A Rusty Datsun Z Brought Me into the World of Classic Cars
I always liked cars. Discarded Hot Wheels often carpeted the bedroom of my childhood, and muscle car books from Barnes & Noble filled my bookshelf. For many years, classic cars were simply things I read about in books. I had memorized all the famous big blocks of the pre-OPEC era, but in my young mind, cool cars stopped being made in 1974 and they definitely weren't made by the Japanese or the Germans. But when I was 17 years old, I underwent a bit of a metamorphosis.
I was 17 when I bought my first car. I trawled online listings for classic cars while bored in high school to see what my meager $2,000 budget could afford in the way of cool cars. I didn't care about manual transmissions, locking rear differentials, or racing pedigrees; I just wanted something cool and old to drive around in.
One day I found her. Suzy was a metallic blue 1983 Datsun 280ZX with T-tops, two seats, and an oh-so-'80s silver and blue interior. At the time, I did not know what a Datsun or a Z car was, but this was a reasonably priced good-looking car, and I wanted it. The previous owner (who was about 35 years old) bought it used when he was in college and had kept it ever since.