two-seater concept wasn't really my idea, but I liked it. I had just finished a stint at Porsche. If you look closely, you'll see that the dimensions of the original 240Z and the Porsche 911 are about the same. Designs have to start somewhere and the Porsche seemed right.

"As I look at this new car here, I can't tell what they were trying to achieve. Apparently, they wanted to ride on the success of the old one, not change it too much.

"The original was a very lean car—exact, taut lines. If you look at it, there really wasn't a hell of a lot you could leave off. Everything was nothing; the grille was nothing, the back was nothing."

In this, Goertz is absolutely correct. The old Z grille was a masterpiece of simplicity. It was a rectangular opening bounded on the sides by the inner edges of the fenders and on top by the hood. There were no surround moldings and no mesh. Just a few bars inside and a bumper. It was, in effect, nothing.

"They didn't even bother to integrate the bumpers on the new car," he says. "I think you have to do that on any car today." However, the ZX does follow the modern sports car pattern set by the Porsche 924 and 928, the TR7 and the RX-7 in that its grille is located entirely below the front bumper. Would Goertz have done it that way? "Probably not," he says. "You need something to look at, some opening or something. The center emblem, as on the Porsche, is not enough. The car is just a big blob out there."

The original Z had a power bulge on the hood, which is continued on the ZX. But that was not decoration, according to Goertz; it was necessary to clear the engine. He would have preferred to add interest to the hood by channeling in a pair of air scoops, one on each side of the center, but the bulge took precedence.

Perhaps Goertz's greatest disappointment with the ZX is centered on the side-window and beltline area. The Z's beltline swept up into the rear pillar, unifying the side windows into what appeared from a distance to be a single opening. "This area was the Z's biggest characteristic and they should have noticed it. When they brought out the 2+2, they changed it and something happened. Now, on the ZX, the two windows are not in harmony and they've tried to hide that by sticking that clinker on the door post. Actually, the new 2+2 looks better than the two-seater. The window shapes are more compatible there."

Overall, Goertz sees the ZX as inconsistent. "Would you do that kind of steering wheel on a sporty GT?" he asks. And he ticks off other details: the tricky hood cutlines around the headlights, the front bumper that rises up in the middle to meet the hood, the two-tone paint separated by pinstripes, the chrome decoration on the door pillar. "This gets gooky," he says, "an American look rather than imported. I wonder, when you do an imported car for here, how American should it be. I've always believed it should appeal to Americans but not be American. The old Z was like that.

"On the ZX, it really depends on what they were trying to accomplish. It would appear that they were just trying to bring the Z up to date. That sort of rehash is really hard. The designer says, 'I don't know what to do with it anymore but it really hasn't got it.' They didn't ask me to work on it, but if they had, I think I would have turned them down. But when they get ready to do a new car, I hope they'll ask me." —Patrick Bedard

Specifications

SPECIFICATIONS

1979 Datsun 280-ZX

VEHICLE TYPE
Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door hatchback

PRICE AS TESTED (C/D EST)
$13,000

ENGINE TYPE
SOHC 12-valve inline-6, iron block and aluminum head, port fuel injection
Displacement: 168 in3, 2753 cm3
Power: 135 hp @ 5200 rpm
Torque: 144 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm

TRANSMISSION
5-speed manual

CHASSIS
Suspension (F/R): struts/semi-trailing arms
Brakes (F/R): 9.9-in vented disc/10.6-in disc
Tires: Bridgestone RD-106 Steel, 195/70HR-14

DIMENSIONS
Wheelbase: 91.3 in
Length: 174.0 in
Width: 66.5 in 
Height: 51.0 in
Curb weight: 2900 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS
30 mph: 2.9 sec
60 mph: 9.1 sec
100 mph: 29.6 sec
1/4 mile: 17.1 sec @ 8.3 mph
Top speed: 115 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 184 ft

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1979 Datsun 620 - Smooth 620

Japan Does It Again

Datsun 620 Pickup Full Overview

On my final trip to Japan as the Associate Editor for MT magazine, I had the opportunity to shoot several of Japan's coolest trucks. No matter how many trucks we had seen before in Japan, it seems on each trip we found cooler and cooler trucks. The truck that stood out to me the most at this year's shoot had to be Hayato's Datsun Unibody.

No matter how long you stare at it, you simply won't find any flaws with Hayato's Datsun. The bodywork on the truck is amazing. Every body line was smooth as could be. Every mod was subtle enough to be almost unnoticeable, which seems to be the favorite type of mods amongst the Japanese minitruckers. Hayato is definitely not new to the scene. He's been into trucks for more than 10 years and has been building his 620 the entire time. No detail was spared on this truck.

