Picture this: It’s the mid-1970’s, and you work for an up-and-coming Japanese car company making serious inroads in the market. You have a successful sports car that you’ve been selling for a few years, but it’s getting a little long in the tooth. So, you do the most 70’s thing you can with it: you create a stripe package special edition! But there are so many other cars in the market doing the same thing, so you need to differentiate yours from the rest. But how? And then it hits you. You decide on creating a joint venture cross promotion with a new industry that’s sweeping the nation: Video Games. Genius!
As BangShift’s self-proclaimed Video Game Connoisseur, I always keep an eye out for games that have something to do with cars. My interest in gaming goes way back to the days where you could barely tell the object on the screen even resembled a car. You remember our review of the Atari 2600 classic Dragster, right? While Dragster, a game released by Activision in 1980 was cool, it’s origin came from an earlier arcade game called Drag Race which was released in 1977. The 1970’s were a very strange time in the world of video games, as they were still in their infancy and developers and manufacturers were trying all sorts of things to get people to sink their quarters in their games. That said, most games were either 2-player combat games, Pong clones, or very basic racing games. A year before Drag Race graced the arcades and bar rooms of the US, Midway Manufacturing and Nissan/Datsun teamed up and released what is considered the very first video game/product promotion: Datsun 280 ZZZAP. This game was made to promote a trim package on Datsun’s 280Z known as the 280Z ZAP.
Not only are we going to take a look at the game, we are also going to take a look at a very rare example of a real 280Z ZAP that’s for sale!
Here’s some really terrible footage of the arcade game:
And now, let’s look at the car.
So, what is the price of this vestige of rarity in Z form? In this case, the seller is looking to get $12,500 out of your pocket in exchange for this thing. Although steep, the price of 1970’s Z cars has been climbing in recent years, and with early 240Z’s becoming auction darlings, the later ones are starting to get pricey. I’d say the price is a couple grand too high, but he’s not too far off. Sadly, an arcade cabinet 280 ZZZAP is not included with the sale.
So, here’s a funny question: what is more rare: the Midway Datsun 280 ZZZAP arcade machine, or the real Datsun 280Z ZAP? Great question. While Nissan/Datsun is said to have made 1000 cars, there are no records of how many arcade cabinets were produced. According to the online arcade enthusiast site Killer List of Video Games, there are only six Datsun 280 ZZZAP arcade cabinets known to exist today. And according to Craigslist Dude, he has the last car left out of the 1000 or so built. Unless there are a few more cars out there, the winner is the car. Which would you rather own?
CLASSIC 1977 NISSAN/DATSUN 280Z ZAP Z 2 DOOR COUPE 5 SPD STD TRANS. REDUCED PRICE WAS $15,500 NOW$12,500
VIN : HI S30-401003 MILEAGE 83800
TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE THIS IS THE ONLY ZAP LEFT AND AVAILABLE ON THE MARKET TODAY IN THIS CONDITION. SHE COMES WITH A CRACKED DASH AND CARPET COVER. I PURCHASED A USED 280Z ORIGINAL DASH WIRED WITH GAGES IN PRISTEEN CONDITION BUT HAVEN’T GOT AROUND INSTALLING IT. YOU CAN PURCHASE HER FOR $12,500 AS IS W/CARPET DASH COVER OR $14,500 AND THE PRISTEEN DASH COMES WITH IT. IF YOU LOOK UP HER ESTIMATED CLASSIC VALUE YOU WILL FIND IT TO BE $22K & $25K.SHE HAS BEEN PAMPERED SINCE I BOUGHT HER AS A PUP. SHE HAS ALL SHE CAME WITH EXCEPT FOR THE NORMAL MAINTENANCE ITEMS IE: OIL, PLUGS TIRES ETC. RECOVERED THE SEATS REPLACED THE ORIGINAL DECALS WITH A QUALITY PAINT JOB. HER MILAGE IS A LOW 83.800. SHE RUNS GREAT AND IN VERY GOOD CONDITION. IN MY VIEW SHE IS SHOW QUALITY. IF YOU HAVE AN INTEREST AND WANT MORE INFORMATION ON CONDITION YOU CAN SEND ME YOUR PHONE NUMBER OR ADDRESS THROUGH THIS AD AND I WILL RESPOND. I WILL NOT RESPOND TO AN INSERTED E-MAIL ADDRESS. SHIPPING COSTS WILL APPLY SHOULD THEY BE REQUIRED.