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So how did you get turned onto Datsuns?


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Dear Ratsun Community

 

I was just thinking about the Datsuns that I have owned and how did I start with them over 40 years ago....my dad was into Mercedes Benz's and VW's too (so it was not from him)...I was loving the whole street rod scene at the time in the 1970's...I got a subscription to Street Rodder Magazine and Rod Action too...I was a teenage kid at the time...vintage Ford stuff even for a teenager was still pricey even back then...then I read about the whole "Mini Truck" scene out on the West coast and I was hooked (affordable fun)...still love the old Fords but all the Datsun trucks I have ever owned were drivers to get me to my many jobs that I had over the years...they made me money...old Fords always would cost me money...

 

So how did you get into Datsuns??

 

MikeC

Mar 1977 Street Rodder Cover.PNG

Edited by mikec4193
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About '75 a kid at work, a heavy stoner (like a crack head today) had a '68 510 4 door he got off the original owner who was old and didn't drive it. He had it for the summer as a party car to drive around getting high with friends on the back roads and all he wanted was his $50 back from the starter he put in it for some hash oil. I didn't even want it but I gave him the 50 and drove it home. I never even got it put in his name. It was in ok shape but lots of stuff just didn't work simply from not being used. Like the washer squirter... it was a stuck motor that I took apart and cleaned to get going. The distributor was stuck and wouldn't advance... stuff like that. Dope head and his friends has kicked dents in every fender and door while partying on the back roads but the body was Ziebarted and free of rust. It's funny how something so slow was so fun to drive. It was my first 4 cylinder and would get me through incredibly muddy and rutted roads. It burned oil (or leaked it) not smokey but it did use it. Had it for a year or two and in '76, because gas was so expensive and because of the 510 experience, bought a new B-210. About now I parked the 510 out behind the barn in the field but within a year I bought a '71 521 that was about 6 or 7 years old. Had that truck till the mid '80s or about 8 years?. Rebuilt the engine but was so broke I pulled the 510 engine and took the main bearings out of it and because they looked better than the ones in the 521, I swapped them in. Eventually an L20B swap. Transmission stuck in 4th and had to drive 50 miles home but found another 4 speed for $20 and swapped it in. Then Life happened and I was without a Datsun for about 6-7 years until the early '90s. But yeah, I blame that dope head for selling me that 510 for $50. 

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They were my favorite taxi in japan.  I asked the mostly independent drivers "why Datsun"?  Answer was always "Strong car.  Good engine.  Never break!"  And Datsun 411 was the only car my 4 foot 11 wife could reach the pedals on.

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I saw a 510 picture posted on a 300zx forum, and my dad owned a 620 growing up. Soon I had one 510... then 3 510s.. then sold my twin turbo Z. Now I've got 8 datsuns.

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                   It started for me with reading about modified 510s in Road & Track.

I detailed cars in high school,specializing in 240Zs,which I drove around probably

more than I should have.Also spent a lot of time at the local Datsun dealer.

                  My first Datsun was a 1200 coupe that I bought off of Mock Ford's

'as is" lot for $500.The other one I owned was a B210 that I put WAY too much

money into,& sold it for a giveaway price.

 

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In high school my brother-in-law had me change his water pump in his king cab 79 pickup for probably less then a Big Mac meal now.. 

   that long ass bolt proceeded to break off  drilling and grinding and tapping and cussing later got that sucker out .. then low and be fucking hold, after putting cover back on,, I bet it was 2 or more days trying to get the fucking oil pump and distributor to align again..  year was either 1983 or 4 .  With no manual,, not even a useless Clinton manual cuz we were 40 minutes from any parts store . 
   

 

never really cared for them since 

 

 

.

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I was looking for a 2002 or a classic mini, and after looking at a few rust buckets came across a 2 door 510 and decided I had to have it.  I didn't really know anything about Datsun before that.

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My neighbors when I was a kid had a fleet of Datsuns, Volkswagens and some Muscle Cars and I  used to help them work on them for spare money. Then a friend of mine got one and I helped him work on it from time to time. 

 

Bought my first one in 1987 and never looked back, I've always had one since. 

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12 hours ago, thisismatt said:

I was looking for a 2002 or a classic mini, and after looking at a few rust buckets came across a 2 door 510 and decided I had to have it.  I didn't really know anything about Datsun before that.

