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20+ years coming.. My 1971 510 project has begun.

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So, like the title says, I've owned this one for a while. Some of you may remember this car, I was here a long time ago, and nearly ready to do this. Things happened.  Anyway...


  I knew where it was hiding, and had seen glimpses of it under a tarp, up on blocks, 25 or so years ago... Little mag wheels wrapped in Goodyear slicks, and some new FG fenders peeking out when we drove by one day..  I knew it was a 510, even under a tarp.. I wanted one. BAD.    I ended up buying a halfway decent as-parked-in-1980 1973 2 dr..  That car ended up needing a lot. Including front fenders. The 71 had FG fenders, so one day, I stopped in to ask if they were for sale.  The owner told me that they weren't, but before I could say "thanks anyway", he asked if I'd like to buy the entire car...  Then he had me follow him over to the car, and pull the tarp off. He was nearly blind, and in a wheelchair. I was amazed when the tarp came off. The car was a few colors, but looked NEW. ZERO rust. He told me about the Datsun "competition" suspension he had installed. About the L20B engine he had built. The Shelby wheels.  I figured he was going to want a ton of money for the shell.  That's what I was looking at, right?


Yeah. Til he opened the garage..  There was the L20B. On a stand.  Plus, the #'s matching original L16. 3 transmissions. A dogleg, the original 4 spd, and a 5 speed, out of a Z-car. Plus the cut driveshaft to make it mate up..  "OK.. This guy is SERIOUS" I was thinking..  Then, he opened the "other" garage. Parts. NOS parts. So many little white boxes..  Trim. Gaskets. Bezels. Weatherstripping. Emblems. Interior parts.. You get the idea. I had put pics up here of all the parts, but have since let my photobucket account go..


I ended up buying the car. And bringing home a couple 240SX hatch fulls of parts, plus a couple truckloads of bigger stuff.  Became friends with Gary, the owner.


But, life happened. I worked too much. And when I wasn't working, I was beat FROM working. The car sat. And sat.  They all did. I had two 510 2 doors, a 78 620 that Gary also sold me, plus a 67 411SSS that was all on the road by this time. I drove the 411 daily for a while, Spring to Fall.  


And now, the really sad parts..  I got hurt at work a couple/ few times.  2 separate surgeries that didn't go well, and then a fairly catastrophic back injury. They assured me I'd be good in a few weeks after THAT surgery..  Well, "they" lied.  It's been nearly 7 years now... I'm doing a bit better these days, after starting my own kind of "rehab" plan..   A few years ago, when it got really dark around here, I sold the 411 and the 73 510 to a guy from NY. I hope he's here. He promised to give them a good home, and I trust that he has.  I kept Gary's car. I told him I'd get to this thing, and I meant to.   But, it sat there, in the woods on blocks. That were sinking into the ground year by year..    We were driving by Gary's house one day, and I saw the large yard sale, so we stopped in. I didn't see Gary anywhere. His wife told me the news.  We hung out for a while, and I told her I would arrange for someone to come grab the remaining parts that Gary had let me keep there, in the garage attic. My back was so bad at that time, there was no way I was climbing down a ladder with front seats in my arms... She had already sold the contents of the house, and most of Gary's tools.  I spotted a Datsun box on the bench, and instantly knew it was the SSS distributor for one of the projects he had planned. I asked if she would sell it to me, and she said "take it". I also did buy a large box of machinist's files, and a few other hand tools. This was a couple years ago now...


Fast-forward to today. The car had sat for almost 8 years in it's half-dug grave. Tarps rotted. Leaves got in. The floor rusted in places. Same goes for the pinch weld area in the trunk.  But. It's all fixable. I dragged the car out last week, after building a quick temporary road up to it. Hooked on with the skidsteer, and dragged it down to the shop.  It's all cleaned out. Damage has been assessed. I'm working on re-gaining my workshop this week, once that's done, this car is getting my full attention. I have next to no budget available to build this car with. But, I have all the parts that Gary had collected. I may need a few trinkets here and there (mainly some bumpers!), but I think it will be OK... I've set aside enough $$$ to buy the BRE graphics, the replica registration, some flares, a spook, and a few other little pieces.  I have a couple toys that just may be sold to finance the "second" build of this car, but for now, I'm doing what Gary wanted to do. Build a "race car for the street". 


So. I'll include a few oic's of Day One, and also a couple since it got cleaned up a bit..  




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I'll be getting the inside of the workshop squared away in the next few days. It's 16x16, so not very big. The car will fit inside, but not really big enough to work on it in there. Once the shop is finished up (inside, anyway.. haha), the car gets my full attention.  First goal is to get it down to metal, fix the floors, taillight panel, and get a decent coat of primer and sealer down. The flares and spook are 6 weeks out, so those have me sort of on hold, as far as finish body and paint. I need the flares before I can prime..


I'll get some pics of all the parts, as I start moving them out to the shop...

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23 minutes ago, smelt240 said:

I'm doing a bit better these days, after starting my own kind of "rehab" plan..

I fully understand. I suffer from a failed hip replacement that stalled my project and it was my project sitting in my garage that was my motivator, carrying and lifting heavy components wasn't gonna happen any other way, that was my rehab.


Time & money are rarely ever in abundance together.

