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Fisch's 1959 Datsun 1000 project! Peeking in the oilpan!


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Where to even begin with a day like today. This will be my official 59 project thread and as I document more photos I will prolly add them to this first post. Today really was a dream come true for me! I can't thank y'all enough for the well wishing and the support. I will narrate with some pics. But the highlight is, this thing is 100% better than I hoped for.

I will recap the story thus far. I bought this 59 from a really nice lady in new mexico who's father was the second owner and he bought it in 63, so it wasn't very old. The lady had learned to drive in it! This thing spent its entire life in teh high deserts of New Mexico where they get only 7" of rain a year! I used Uship.com and had it picked up and shipped to me on MA.

These photos are pretty much the only photos I saw of it before I bought it. I took a risk. It was in New mexico, and was a 59 datsun, I wasn't wasn't asking many questions I just took a leap of faith. I had no idea how the floors were or much of anything else.


Here it is showing up on the trailer and getting unloaded. The driver said he was amazed how many comments he got about it on his journey. Even met some dudes who knew what it was. One guy said he had one and put a SBC in it!

No brakes of course! But I haven't started digging into it yet, just spent the whole day cleaning it, getting to know it!

Me introducing myself to the car, wondering where to begin...

First swap on a new tire so we can move it around. My buddies came over to help.

Open the doors (they open smoothly with nice tight hinges.) and start taking out the big stuff. The first good sign was it had both the headlight bezels AND all 4 original 15X4 wheels with hubcaps!!

Attack the puppy with a broom!! Seriously I've never see so much sand come out of a vehicle. It brought the desert with it!

I was a little worried when I saw the mess inside. Wondered what the floors would be like under all that chaos. That is the back windshield on the seat. It was in good shape.

But look how the floors turned out once I got them clean! I was amazed, I felt like Indiana Jones uncovering a treasure! These floors still had about 60% of the original rubber covering in place! But like all the vinyl in the car, it broke like peanut brittle when I touched it. So it all came out.
Here you can see the mummified texture of all the vinyl on the back seat. If you sat on it would crumble. And again the floors look brand new! ZERO rot!!

And here are some before and after pictures for you of the dash. When I first saw it I thought it had a lot of surface rust, but it was just dirt!

And dudes did you notice it has a radio? Not sure if I have seen many 59's with a radio, But it even says datsun on it. I will get some better pics later.

Allrighty dudes, more documenting to come. I am spent! We will have to go into the engine and underneath and in the trunk. Exciting stuff!

The question I leave you with is, the windshield will have to be replaced. If anyone knows of a spare, let me know!!! But if I can't get one, what is the best way to have one made and what's it gonna cost me? (both back seat triangle windows are gone as well as one of the back door glass, but that is flat glass and should be pretty easy to replace.) I won't do lexan unless I have no choice, because it isn't DOT approved and the MA inspection dudes will call me on it! (Also what's the best solution for window gaskets?)

This photo sums it up sums up an amazing day! I feel like y'all were with me in spirit! Viva Ratsun!


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is the perrrfect car for you!!! Unbelievable find!!!:eek::eek::eek:

those floors are insanely good!!

Soo nice to see a gamble pay off huge style!


I can't say just how much I'm looking forward to seeing what you make of it!

Nice find!

good job.

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Yeeeeaaaahhh (say it like an 80's guitar would sound)


The pictures are awesome! It looks like an awesome start for a kick ass project. I'm actually surprised there wasn't any art add to it the first day :D



Now you need to figure out how to slam it :D



I'm jealous of your hub caps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Beautiful Stock 59. Please keep indoors. That car is perfect to restore!!! Please find a rusty one to chop up.


I know that what ever you do with this car it will be a work of love and be a true work of art!:cool:


Here is a quick search on the internet of windshield related companies.




This company is in Vancouver Washington and just might have or be able to come up with a pattern for your windshield.




Check around locally to. I will keep looking in AZ.


Congrats man, Santa came in September.:lol:

Edited by Charlie69
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WOW! What a cool lil car. I cant beleive its 6-Lug!:cool: You could run Chrome Escalades on there:blink: Ha-Ha! J.K. I hope you run the stockers on there with those cool caps. That is killer that they were in there. You have got your work cut out for you but it will be fun:D


What are the plans??

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Beautiful Stock 59. Please keep indoors. That car is perfect to restore!!! Please find a rusty one to chop up.


Thanks everyone! I could barely sleep last night! Charlie I totally hear you. Anything I do to this puppy will pretty easily be reversable! I want to put an L-motor in it, but it should fit pretty well without cutting the firewall. And if you notice, like the 320's this has a bolt on trans bell cover from inside the cab, so I think I can modify it with an extension if I need more room.


