John the Baptist, Ann Boleyn, Goliath's biblical coup de grâce - head-chopping has been a popular form of punishment for millennia. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Datsun 510 has been so chopped, but will his asking price also mean heads should roll?
Datsun's 510 - especially in its jaunty two-door body style - has long been feted as the poor man's 2002. Of course today so few of the cars exist in unmolested or non-deteriorated form that their prices are often elevated to the level of that classic Bimmer - the poor needing no longer to apply.
One area where the 2002 trumped the 510 was in toplessness, a number of aftermarket builders like Baur chopping the Hofmeister Kink right on out of them. Today's 1971 Datsun 510, with its custom open-airiness, seeks to even those odds. And, seeing the car with its top up, odd may just be its most apt description.
Cutting the roof off of any car is no mean feat. Doing so to a uni-body, fully-framed door, ‘60s structural engineering car is something you're most likely to awaken to having done after having tried either bath salts or Charlie Sheen for the first time.
Painted a fresh coat of dark grey and sporting that kind of incongruous addition of chrome - fuel door, wiper valance - that makes you wish certain parts couldn't be unbolted, this little Datsun appears otherwise straight and clean despite its Ichabod Crane terrifying countenance.
There's a roll bar behind the seats - also chrome, and alloy wheels down below (BWAs?), despite the ad's claim that the car comes with its originals. The description additionally touts a rebuilt L-series and desirable 5-speed stick, both plusses in anybody's book.
They say however that a picture speaks a thousand words, and while that may be the case, the image of this car with its top up certainly leaves me speechless. Top down it's a little strange, but I think that is owed to the incongruity of the image, your mind is just not ready to process the idea of a drop top 510. The inclement weather option however, is a whole ‘nother kettle of fishiness, and when erect presents an image that assures you won't be. . . erect that is. . . even if you're a girl. . . which doesn't make any sense.
Where were we? Oh yeah, that top. It appears that the top and its supporting hardware took their cues from perhaps a Suzuki Samurai or a lightning be damned golf cart. It has more snaps than Saquille O'Neil's rain slicker, and a squared-off trailing edge that favors rear seat headroom over not looking like dead hobo ass. Big floppy mirrors off an old Jaguar attempt to draw attention away from the top, but fail in doing so like I imagine does the window glass edges in keeping out the rain.
Okay, so that we can all agree that the top, when up, is like a rosebud dog turd atop your Datsun 510-flavored sundae. But say you live somewhere where it never rains, meaning you wouldn't hardly ever have to put that thing up? I mean who wouldn't want an open air 510? Sure, it's likely to shake like a dog shitting a peach pit over even the smoothest of roads, but hey it would at least be wildly unique when doing so.
To get your fries with that shake, you'd need to come up with $8,000 or OBO. Since we don't do OBO here - it's just not in our nature - we'll stick with the eight large. What do you think, is this custom convertible 510 worth eight grand? Or, does that price make this topless Bluebird a dead duck?
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