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Deciding to sell or store my 280?

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High all!

It pains me to have this discussion, but the time has come to make a big choice.


I've had my 76 280z for the past 12 years and love it. It's got very minor rust, nos front clip (dealer found me fenders and a hood in different warehouses), runs and drives well(81 motor, have not replaced all the suspension yet, just some bushings and brakes), but the interior is a dash, console, and some roached seats. 95,000 miles original. The body is flat spray paint as I've done some body work, but what it needs still really isn't bad. Mostly some dents and pinhole rust in the rockers and floor, and a paint job.


Here's my question:


I have orders to Germany, four years overseas. We're excited to go, but I'm not sure what to do with my car. I'm not taking it and the garage full of parts, so I need to decide to store it or sell it. I know I'd be lucky to get 2k-2.5k out of it with the extras. I honestly don't have a lot into it, but it's a sentimental thing. I've spent a lot of time in and working on this car, before my family, with the kids, etc. Of course I love driving it. I'm just wondering what you guys would do?


I have a line on a 24ft car trailer that needs some work for about 2k, and a free place to store it for four + years. From a hassle standpoint it would be nice to just sell everything. From a $$ stand point the 2.5k car, 2k + trailer, I think I could buy a real nice Z when I get back in the states. 4 to 6-7k would make for a real nice Z.


My decision really comes down to the emotional value of this thing to me. I grew up in Z cars, my kids have grown up in this one. I DO NOT get attached to cars/trucks, except this one. It's really messing with me. My truck of 9 years is an easy sell.


What would you guys do? I'm trying to make a rational choice. But that would be selling it. At the same time I'd love to have it when I get back. Storing cars is never good for them, but it would be in an enclosed trailer. Thoughts??


I know you're not making a choice for me, but it's nice to hear from other z guys.




Edited by afbrian13
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With the rise in popularity of Z-cars recently, and your sentimental attachment to it I would say go for the storage route.  If you want to store in a trailer to simplify things, don't ignore the fact that you can sell the trailer when you get back to recoup some of the money if necessary.  Or you end up with a good 24ft car trailer.  

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I don't know the storage situation, but 4 years is a long time to impose on someone. Things can change and trailers can be stolen or broken into. It would also be something to think about for 4 years, that could definitely be baggage you leave behind. Pin holes usually do mean that it is hiding something underneath. I have rarely ever found "just a pinhole."


On the other hand, 6-7k now might get you a Z car, but the stock continually dries up. You used to see very well sorted ones for 5k, now you see pretty crummy ones trying to be sold for 10k. There are enough of them that they won't sky rocket like some other classic cars sitting on the edge at least from the looks of things, but that can change. Who knows a good one might fetch 20k in 5 years and a bare frame might cost 5k, depends on the area I suppose.


And if you have sentimental values and you don't have to pay for storage for 4 years it wouldn't cost you anything while still letting you hold onto something. I would fog the motor and pull the battery unless you want to further impose and have someone drive it around the block every two weeks for 4 years. 


In the middle of the situation is that a running and driving Z car should fetch more then 2k. Clean it up, throw on some wheels and it should fetch a pretty penny that you can save to spend on your return. Who knows you might fall in love with some old german car in the land of porsche and mercedes :)


Tough call.

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Check what they are selling for over in Germany. Maybe bring it there and sell it (unless you are bringing something else). It may be worth much more there. Then buy a Porsche, bring it back to the US and sell it. Then buy a really nice Z that's already done and have some cash left over.

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Just Store it.  The trailer is a good investment.   One important thing tho is to drain the gas,  Start it and run it dry.  Stabil or seafoam in it beforehand and hopefully it'll keep. pull the battery, no sense in letting it leak inside the car.  I've had to muck out fuel lines a few times and it's a sucky job.  Ideally drop the tank and  make sure it's empty so it won't rust.  5 years the value of these things will be higher, there's so many dropping out of circulation already. I'd pull the plugs and spray down the cylinders with WD40 then put back in the plugs.  Put it on blocks in the trailer and strap it down well.  You should come back to a pretty well preserved car. Car cover inside the trailer too, just for the wow surprise when you get to see her again.  I'm sure there's some storage ideas that I'm missing so you might search a bit on long term car storage.


When you come back, likely you're going to need a bit of maintenance, tires probably, Battery, Fluids, if all goes well you should come back to a gem.  Thank you for serving.



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Thanks for the replies. I'll try to comment on some of the posts.


As far as spring my car, I'd be keeping it in a car trailer on a farm. No security worries, or family moving from the place. I'd just drain the gas, oil the cylinders, etc. Not going to even ask to have it started or anything like that. Maybe just check that the trailer is still water tight every once in awhile.


No way this car is going to Europe. We have a family vehicle that were shipping. I wish it was nice enough to get good money after shipping, but I don't really see that happening.


In one way I see storing it away, coming back in a few years, put in some fresh gas, new battery and oil, and go for a drive. However, I know that's not the way it works. Hell, I left my old 720 4x4 for 10 months and it was never the same ( and it's long since sold btw)


As much as I want to keep it for all the above reasons, I'd hate to come back and find a rusted out she'll with a seized motor and bad everything else. I sort of feel it's unfair to the car, and that someone should enjoy it and keep it from turning to dust. ( i.e. sell it to somebody who appreciates a Z car)


If you know anyone in the midwest that's into Z's, let me know. Might make the choice easier.


I'll keep you posted.

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In case anyone is wondering, here's a plan update.


I'd hate to come home in 4 to 7 years to a rusted out, seized up hunk of scape metal. It might not be after being stored in a trailer, but there's a good chance.


I'm about at the point of "if you love her, let her go"

I would rather see a Z guy get it, or somebody wanting to get into a drivable project, than see it require a 100% teardown, or worse a crusher. With all the parts I have it would fill a 2 car garage with the car.


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Drain it, do as much rust conversion as you can and throw some desiccant packets around for good measure. Put a car cover on to keep the dust off, which will hold moisture.


If you know of any bad rot cut it out now and repair it later. Little rust converter and primer and you've stopped the big stuff...


With the prices going up I'd hate to sell today just to get something much worse for the same price tomorrow.

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There are those big vacuum bags here (or overpressure to avoid contact), where you litteraly drive your car inside, throw in a kilo of dessicant for good measure, and vacuum/pressurise everything before sealing it. This after a decent treatment will keep it as is, at least increasing the chances, and the trailer will keep everything neat. On the other hand, bring it here, I will gladly take it away from you ^^




Edited by Villeman
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