I might have to upgrade the brake system though!


Ugh man I wish I had a week off, can't believe I have to go back to work!


More documentation to come!

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That is the best score I've seen since I've been into datsuns. I think a total resto would be in order, But I know it would be really hard to do. So just do what u do. But don't take a torch to it.


Good luck on your journey my friend. :D

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Thanks Datrod!! That means alot! No torches for this baby! Any mods will be as minimally intrusive as possible and easily reversable! Purple has seen an L-18 in one of these and I think the only cosmetic mods were to bend down a little lip on the firewall, run an electric radiator fan and create a little more room on the bell housing cover. (Which is a bolt on floor like the 320 floors. So I could prolly use a spacer or fab a new bell cover and bolt it to the same spot, preserving the old one.)


Lowering the rear looks like a simple lowering block job, (Leaf spring axle.) But I like the raked look so I will prolly try to do it with tall (back) and short (front) tires first.


I'd like to try to drop the front with a dropped axle. These are I beam front axles w/ parallel leaf springs. So I could send mine out and have it dropped tradidionally (but I'd like to have an original spare extra one in the shed), or get an new one made to the proper length.


This thing was built like a tank! As small as it is that front axle has a sway bar attached to it! I've never seen a ibeam axle with a swaybar!


But immediate plans are to clean the hell out of it! Try to get the c-type engine started for the fun of it and see if we can get it to move as is. Brakes are high on the list too. I want to do some king pin boss measuring and see if a '49-54 chevy spindle would fit! (I'd love to keep it 6-lug.)


But y'all know me, I am way more visual than mechanical, and will seek your advise at every turn!


Here's the thing guys, the odometer reads only 21,000 miles. Of course I assume it must have rolled over (Maybe more than once?), but some things, like how well the doors open and close- they are TIIIIIGHT with no drop, no rubbing. The radiator looks brand new, no bent blades. The floors... IDK I am prolly dreaming, but I wonder if that could be actual miles?


Rubberman, that is a coors sticker! Good eye!


Already have a spot for it in the garage! (My buddy Tony looking on.) It avoided the rain this long, I want to help it stay that way! (Bet it has never been in a garage.)



Edited by fisch
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Dang Fisch! Great buy.

I look at this thing and can only imagine your frustration. You had all these plans to cut the crap out of it and mod it into a rat. Now, to great surprise, you have found yourself a pristine example of a rare car. I've said before "Anyone can build a stocker.....It takes a man to cut one up" :rolleyes::rolleyes: Don't think I could bring myself to doing it. Like everyone else, I am STOKED for you! That car is bitch'n!!!


As to the unknown mileage. Look for signs at the steering wheel (is the pattern wore off?), peadal assembly rubber pads (high milage will have smooth edges), shift knob, e-brake adjustment, and the brake pads thselves. If they all have heavy wear, chances are it has turned at least once. If they all look like new, chances are it really is in the 20K range.

I will try to find the thread about a guy who used VW window gaskets to redo his KC window seals. It looked like a dead match to the factory Datto stuff. Not sure what the '59 shape was. Maybe you could post up a pick or two of the seal at the windshields.

Is that the original foam on the back seat or is it vinyl?

Edited by Jester
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Dang Fisch! Great buy.

I look at this thing and can only imagine your frustration. You had all these plans to cut the crap out of it and mod it into a rat. Now, to great surprise, you have found yourself a pristine example of a rare car. I've said before "Anyone can build a stocker.....It takes a man to cut one up" :rolleyes::rolleyes: Don't think I could bring myself to doing it.



You called it Jester! There is no way I can hack up this car! One of the reasons I didn't ask a lot of questions to the owner is that, I figured of the floors were rotten it would give me an excuse to learn how to weld, rat rod style. Using old signs for floor boards, etc. And if it were missing everything, it is so hard to replace that I'd be ok just having fun with it. Kinda like Mklotz with Melvin.


But this car is another story and a much happier one!! I'd take this over a rotting one anyday! I will still get jiggy with the paint though. There will be custom art on it. Hell just look at the inside of that hood That stands up vertical. It is begging for a splash of art! Geisha girl? Who knows!


I will get some shots of what is left of the window rubber!


That is original foam under original vinyl. But I am sure it is sawdust by now. The front was! I've never seen a car this dry! See the impressions in the back seat? They are from the wheels being stored there it is almost like mummy skin!


I have a magazine from 59 with this in it, I will have to post the article in hi-rez! a great l;ittle read and the beginning of it all!

Edited by fisch
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