Now that things are "dead' around here, according to folks, maybe it's time to start a build thread on all the cars I have left. I like things quiet, so here it goes.
My first Datsun was a '74 260Z. It was unreliable, but looking back on it, it really wasn't bad for 1988 in northern NJ. An early 260 with small bumpers and not a whole lot of rust. I'm sure I have an actual hold-in-your-hands picture somewhere, which I'll add when I find it. My folks sold it when the repair bills became too much. I do recall that it sounded fantastic when the exhaust broke; it sounded exactly like the Coyote in the then-popular TV show Hardcastle and McCormack.
Sorry about that. Boy, that sucked.
After that, there was a sad time with a '77 BMW 320... but that 320 drove me past the former-Red's Garage in Sussex NJ where I spotted my first 510, sitting for sale, like some miracle from heaven(which doesn't exist). Somehow, a '71 510 that had been modded in the '80s, found its way to northern NJ, had been lovingly cared for, and was them put up for sale at just the right time. My dad had owned a bunch of seriously significant muscle cars when he was irresponsible, and we were long-time AutoWeek subscribers, so I knew about Datsun's racing history. I loved the idea of a "giant killer", and the 510s were the ultimate sleepers, in my opinion. This car was modified with most of the cool parts that you could find in the early 1980s: Datsun Comp. springs and sway, Interpart rear bar, Panasports with Pirelli P6s, plus extra 13x7 Libras, L20b with dogleg 5spd, mild cam, twin SUs, Racemark steering wheel, 240 drums, Corvair turbo muffler, and the all-important air horn. This is the image I have of it:
Anyway, this thing blew my mind, as far as what a car could really do. It wasn't fast. but the handling was incredible. At first I thought that it understeered slightly too much, but the real problem was that I wasn't chucking it into the corners hard enough. Watch Against All Odds to see how these things need to be flinged into a corner:
So, I drove the snot out of this poor thing, deferred maintenance, drove it in the salt and snow, end eventually downgraded to a new 1991 VW GTI 16V, which sucked. I never sold it. It sits in the barn, where I put it about 25 years ago. Since it's red and a 4-door, I figure it'll be a great Africa Rally replica someday.
Right around this time, I bought a very-solid yellow 4-door. I did nothing other than to store it, and eventually sold it to a local guy who had wrecked his 510 race car shortly after its completion. He didn't think that a rust-free $300 510 was a good deal, so he proceeded to steal 'better' parts from my red 4-door. Klassy. After some logic on my part, he found jesus and restored my red car to its original configuration. Unfortunately, I don't have any pics of the yellow 510. I do recall that it had the worst bumper over-riders I had ever seen.
After that, it was off to college in southern California. I was finally in a land where cars rarely rust. My interest in Datsuns recovered, and I would pedal around neighborhoods looking for possible buys. One day I spotted a bone-stock 2-door 510 in my neighborhood. This was in 1994. I may have followed the gentleman to Ralph's grocery, the one on Colorado Blvd in LaCanada Flintridge. He was surprised at my interest, and $350 later, the 67K-orig mile 2-door 510 was mine. I'll have to look for pics of it when it was unmolested. I turned it into this:
It's still not done, but I intend to get to it soon.
It's late. More to follow.