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1969 roadster a true barn find.


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I will be picking up my first roadster next week.

A good friends father has had it tucked away in his barn for 20 years. Now his failing health has made the decision to finally let go of her for him.

The story is that: He always wanted a roadster. ( herd that one before ) In 1990 he found this solid low mile 69. The car had always been garaged , as the story goes, and was a low mile car. Under 25,000 miles!!!!!

 Well he Sunday drove the car for 5 years. Then ran it low on oil one day ????? Resulting in a crank issue. Into the barn it went.

The engine was pulled , sent out for re build at Bills Datsun. Mean while , the car was repainted, all rubbers and window felts replaced, she got a new top and boot. He also upgraded the suspension while waiting for the engine to be returned. I haven't had the car on a hoist to see what the " upgrades" are yet , but that's the story.

 Flash forward to 1998. The engine is re installed under the bonnet along with new clutch and freshened up tranny. He wires the engine and then fights a no spark issue for a while. A long while.......

Flash forward to 2011. His son is in my shop one day during one of my mad scientist builds.  A 1966 MGB Datsun conversion. He mentions his dads dilemma.

 I volunteer to have a look at the roadster.

What I found in the barn shocked me. A nearly fully restored 69 roadster , on blocks with 10 years of dust on it. ????? The problem was that his father had grounded the points.

 I pulled the dizzy from the car explaining that I would take it to the shop and service it , then he, the son , could pick it up , re install it and he would be good to go. Never saw him again.

That is, until last week. I got the call Saturday night , Bought the car Sunday morning. A rust free 69 numbers matching roadster with a Zero mile 20+ year old restoration on it.

I will  post pics once I get the 20 year pile surrounding the car sorted and roll her back into the sun.

 She sits with 34,523.7 miles on the clock.

Missing are the factory radio. Chainged out years ago for an am/fm/ cassette. Kraco!!!! The original grill. and side mirrors.

The car also sports a fairly nice roll bar and a set of American Racing slots. Wrapped in brand new  , 20 year old , bridge stones.

 I'm not sure what the plan is as of now. I wasn't looking for yet another project. But , as the Po stated." I always wanted a roadster"

Wish me luck.....


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The barn was dark and the car was buried. And to be honest....... I was so excited I forgot to take my phone..... I will post pics, start to finish, of the extraction from the barn.

I know from experience how much you guys like them. Should be next week end.

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That is likely a period correct radio, if it works leave it, all they had were AM radios back then anyway.

Change all the fluids in everything as they likely are moisture contaminated from sitting so long, hopefully the tank is alright.

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DOT5 is a silicon based fluid.  It is the exception to the High School physics rule that fluids are non compressible.  It is compressible and will give you a spongy brake pedal!  It is silicon based and has a long structored chemical formula.  So. it will fold upon itself under pressure and so will compress and thus shrink in volume.  Result?  A  spongy brake pedal.  might be OK for drifting, but weird for street use!  DOT4 is preferrable!

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The car will under go a frame off. Even though it was " restored " at some point . I don't trust the PO's skill set. And want to base line the car anyway.

I haven't decided yet if I'm going for a restoration or a resto mod.

 I'm a hot rod kind of guy. Hard for me to leave things alone. Plus, its a 69. Not extremely rare or valuable  in the 311 world.

I'm thinking Volvo front brakes, Carbs and intake , I have a set of Dellorto's that need a home. Discs out back  etc, etc, etc.

I found a wonderful guy who has the removable hard top I need as well as the DCOE intake. Just going to require a road trip this summer.

 Well , Thanks for all of the advice guys. As always , you never fail to be a great source of knowledge and inspiration.

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The original U-20 . SU equipped 2 liter. Numbers match the car but as far as what's been done internally? I haven't a clue yet. 



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 Yesterday was a bad day to move the new ( to me ) roadster.


A good day to clear a path to freedom and dig for Datsun treasure in the barn. 

I did remember my phone this time and was able to take some poor quality pictures.

 I hope these satisfy the shutter bugs out there. 




The expected rats nest.
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I'm trying to compile a list of parts that are missing. 

The center console and correct grill are glaring examples of 2 huge needs.

The proper jack , spare tire hold down ring, Radio etc.

The missing side moldings are with the car but not pictured. The emblems were found and are in the trunk.


 If you see anything that is missing please let me know. Thanks again guys. 

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Thanks Wayno. I actually found a hard top, jack and repairable grill in northern California.

Will be making a road trip this summer....

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It rained, snowed , hailed, but we still managed to get the little red car home to its new heated shop.


What a day!!!!!
Cozy and warm. 
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Believe it or not its not just skin deep. The red bled through to the engine block as well.

Spent the day today vacuuming out a field mouse nest. Cleaning the car top to bottom , flushing all of the fluids.

Basically , its a pretty solid little car. Its what you'd expect a car to look like after 20 + years in a barn. Lots of spiders and dust.



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While going through the boxes of spares that came with the car , I came across this little jewel .


NOS Nissan B cam. wahoooooo!
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Well after a few days work I managed to correct a few problems . Had to pull the dash  , replace the defroster tube, Repair wiring then properly install the dash cap.

 I now have dash lights, a functioning clock and a dash that's not coming apart. While I had the dash out I went after the heater. All of the foam gaskets had turned to dust.

I cut new out of 1" foam packing that I save for seat repair. worked great.

 The dash is a pain in the as to work on or under. Thankfully mine is now sorted.

 Things I learned From the PO's mistakes: If your going to use a SW tachometer, make sure you pull the dash to install it. Because of its depth the defroster horn on the driver side needs to be massaged with a heat gun for clearance.

If your going to replace the original radio with a cassette deck, make sure that the deck will fit without interfering with the defroster tube. And never ever ground the stereo to the positive side of the coil..... Yes he did...... 

Now I just have to figure out where I am going to mount the turn signal indicator lights as they were supposed to be in the original tachometer.


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