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What flares do you need?  I have some front flared fenders (fiberglass) and some rear add-on flares I may never use if interested in something sooner.  Maybe interested in some NOS part trades if you have something interesting.



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Well, this car has been a BIG part of getting me up and moving again. Today brings another morning spent half working on organizing the rest of "seven years of sitting out there" that has become my shop. People would drop things off, and the answer to the question was always: "pile it up on the rest of it"...  Well, I'm to the bottom of that pile today. The floor has been cleaned, etched, wire brushed, and painted. Wall coverings were added, along with some cheap foam insulation.  LED overhead lights FTW. $10 each at the surplus store. I have "almost actual" power now. Still an extension cord, but now off the pole 18 feet away, vs two 50 foot cords ran from the house. Across the driveway.  But, it's what I had to work with.


And Iceman510 ....  I'm at a point now where I know that he had bought "most" of the parts because this car needed them. It was a shell when I got it, all I actually removed was the grille, bezels, lights, and things like that, before I primed it out nearly 20 years ago (which I'm SO glad I did)...  I won't know exactly, until I get "there", as far as what I need, and don't need.  With that being said, I would be interested to know what you'd have to get for the fenders and rear flares, as long as they are along the lines of a BRE style. I don't need "exact" replicas..  Like I said, my budget is EXTREMELY limited here, but I do have a bit set aside for "that stuff". I had planned on ordering the flares today, but will hold off til I hear back from you.. I've spent the last two hours walking around the car, deciding if I should do a quick but decent body job, and paint this thing bright glossy yellow. Later on, I could strip it down again, and do the BRE replica once I've put some miles on it.  I'm liking that idea more and more. I have a factory black interior. With the Kosei wheels, and some dark tint.. I think it would be a pretty sharp rig.   So much of me wants to smooth it out a tiny bit more, flare it, and run it in grey primer... 


The motors are coming home next week..  Those have been stored in my dad's garage since I bought the car.  I've sprayed some oil in there, from time to time, so if they're stuck, it shouldn't be too bad.  Fingers crossed. WORST case, I have a "was" running not that long ago L20B in the truck. And the right oil pan.


I'd guess that the shop should get it's final shot of color coat on the floor today, once that's cured (A week?  It's still pretty cold here at night), I'll do two coats of clear, and let that go another week. In that time, I'll be going thru all the parts, plus scouring my dad's garage, and a few project cars out back, that are all filled with random parts and pieces. Being unable to lift a shoebox full of nuts and bolts was more than frustrating, and things went where they went... It's almost like Christmas, opening a grimy old car door, and finding a set of new 510 blinkers in the boxes.. haha.. It's too bad that it all had to happen this way, but it is what it is, and that's all that it is, at this point.  I have the time, I have the tools, a small dry place to use those tools, and I have a two door 510. Add in a wife that can't wait to ride in this thing, and this will be a fun project....  lol.

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So, it took ten days...  Shop floor is done. And getting dirty already...


Without further A-doo...  Here's a bit of what's on it's way here. This is the contents of my basement, minus the doors, rear glass, and interior panels. There are some more new, but mostly used parts at my parent's place, stored in their garage. All on their way home this week.  Who am I kidding? You all want OICS!!  Here ya go.  


Hmm. No go on the pics, I need to resize every one of them for some reason... That hasn't happened before here.  I'll be back in a bit!


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That last pic is to show the "notes-to-self" from Gary that I am incredibly lucky to own. There are folders of this stuff here. All handwritten, in THIS quality of penmanship. You say you need to know what parts are involved in an SSS induction conversion?

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I love offroad racing, so you can imagine my joy when I found an original book from the 1972 Mexican 1000.... The book being held at a funny angle was an attempt to show that Gary was most likely taking notes for some sort of English class on this HPbook, from 1986  "Adverb, Pronoun ______" are drawn deep into the cover... ...  His "race car folder" is visible in some shots, with the Datsun competition parts decal, and the numbers he intended to run on the 510, and his 1200...  There are so many notes to read in all of this. Cut out racing articles from all over the world, autographed race pics, it's a real time capsule. Again with the "incredibly lucky to have all this"....




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I think that's about it for tonight..  I'm beginning the process of organizing every nut, bolt, and piece of history in these boxes and totes tonight.  There is some other small NOS stuff to come, plus three engines, four transmissions, and a pile of suspension, brakes, carbs, intakes... Lots of goodies.


I did build a new rear deck panel for the interior today. It's nothing special yet..  Just a tracing of the original. Made from some high density material, that is used for spacers on pallets of laminate flooring.  Same stuff that covers my shop's walls. $2 for a 3x5 sheet of it at the salvage store.. Nearly waterproof, and tough. I'll hit it with a roundover tomorrow, and lay out some speakers, to hit the factory original openings in the deck. One 8" subwoofer, a pair of 6.5" components, and a set of 4's should do it back there. I'm back and forth on "stealth", or "showoff" with this install...  I'll be getting the front and rear glass taken out soon, for a good polishing and tint job, as well as to access the dash and deck areas for cleanup and paint. 


I put a milk crate in the car today, sat down, and read a few of the old Datsun books from the piles..  This is going to be an experience. I wish Gary was here to see it, and lend a hand. Having his notes is going to have to be the next best thing.  


So, I guess that bringing all the parts out to be back with the car makes this build "official"...  It's on.



Edited by smelt240
pre-bedtime typos
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