Steve K 1977 Datsun 280Z 2dr 2+2 Coupe

retirement Gift Shocker

In late 1978 I purchased a slightly used 1977 280Z and enjoyed driving it during my bachelor days and the early years of my marriage. After our daughter was born and the Z began needing repairs I felt guilty putting money in my sports car instead of saving for our daughters college. So the Z was stored in a garage in northern Michigan where it slept for 20 years becoming more and more in need of major costly repairs. The summer before my retirement, my wife asked me when I was going to get the Z on the road. My response was that it was in such mechanical disrepair, we couldn't afford the cost and although I had done over the years, minor repairs myself, I did not possess the ability to do the restoration necessary. I told her that I would sell it for what I could get. No more was said and life went on as usual.

The following spring as I took the necessary steps to end a 30 year career in social work, the Z was the furthest thing from my thoughts. However, not so, my wife or my daughter. They secretly had the Z flat bedded to a Datsun specialist in Waterford, Michigan where all major engine systems were replaced as well as brakes, tires, wheels, and many other parts. The floorboards and rails had to be replaced and welded as well. The Datsun Doctor was thrilled to receive the car and clearly did a fantastic mechanical restoration. My wife had received a small inheritance when her beloved aunt passed away and so I never saw any money leave our checking or savings account to pay for the restoration. Upon retirement, my wife basically handed me the keys and said "enjoy your retirement". When she dropped me off to pick up the Z, Ted, the Datsun Doctor, said when you get in it and drive, it will take 30 years off your life and he was correct. Since my wife and I had our first date in this car many years ago, we have, once again enjoyed many dates on day long road trips in northern Michigan. It is as though a piece of my life was returned to me by my best friend and love of my life.

1 Reader Comment

  • 1
    chris Portland July 11, 2014 at 20:31
    Thank you for sharing. As a Z owner I really appreciated your story.

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