For Neil and Greasy,
Regarding an intermittant fuel pump, it's humming with the symptom present. Noisy may be a player. I can hear it over the exhaust with my head under the car. Can't remember if that was always true. I did replace the filter on this go. Plugs are wired correctly. I'm the only one who touches 'em and I just ran wire checks and looked at firing order while I was at it. Sounds like a clever way to force-clear air passages, Greasy. Suspected as much but you never know. I've sprayed starter fluid all over the running engine and can't find any indication of a leak. Good call though. Thanks for confirming the lack of cosmicity in an '81 280.
I'll poke at everything y'all have suggested this weekend. Here's hoping. Too pretty a car to run so ugly. Thanks for your interest. Cheers, Clip