Back when Pete Brock was tearing up SCCA with them, the Datsun 510 was considered the poor-man's BMW. Today, Nice Price or Crack Pipe has one for which poor men need not apply.
The 510, with its SOHC four cylinder, clean, boxy styling, and rare for the class IRS, paved the way for Datsun's expansion in the US. The 2/3rds a 240 Z motor put out a healthy 96 horses, and when coupled with their slick-shifting 4-speed, made for a 100-mph top end.
The Teruo Uchino-styled car's popularity on the road translated to the track, where Pete Brock's BRE Trans Am 2.5-class racers took the championship in 1972. BRE enjoyed unparalleled Factory support for their effort, and made available to the public many of the go-faster parts that they, and Nissan, had developed.
This '71 510 (home-market cars went by Bluebird) four-door doesn't wear that racing heritage, nor does it really maintain any pretense of its era at all. That raucous and meldable 1.6-litre has been replaced by a 160-bhp VG30E out of a 300ZX. The six squeezes into the nose of the car with little trouble, but with it weighing in at about 120-lbs more that the L-series, it's questionable whether the sweet tossability of the 510 remains.
That may be a moot point as the car has been built for show despite the updates to the go. The discs at all corners (also from a 300Zx) and T5 row-your-own, says let's drive, but the slammed suspension, modern 6-spoke alloys and modded interior scream let's just park somewhere and you can buff me obsessively while making sure nobody touches me. And if that's your thing then the molded-in flames on the interior door panels, as well as the Optma and sub-woofer-filled trunk will likely appeal to you. The price might not appeal, but the car does show where your $19,000 is going- which is in the mods, not the car.
So, what do you think of this expression of the maker's individuality and creativity? Is $19,000 too high a price to get this show on the road for you? Or, is that a price that would make you go for this show?
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