Restoration Datsun 280ZX

This Datsun 280ZX 2 + 2 Targa was delivered in the Far East recently in 1980. The first (and only) owner took this car to the Netherlands. This car has been fully restored by Auto Service Rozendaal.

We have started to strip the car and inventory which parts need to be renewed. The car looks optically optimum, with further investigation on the bridge, we must note that the rust has also hit seriously. In an Arabic version, they have never heard of tectyl, in the Netherlands, unfortunately, there was too late attention.

The search for parts has begun. Every internet site is searched and calls are made to the various addresses in America. Meanwhile, the car has been completely stripped and we have started cleaning the chassis. After that, the mechanical parts are irradiated and sprayed so that all loose parts are restored on the shelf. In this way we do not come up with surprises when building up. We therefore advise not to tackle the body.

First, the engine is returned to the original new state. Although the Datsun motor is technically in good condition, optical need to be scanned quite a bit.

The engine is ready and looks nice again. All wheel suspension parts, such as shock absorbers and brake pads, have been completely dismantled and will be revised or renewed. The body is now in the grill and the real work will only start well. We start with the left front; all bad parts are cut out. In order to keep it as original as possible, this is replaced by new homemade sheet metal.

We continue with the left pillar, which is replaced in its entirety by a new original copy. Removing the bad plate work reveals that the inside of the chassis is still in good condition. We continue with the left rear screen, the mudguard edge is cut out, including the front and rear undersides. The insides are re-made, with the outer edge being waited a while because it is not yet in stock. The work is progressing steadily and we can already go to the right, there is more work to do because the indoor screen and the battery pack are in a lesser condition than the left. The coming time we will spend on the right side and perhaps the loose parts may already be radiated.

What was noted in March was the right side for the most work. There is almost the entire right inner shield and the base plate is replaced. The right throat and right rear window are completely renewed. The inside of the rear window is also replaced. The last thing had to happen, in welding work, is a small part of the rear axle attachment and a corner paravane / windscreen style. All mechanical parts, such as steering, heat shields and wheel suspension, are removed from kit and paint by means of a bathing bath. These small parts are currently being irradiated in their own workplace. As soon as the body is sealed, it will be glazed by a specialized company in the Hoeksche Waard, including the larger parts (tank, front and rear axle).   We are going to start raining, spraying and revising the front and rear suspension. We are leaving for America for a short period of time, as we will purchase all technical parts for this Datsun (brake calliper set, front and rear axles, steering and fuse bullets, and so forth).

Back from this trip we started searching for other doors right away, because getting out of America costs too much time. Two Frank and Frank team members were able to pick up two doors in reasonable condition. Under reasonable doors, we understand doors that are still to be restored, so the underside is completely removed and fitted with new inner and outer plate. The sheet metal is ready and fits on the bodywork, this whole is now ready to shine. The loose parts have been unleashed for several weeks and are now being irradiated. After this process, everything is sprayed into the epoxy primer immediately, this must happen acutely to give rust no chance!


These spare parts are in the epoxy primer and are now sprayed 2K black high gloss lacquer. The heat shields are sprayed grey with a hammer impact effect to make it as original as possible. The body has been brought to the jet company and returns within 3 weeks. In the meantime, we make the sheet metal ready to spray. Which means; Doors, mudguards, hood, etc., are made taut by flushing, sanding, spraying spraying, grinding, primer spraying, with the value hade of the original color. The insides have now been completed. The body is back from the radiator and is in perfect condition. No extra holes have been detected, so welding is not necessary! Like the loose parts, the body is placed directly in the epoxy primer.

After the body, inside and outside, have been put into the epoxy primer, we will continue to tighten (fuse, sanding). Now all the unevenness’s in the body have been removed, the car goes back into the epoxy primer. After that, the entire body is put into the spray gun. This is applied by means of a large nozzle sprayer so that a thick layer can be applied. This thick layer ensures that all the small unevenness’s can be sanded. Only now can the last layer of primer be applied to the car. This primer is black because the car is brushed reddish, this substrate provides better coverage and depth in the top layer. After this process, the bottom, inside and the rebates in the original red base coat are immediately sprayed and then a white varnish layer is applied.


Finally, the bodywork is ready to be partially built up. Because we have already restored all the spare parts in recent months, we can start with right away. We start with the front and rear suspension so that the car can get on its wheels again. We continue to build the wiring, brake, air and gas lines. All parts can now be mounted underneath the bonnet and the dashboard is built in. Now that the car is on its wheels, the doors, tailgate and front panels are mounted and adjusted.


It has become time to reposition the heart of the car. We had luckily taken the engine already, so this also went well. The gearbox, intermediate shaft and the cardan are mounted together with the protection plates and the heat shields. The interior (chairs and interior panels are taken back from the warehouse and replaced. Now a fool is emerging: the sky, the trunk side and the back panel must be re-coated as everything is shrunk and released. This requires some specialism, but it sees Look like new. The rims are glazed and again outstanding, these are then placed in the epoxy primer, then painted in silver. The sky, the trunk side and the back panel had to be re-coated as everything was shrunk and let go. This had some feet in the earth but it looks like new. In winter we had a disappointment again; The windshield was no longer of such quality that it would benefit the restored car. So we had to look like a spear looking for a nice windshield, this was not found throughout the Benelux. Eventually we ordered a hail new in America, which was very exciting because in the end, the pieces were finally delivered. That happily did not matter. But for all this, the car had to be sprayed. The final layer of primer is finely sanded with waterproof sandpaper P1200. Thereafter the parts that are not sprayed will be flattened. In the spray booth, the base paint is first sprayed red. Red is a very poorly coated lacquer, but because we have previously used a black primer as a substrate, this benefits the cover. After evaporation (drying) after half an hour, the white paint can be sprayed over it. White lacquer is a protective top layer that also ensures high gloss. Now that we are ready, the cabin is boiled up to 65 ° Celsius in which the Datsun is dried in 45 minutes. The wipe paper can be removed and the end result can be admired.


Building and finishing a restoration object is always the most valued work. It seems that the restoration process suddenly goes faster, nothing is less true. On a 280ZX there are quite a few details, and everything must look perfect! After more than a year, the car is ready and can finally be started. But unfortunately, soon it turns out that there is no life to get in. Everything is disassembled so we soon think of an electric shock. The wiring is measured but nothing is found that indicates a problem. The engine wants to hit but only runs on its cold start sprayer. After a clear moment, the injectors are no longer functioning, even though the measurements make us believe differently. After times they have not been used, they appear to be hidden. So the last thing that has to happen now is to order the American-ordered injectors, new license plates, APK approvals and taxation for the insurance. As with any project, this restoration has also been known as delays. There has been chosen for quality and no compromises, this takes time.