This 280ZX Is a Great Segue to Explaining Why I Don’t Live in the Bay Area
Also, it's ridiculous how clean this car was.
Don’t we all just love the Datsun 280ZX? What’s not to love? Two seats? Check. Straight six? Check. Rear-wheel-drive? Check. Manual transmission? Check, um, er, maybe not on this example, there’s a big T-shaped lever I spied in the middle of the center console. Ugh.
This car kind of feels like an allegory for my desire to live in the bay; pretty, pristine, but there’s always something about there, that just won’t work.
- Car: Datsun 280ZX
- Location: San Fransisco
- Photog: me (Kevin Williams)
- Camera: Canon EOS M
In 2016, I went to the Bay Area for the first time in my life. Only the second time I had ever been on a plane, I was invited to a destination wedding in Monterey. The bride, I had met once before; wasn’t really close friends with her, but she was besties with nearly all of my other friends. Lack of confirmed reservations for an already sold bridal ceremony meant that there were a ton of empty seats. So, I got invited by proxy — to a gorgeous wedding on the beach, with an open bar, and an outrageous seafood cocktail hour.
I ditched my friends for a day or two and took a bus from Monterrey to San Fransisco, and just sort of walked around the city for a few hours.
I loved it. I fell in love, completely. I wanted to be here, I had to be here. The next year, I cut class during my final semester to trounce around San Fransisco. After I graduated, I applied for job after job, after job, trying to find some reason, some way, to get to the Bay.
It never panned out. The pay for entry-level work in the Bay Area would have meant a poor quality of life, working multiple jobs, never having time to enjoy the city I had become infatuated with. Moving there felt almost immoral, I was only adding another body to the ever-present fight for fair housing and employment.
Cars like this 280ZX kind of remind me of that time; a beautiful thing, marred by a serious downside.