I'm Never Selling My Datsun 510

Wow, did Mr. K ever put together one awesome machine.

My 510 is twice as old as I am and it's absolutely the most fun I've ever had in a car. The Subie diff means I can add oppo to my daily commute; a commute often made in a stripped out racecar because it's just that reliable. The nearly straight pipe exhaust makes a noise I've never heard from another car before. The suspension "flaw" which changes the geometry of the rear at near maximum compression is just cool (and helps add oppo). Who doesn't like excessive negative camber?

I visited Japan this fall and visited the Skyline/Prince museum. I brought a picture of my 510. The staff there did their best with my terrible Japanese but was warmly welcomed when I showed a picture of my 510. The nice man behind the counter (who knew the most English I assume) stated "Ahh yes, Bluebird, good car. Much older than you!"

The enthusiasts who deal with 510s are a good bunch. They aren't the rice burners you often find bolting on parts or shoehorning too big engines into too small cars. Those got eliminated after the '70s, when dropping a V8 under the hood was cool at the expense of shit handling. They aren't the prissy vintage racers who run an old boys club. They aren't the people who pull around trailer queens, or nearly trailer queens who will limit their drives to 50k either.

They're the ones who race still race it like they stole it. The ones who drive them drive them like they stole it too. The 510 club in BC regularly go on over 500 km drives just because we can, allegedly often averaging speeds above the posted limit for the entire drive.

I've met people 20, 30, 50 years my senior who have either owned a 510 or had friends who owned a 510. Whenever I have an opportunity to talk online, at a car show, or even in the parking lot of the bank; I always hear how they never should have sold their 510 or how their friend's car was so fun and of all the trouble they got in.
I'm never selling my 510.


This piece was written by bootbooz when we explained how Mr. K gushed to Pete Brock over the 510 being on Jalopnik's Best Drives of 2012 list. Were that all cars were as good as bootbooz's Datsun.

Photo Credit: Eric Castro