On first glance, it looks like the most generic Ford Mustang ever: a 1966 Coupe, probably with the 289 V8 and C4 three-speed automatic. But actually, this machine, for sale on Facebook Marketplace, is much, much stranger. That’s because the “Z-Tang,” as its seller calls it, had its guts traded for those of a Datsun. And trust me, the swap is more extensive than you’re probably imagining.
I’m convinced that this swap must have been done in the 1980s, when the Datsun 280ZX was actually new and cool, because today, this custom Mustang’s donor car just seems a bit random. That’s no disrespect to the lovely 280ZX, but I don’t really get it. (The photo below from the posting appears rather old, so I bet this custom coupe was indeed thrown together decades ago).
Here’s how the seller describes the black pony:
Unique custom show car with a lot of potential to be restored. Rust on the body & inside by the back seat area. With Nissan Datsun 280zx 1983; engine, brakes, suspensions, transmission, interior, A/C & electronic doors. Car currently runs & stops but it will need to be towed because the windshields are not attached to the car.
The seller is asking six grand for the “Z-Tang,” which really doesn’t seem too bad depending upon the extent of the rust. From the outside, it still looks like a Mustang, except now it’s got slightly more modern powertrain and suspension tech, so that seems nice.
Still, the inline-six in the 280ZX only made 150-ish horsepower, and was mated to a three-speed automatic, so there really doesn’t seem to be a huge powertrain advantage over stock. Even the interior, which—remarkably—appears to have been almost entirely swapped over from the 280ZX (whoever built this even swapped the dash over!) isn’t exactly a huge improvement over the pony’s factory 1960s innards in my opinion:
I think the major advantages, really, are fuel injection and—assuming the builder really did use a 280ZX’s suspension—an independent rear suspension layout.
I bet in the 1980s, this seemed like a major upgrade, though now, 40 years later, the leap between 1960s and 1980s tech seems pretty minuscule, and honestly, I’d probably be just as happy or happier with a stock Ford Mustang 289 V8.
Still, someone swapped over the entire interior! It’s hard for me not to respect what must have been a gruelling wrenching ordeal.