Jorge Solorio: 1981 280ZX

Early 2007 i purchased my 1981 280zx Non Turbo 5 Speed off a small local Central Point dealership not in the intention of buying it but really caught my eye. I had a good paying job at the time and saved up some money hoping it wouldn’t sell and after a week i managed to buy my first Z for $1,500 it was in really good shape and all the paint was all there some minor dents and a few rust spots. The 280zx was all stock except for a Flowmaster exhaust & 16 inch wheels, later on i added a cold air intake & Stage 2 Spec Clutch. After driving it for 3 years and not really satisfied with the engines performance i ran into a stressful incident with my Z and was forced to find either a replacement or a donor car for my Z. I Traveled to Sacramento, California after searching months for a 280zx on craigslist and ran into a 1983 280zx Turbo 5 speed that i had seen a year before, i talked to the owner and made my way after a few weeks of speaking to him on the phone. The 280zx Turbo wasn’t at its best shape but was a running car my biggest concern was would it be able to make it home with a blown intake manifold gasket? With luck i did make it back home with minor problems on the way going up hills on the highway. Exactly after a week of purchase i was heading to my friends dad’s shop where my original Z was being repaired from a front end damage. I was almost at the shop driving down table rock rd when one of the 280zx turbo front wheel decided to come off, it was a scary thing but i called the mechanic and came and picked me up. Back at the shop when the mechanic towed the car back to his shop i had seen that the rack and pinion had lost a bolt and completely broke, so now i was car less but all my original Z needed was a hood and slapped on the nice huge aftermarket air dam. For another few more months i drove my Z and met John Ray at Lithia Nissan where i talked about swapping the turbo motor & Transmission to my car, he agreed it was a simple swap finally after a month or so being the busy guy he is i was driving my Z once again. The L28ET motor & Tranny were quite a difference in performance since the 280zx Turbo had some upgrades like a T3/T04E Turbo, a Z31 ECU & MAF, i had no idea about these installations. I Had some trouble getting it to run good so i went and bugged John Ray once again and finally after a few attempts he had it running in tip top shape, man the difference it made when that turbo kicked it was just amazing. Recently i took my car to the latest Z car club event at Lithia Nissan of this year, as for my car it still remains a project for me to restore it one day repaint it the original color and have the motor rebuilt.

Check out more about my car on YouTube
I’m also registered to if you own a Z i recommend this site it is one of the best forums around for all kinds of information on all Z cars.

Thanks for watching.


  1. J Hughes says:

    I have a 1979 280ZX that I would like to sell, need work . Body is good but needs interior work. Engine has 77,000 miles bake an offier

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