Funny, I was looking for a 510 that wasn't full of bad repairs under gallons of body filler (been burned to many times) when a original paint 2002 popped up on CL. Still would love to have a 510 but there has been no bad surprises with the 2002.

Edited by DaBlist
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Growing up a good friend (was my Best Man) and his family all drove Datsun's. Lots of memories in a 1200 Coupe.

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Back around '83 or '84 the only mode of transportation I had was a 76 (?) Honda 550Four and the timing chain went south on me. My dad let me use his truck for a couple days. I was a parts driver at an MB dealership and asked the manager if there were any cheap cars on the used lot. Turns out they had a 1200 Sedan and wanted $300.00 for it. I didn't have the 300 and my boss talked the owner into taking 50 buck out a paycheck till it was paid off.

Hated that car at first but wish I had it now.

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72-Datsun-PL-510_num20-DV-11-WG_01-800.j

This car started it all for me. I was looking for something I could turn into a "dedicated" race/autoX car. Something I didn't need to worry about driving to work on Monday. I went to the vintage races at Limerock and saw Mike killing it with this 510, running up there with the Z cars. That was when I decided it had to be a 510. 

Found a 4 door down in MD that had been "prep'ed" or raced at some point and dove in headfirst. The car has no spent alot more time on the street, but still has a trackday/autoX focus. 

Hoping at this point to find a 2 door to turn into a full prep'ed car and turn the 4 door into more of a street "hot rod", now that I have the 620 to use as a fun truck/parts runner. 

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lifetime station wagon freak. had a 1991 Corolla wagon that I wore out. found my Datto in 2008 and really only cared about the wagon aspect.

 

gave the second owner $1000 cash (had 120k OG), drove it home, went to chase my cat out from underneath it and saw a DIFFERENTIAL!? WT actual F!?! RWD!?! Realized why driving it reminded me of the way an old Falcon wagon rode. fell in love with it.

 

got a divorce in '10, Datto was my sole ride but was making stupid bucks that was drawing all kinds of money hungry bitches whose little hearts would just break when they went to hop in my ride and it wasn't a Silverado or a Ram but Granny's grocery getter. weeds out gold diggers quick.

 

she's bullet proof, fun to drive, cheap on gas (since the Weber conversion) and loyal AF.

 

32054890001_large.jpg?v=0

 

32054890018_original.jpg?v=0

 

32054890021_original.jpg

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My dad drove B210s and 210s as an oil well checker. They were the first car I ever drove. On top of that, I saw the Z at summer camp when I was 14 and fell in love. I bough one at 16, and still own her. 

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19 and only a motorcycle (Honda CB500) and was tired of having to drive it in the rain.

my friend had 4dr auto that we traded straight.

have essentially had at least once since. never another auto! still have the only 2dr ive owned.

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On 1/6/2021 at 5:00 PM, Farmer said:

Very first vehicle was a 78 620. The reat is history 


ball joints from day 1.

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I lived on Guam 1984 - 1987 while my Dad was stationed there in the Air Force.  I was in 10th - 12th grade. I saw my first lowered minitruck on that little island. Then another, then another, then there were dozens of them.  I just fell in love with 720.  I still remember when the first convertible 720 popped up... a fresh military guy just stationed there.  It was the inspiration and cause of much drool from us.  I bought a 720 stateside immediately upon my return.

 

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In 1975, GM pissed off my Dad for the final time and he bought a 1976 B-210. Then a 77 710 Goon. Then I bought a 73 Z....................................

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About half my family owned Datsuns even before I came around so it was natural for me to own one.  Always wanted one of my older cousins 4x4 620 which one of my uncles had sold to him.  His mom owned a 79 A10 wagon dark brown drove it to the ground.  My mom owned a 82 200sx fastback.  My first Datsun was a 280zx which was my first car that i could actually drive.  My real first car was a orange triumph TR-7 that was missing the cylinder head.  Since then I had owned over 20+ datsuns and probably will own quite a bit more as time goes by.

