A 280ZX That’s All About The 1/4 Mile

As I arrived in Odaiba and started checking out some of the cars lined up to get into the Mooneyes Street Car Nationals last weekend, I noticed a couple of Fairlady Zs parked up across the street.

At that precise moment, the familiar roar of a highly tuned L-series came into earshot, and seconds later the source of the oh-the-sweet sound, another Z, pulled up behind the other two.


The candy red S130 immediately piqued my interest, but within a moment, all three owners, who had jumped out for a quick chat, were back in their cars and headed off down in the road in convoy, before each pulled a u-turn and joined the back of the queue.


I didn’t actually find where they had ended up until some hours later, pretty much after I had taken in the entire show. I was curious as to what each Z was running in its respective engine bay; I’ve always been fascinated with how popular drag-spec Fairlady Zs were back in the late ’70s and early ’80s as the Japanese tuning boom was getting its start. The S30 and S130 were the cars that helped fuel it all, and with them the L-series engine was by far the most modified.

All three cars seemed to have a similar engine spec, but I decided to concentrate on the red S130.


I love seeing cars like this sporting period correct tuning; it’s all pretty straightforward: big Solex carbs fed by a solid-looking fuel system and a high compression stroked L28 taking care of the rest.

I’ve seen Zs with this sort of setup running low-to-mid 11-second passes at the Sendai Hi-Land Raceway drag strip, which back in the day was pretty serious 0-400m pace for a street car.


No onikyan here, this is as legit as any stance will get with Hoosier radials and 3-piece race wheels.


Apart from a few simple dress-up pieces, like the front lip and the carbon vented hood, this S130 shines for its focused setup. I sure miss checking out Japanese drag cars, and more importantly the zeroyon events where they raced.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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This makes me miss my 280zx, grandparents made me sell mine at 18 because they said a the 20 year old car wasn't safe anymore. sold it to a kid who years later painted it lime green and did a Honda del sol front conversion and rear lights.ugh a part if me dies everytime I see what he did to Sheila.

Patrick Peebles

Del Sol?!?! The fuck?


Del Sol front? What?


I'm with the WTF crowd. Pics of this?

Dino Dalle Carbonare

Del Sol? I got to see this too! What's wrong with a 20 year old car lol


Oh, what a sight- old school Nissan power! Been awhile since these engines were popular, what with the VG's and VQ's that followed. LOVE the color and really everything about the car, even though these series of ZX's are generally considered the low end of the Z gene pool despite pretty good looks IMO. Obviously that all can be corrected, though, as these guys all did!
Thanks, Dino...made my day!

Dino Dalle Carbonare

My pleasure :)


What a sexy car. Not show-oriented, wasnt built to get likes on socials, it was built to get driven hard. Me like!!

Daniel Jenkins

Can you guys maybe start covering more drag racing events and cars in Japan? I feel like that genre doesn't get the full love it deserves on SH

Dino Dalle Carbonare

There are probably half the drag events there used to be 5 or so years ago. But I'll see what I can do, I know they open up HiLand at times or the other option would be Central Circuit

Daniel Jenkins

Ok sweet thanks


You gotta look around for JDDA events Dino. They got events here and there. Fuji Circuit, Central Circuit, Sendai Hi-Land, Kamishihoro, Motegi Twin Ring and probably some more. But the events down south is usually the best.


Robert Shisler

Someone build this guy an airbox, please?


right? Maybe he has a clip on one or something. Those stacks are so beautiful tho.


Did not expect it to be NA!


ZX love! Maybe I'll get around to fixing up the rush bucket LOL


9.99/10 no interior pics :D