In Lerner and Loewe's My Fair Lady Professor Henry Higgins manages to turn cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle into a right proper lady. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Datsun Fairlady has also been transformed - into a custom roadster, but should the seller learn to lower the price?
Well, Audi pardner! That's right, you got all cowboy on yesterday's 1990 Audi V8 Quattro with 72% of you branding it with a Nice Price win. Yee-haw. Maybe it was the seller's hot tub time machine description of the car's sin-bin nature, or maybe it was just a lot of car for not a lot of cash. Who knows why these things pan out one way or another? Today we'll see how things work out, as we have a car with half the number cylinders as that Audi, but which is nearly twice the price.
Everybody knows the Datsun Z-Car, but less familiar perhaps is its predecessor, the Fairlady Sports. Eschewing the Roger Rabbit look preferred by the previous Sports 1000 and 1200 of the early sixties, the ‘63 - ‘70 Sports 1500, 1600, and short-lived 2000, went more for an undercover brother to the MGB look. Underneath, it was more like a Triumph TR as the Fairlady Sports sported a hefty frame under its you look familiar but I can't quite place the name body. Keeping that frame from dragging on the pavement was an a-arm suspension up front and a leaf-sprung live axle in back.
This 1969 SP311 is not only the U20-powered 2000 model - all 135-bhp and 5-speed transmission worth - but also has been customized up the wazoo to make it all the more memorable. Rocking a neon blue paint scheme with silver accents intended to trick you into thinking it's moving like a turpentined cat even while standing still, it has also had most of its exterior trim shaved off. Bumpers too have been given the heave-ho, replaced in front by a pair of tiny nerfs, and in back by a confidence in the braking capabilities of drivers following the car. Adding to the vibrant mix of genres, the wheels are BWA four-spokes, more common on something with a Fiat badge.
Inside, the low-back buckets have joined the bumpers in the Datsun dumpster and in their place rests a pair of high-backed units out of a later Z. The driver's side vinyl looks serviceable, but the passenger seat appears to have suffered some fart-related damage. The dash on the 2000 was different from the earlier cars - being a vinyl-covered molded affair very similar to that of the related 510 rather than the flat metal swath. This one doesn't seem to be cracked or majorly molested, almost making up for the aluminum panel in the center console and below that the crazy-big shifter boot that looks to be out of a Kenworth or something. The steering wheel looks like one of Grant's finest.
The Fairlady Sports never had a trunk you could fit more than one dead hooker into, and even then it would require an awkward origami fold. This one lacks even that space, as nearly the entire boot is taken up with a fuel cell and battery box, relegating deceased streetwalkers to the flatus-compromised passenger seat.n But like by that time they'd care. The battery and gas tank both service the SOHC 2-litre four up front, which nicely still features a pair of Skinners Union-esque side draughts. The engine has been dressed up by a cam cover painted to match the body, but otherwise there's little under hood to impress the judges. These engines have a reputation of being rock-solid reliable, and hopefully this one will not prove contrarian as the car's lack of a roof would make getting stuck by the side of the road during inclement weather a dicey proposition. The seller says he has a bunch of these cars, so obviously such issues are of little concern for him.
Prices for Fairlady Sports' are pretty much all over the board these days, and this custom job's price reflects both its condition and. . . well, its condition. What I mean is that the cars that seem to be commanding the big bucks are those that are dead-solid original, while the bottom feeders are the ones needing tons of work. This one looks to be in pretty nice shape, but is far from original, and a lot of the things done to it would be difficult to undo. Because of all that, at $5,000, its price is kind of middle of the road - sort of like Mariah Carey's music or Matt Miller's milquetoast role on Left, Right & Center.
What's your take on that five large asking for this custom Datsun? Is that a fair price for this Fairlady? Or, does that price mean that in this case, you are not a Sports fan?
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.