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"This 521 almost came with a divorce", or, "Leave her at home next time"


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I'd been wanting to get into the old JDM scene for a long time, and having just sold my '68 VW convertible, I had some cash, and the wife's OK to buy. 

 

I found a sweet 521 on craigslist, but it was at the very top of my price range. It was pretty, so WifeUnit liked it, and she checked off the "Wife can drive it too" checkbox.

 

Saw it was in Oregon, and thought, "Cool! WifeUnit and I need a nice road trip together, and the weather is decent, let's drive down and I'll drive it home!"

 

Now, I'd planned from the start to take it slow coming home, as I've owned my share of small, low-power vehicles, but little did I realize how goddamned far away this place was.

 

Though we were up at 6am, the ride down was fun. We talked and had a great time, stopping to eat, enjoying the scenery, quality time.

 

We get to the seller's house and we love the truck. Seller is a nice guy and his wife. We give them cash and we're off to cruise home at 60-65.

 

Wife is tired. Says maybe we should rent a dolly from U-haul and tow it back. I call around, and while it won't cost much, nobody's got one right now.

 

Thought about finding a hotel, but she wants to get home, plus, I have to get up at 4am for work the next day. I could've called in, but don't want to be that guy.

 

Wasted a few hours calling around, then went to eat at a local diner and plan...

 

Decided to hit the road, and take it easy. Couple hours into it, wife is texting "can't you go any faster?". (she's in a 2010 RAV4, mind you) I reply, "No. Sry, cant txt, driving."

 

A few hours later, she calls, says to hit the next rest stop. She's pretty wiped out, and getting tired of getting passed by everything on the road. There-there, K, fine, whatevs, back on the road.

 

Many more hours later, it's raining and getting dark. Then it's pouring and getting darker. Then she passes me and disappears into the horizon. I take the next rest stop exit, knowing she's probably there. Yup. And not happy, either.  She says exactly what I'm thinking myself: "How long is this going to take?? We've been on the road since 6am! I'm tired and my back is killing me!...and I'm hungry." There-there, K, fine, whatevs, back on the road.

 
Yet more hours later (and somehow, darker than dark and gushing water from the sky), another rest stop. I pull in after her, get out, and open the car door... to see her crying. Yup, tears. Sobbing even. "I just wanna go home! boo-hoo-hoo!". So now I'm feeling like a turd, making WifeUnit cry and all, just to go pick up my stupid toy. Damn. Shoulda brought my brother... But yeah, she's right, this is kinda nuts. I console her.
 
So I tell her to take a nap, we sleep a while, and she wakes up feeling better but her temper is still running pretty high. (Can't blame her, really, I was dead tired too, and really needed to stop before I drove off the road. Why are women always so... sensible??) Again, there-there, K, fine, whatevs, back on the road.
 
Around Tacoma, she texts to see how I and the truck are doing, and I tell her to go on ahead of me, no need to wait. (It's a Datsun! It'll get me home!)
 
9.5 hours later, after midnight, I roll into our garage, feeling like Moses at the edge of the promised land. I'm half-dead, sore all over, and all I want to do is sleep. Bedroom light is on, she's up fuming, but way happy to be home. I go into the other bedroom to give her space, because I know if I snore, she will kill me in my sleep. I wake up in the clothes I was wearing.
 
I'm up at 4, and stagger off to work like a zombie, suuuuper careful not to wake her. After work, we both agree not to discuss any of this for at least 24-48 hours. (Brilliant call on my part, if I must say so myself. This probably saved my marriage.)
 
Later that week, we tell people the story and they laugh, so we laugh about it too, for the first time. What was the "Road Trip from Hell" has become The "Hilarious Story of how I Almost Got Divorced Over a Stupid Truck". Whew!
 
Now she like the truck. She's driven it, and doesn't hate it. She says, "It kinda stinks up the garage, and smokes too much, is that normal?" To which I say, "It's an old Datsun honey, it's fine."
 
Then I go and check the oil ... 
 
 
 
 

 

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Hello, I'm new at this, be gentle.

Recently picked up a 1969 521 and I'm really enjoying it. I'm a recovering VW guy, and this is my first foray into Datsuns. Thought I'd share some photos and start up some dialogue. 

 

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Working out some vinyl lettering for the raised DATSUN on the tailgate. Haven't quite gotten the size just right, but almost there... I like the brown! Thinking about white reflective, too... thought burgundy would match the interior ... damn, decisions...

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Original rims are being blasted, and will be painted red, with thin whitewalls on them soon. I'll run the stock hubcaps I have, or just leave the lugs exposed, we'll see... (I'll probably sell the chrome rims that are on it now.)

 

I hope to affix a roof rack to hold my skateboard. I want a gutter-mount unit that won't harm the truck, so I'm looking for suggestions, thanks.

 

Hope to bring it to Canby.

Sweet truck. Might be worth a divorce. Lol.

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Hahahaha. At least yours made it all the way home that night!! We had a sort of similarly way-longer-than-anticipated and less-than-enjoyable trip to pick up our 521 a few years back. Be careful. We picked up ours with all intentions of it being the husband's. It has been my daily driver for about two years now ;)

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Update: Made it to Canby and back with ease. (It was cool meeting a lot of you there!) 65 tops all the way from Seattle and back. Damn fine truck. This little truck loves long drives... 

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Fredges, beautiful truck!  I'm a former VWphile myself.  My first car was a '73 super beetle, second was a '68 standard beetle.  Your story made me laugh.  I think a lot of us have been there.  Wishing we'd brought a buddy, but wanting to involve wifey in the whole thing since purchasing a vehicle like this IS kind of selfish.  I have a similar tale about a '64 Ford F250 I bought a couple years ago.  She up and left me there, drove home in the FJ cruiser with my man purse inside.  Inside the man purse?  My wallet and cell phone.  haha awesome. That truck made it thought.  Thanks for the tale.  

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