The color on this truck is phenomenal. If you look closely at the truck, you'll notice it's actually green. This was one of the most challenging shoots I did while at Mini Truckin'. I really had no control over the time of day or location, so working under these conditions made it a lot more interesting. One thing that helped was working with such perfection, as was the case with this smooth 620. Shooting this truck and trying to bring out the green was a hell of a time. But whether it came out black or green didn't matter with this truck, it's just so clean.

Hayato, who is a clothing designer, is excited to be in the pages of Mini Truckin' after all these years, and if his clothes are as cool as his truck, we can only imagine we'll be seeing more from him in the future.

The Lowdown
Rolling Attire
Wheels (Front/Rear): Eagle 17x8 inches
Tires (Front/Rear): 235/40R17

Chassis Modifications
Suspension type: Air
Airbag type and size: (Front/Rear): Firestone
Spindles/springs: Monoleafed with airbags
Shocks: Toxics
Valves: 1/2 inch
Compressors: Two Viairs
Air line: 1/2 inch
Air accessories: 8-gallon aluminum tank
Frame mods: Step notch
Performed by: T-Craft
City/state: Morioka, Iwate, Japan

Body Modifications
Shaved: Keyhole on left door, all emblems and moldings, gas door, windshield wipers, tailgate, side markers, and side mirrors
Body-dropped: 2.5-inches
Front end: Front fenders, and hood have been extended 3/8 inch
Misc.: Bumpers smoothed and rechromed, unibodied
Performed by: T-Craft
City/state: Morioka, Iwate, Japan

Paint
Brand and colors: Japan Paint, "Dope" series, black-greenbased

Style: Custom-mixed by painter, solid color
Performed by: T-Craft
City/state: Morioka, Iwate, Japan

Interior
Seats: Stock, modified to sit lower
Material: Leather and suede
Dash: Repainted black

Stereo
Head unit: Alpine
Mids and highs: Rockford Fosgate
Amplifier for mids and highs: Boyds

Engine/Performance
Detail work: Painted valve cover, K&N air filter, and polished parts
Misc.: Dual electric cooling fans
Performed by: T-Craft
City/state: Morioka, Iwate, Japan

Special Thanks By Owner:
Mr. and Mrs. Kumagai at Accessory Shop Funny Cas for their help and introducing me to T-Craft, Mr. Fujiwara at T-Craft, Mr. Sakata at Hot Art, and everyone else who helped with my dream truck.

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1979 Datsun 280ZX Stock#202-FTL

Junkyard Gem: 1979 Datsun 210

Nissan spent the 1970s making good money in North America by selling rear-wheel-drive, Datsun-badged economy cars based on the Nissan Sunny, with the super-stingy Datsun B210 arriving just in time for the 1973 oil crisis. The B210's successor, sold in North America as the 210, debuted here for the 1979 model year and held the econobox fort for Nissan until the more modern, front-wheel-drive Nissan Sentra appeared in 1982. I don't see many of these cars during my junkyard explorations of recent years, since most of them depreciated to nothingness a couple of decades back, but I found this first-year example in a Denver self-service yard a few months ago.

Things got pretty confusing with Datsun names around this time; this car had the B310 platform designation within the Nissan organization, but the 310 name went onto a car based on the Japanese-market Pulsar, itself a member of the Nissan Cherry family. Meanwhile, the much-beloved 510 name got pasted onto the North American version of the Nissan Violet. The real 510's Bluebird chassis begat the 610, 710, 810, and (badged as both a Datsun and a Nissan) the Maxima.

Except for a couple of holdouts (e.g., the Chevrolet Chevette), just about every cheap North American-market compact and subcompact went to front-wheel-drive before the 1980s were half over. The 1979-1982 Datsun 210 was the last of the penny-pinching rear-wheel-drive Nissans available over here. Power came from this 1.4-liter four-cylinder, rated at 65 horsepower— not enough to be quick, but acceptable by 1979 standards and extremely fuel-efficient.

This car's final owner got every bit of life out of the old Datsun before discarding it. In addition to rust, body filler, a grubby interior, and mangled sheetmetal from multiple fender-benders, the acrylic-and-packaging-tape glass replacement ensures a resale value approaching scrap levels.

These cars proved to be solid competition for the Corolla and Civic of the era (though not as reliable as the Toyota and not as much fun to drive as the Honda), and they were common sights on the streets of non-Rust Belt regions well into the late 1990s.

Just the car to take on a trip from Japan to Fiji!

Sours: https://www.autoblog.com/2019/09/23/junkyard-gem-1979-datsun-210-two-door-sedan/

Datson 1979

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1979 Datsun 280z driving video

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