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My introduction to Datto's would be the '73 620 bone stock one (EXCEPT a wild paint job and a "cherry bomb" muffler, 'member those?) my buddy drove in high-school- His Dad bought it new- That was my introduction to Datsuns.  A few years later, I find out my friend Jamie's Pops had 2 521's ("Not 510's, but the pickups,"). The one he was able to start was the '72 longbed. He was trying to get rid of it for some reason, so at the time I gave him ONE dollar for it (He never hassled me or even asked to be paid more for it, but later I did give him $3500 for it, just out-of-the-blue, stopped by and gave him an envelope full of bills). We bled the brakes and I drove it... 15 miles (or so) home. I jump-started it once with no battery, and my neighbor got mad because "there's no battery" (but it still started,)- But I ended up tearing it apart because someone told me the frame looks like a '32 Ford and you could turn 'em into hot rods (DOT-RODS); but I couldn't weld then so it was just a nice dream.  Smitty didn't care, he was cool. Thanks Smitty.

 

I owned 2 more 521's I think? (one in Oregon & one I got in PLacerville,) THEN I was able to BUY my buddies (Dad's) 620- It got more "upgrades" than any other Datto I've owned and I regret selling it, but ain't that life?

 

P.S. My girlfriend wants a 510, has anyone found one less than $5 G's in the past ten years????? Maybe even a wagon? WHERE?!?

Edited by Justin
forgot some shizz
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  • 3 weeks later...

My Best friends father was GM at Santa Barbara Datsun in the 70's and we hung out there a lot, in 75 my sister bought a new B210 HB

I bought a 510 2 dr from a guy with a bad trans and broken rings that had used it for a movie they made in film school in SB.

 

I replaced the trans and rebuilt the motor in the 510 and worked on it a bunch. 

Bought my sisters B210 in around 1980 and auto crossed it with good results.

had a guy blow a stop sign in 1983 and total the 75 B so I bought a 78 B210 GX off the used car lot that

my best friends dad, who now owned a dealership in Oxnard, gave me a deal on.

 

At this time I bought an beat 521 to go with the B for a parts runner and made friends with a couple of guys into Datsuns.

they had a Roadster, 521, 510 and a 1200 coupe.

 

I swapped most of the speed parts of the 75 to the 78 and ran auto-x and rally (Starlight and others)

until I sold the B and bought a 73 240Z.

 

mean while I found a 620 with a bad carb and distributer for $150. to replace the 521.

I gave it a good tune up and added a weber DGV, good as new and had a great shop truck while

building the Z with a 5 sp., L28, suspension and all the goodies a road rally car needs.

 

Then a super clean 73 620 came into my shop overheating badly. The owner left it at the shop and took off.

after a few weeks the owner couldn't afford to make the repairs, so I bought the truck for $100 and an extra $20 for the new radio

he had installed.  turned out the block was cracked.  I built a LZ24 on 240Z SUs and swapped in a 5sp.

That truck evolved onto a 85 720 4X4 chassis, I had that truck for over 20 years.

 

Don't have a Datsun now, but on the look out for an A10 sedan.

 

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1 hour ago, greybeard said:

My Best friends father was GM at Santa Barbara Datsun in the 70's and we hung out there a lot, in 75 my sister bought a new B210 HB

I bought a 510 2 dr from a guy with a bad trans and broken rings that had used it for a movie they made in film school in SB.

 

I replaced the trans and rebuilt the motor in the 510 and worked on it a bunch. 

Bought my sisters B210 in around 1980 and auto crossed it with good results.

had a guy blow a stop sign in 1983 and total the 75 B so I bought a 78 B210 GX off the used car lot that

my best friends dad, who now owned a dealership in Oxnard, gave me a deal on.

 

At this time I bought an beat 521 to go with the B for a parts runner and made friends with a couple of guys into Datsuns.

they had a Roadster, 521, 510 and a 1200 coupe.

 

I swapped most of the speed parts of the 75 to the 78 and ran auto-x and rally (Starlight and others)

until I sold the B and bought a 73 240Z.

 

mean while I found a 620 with a bad carb and distributer for $150. to replace the 521.

I gave it a good tune up and added a weber DGV, good as new and had a great shop truck while

building the Z with a 5 sp., L28, suspension and all the goodies a road rally car needs.

 

Then a super clean 73 620 came into my shop overheating badly. The owner left it at the shop and took off.

after a few weeks the owner couldn't afford to make the repairs, so I bought the truck for $100 and an extra $20 for the new radio

he had installed.  turned out the block was cracked.  I built a LZ24 on 240Z SUs and swapped in a 5sp.

That truck evolved onto a 85 720 4X4 chassis, I had that truck for over 20 years.

 

Don't have a Datsun now, but on the look out for an A10 sedan.

 

 

Hey neighbor!  What shop do you own/work at?

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