It's amazing how all the pre-1980 Japanese cars seem to have vanished off the street in recent years; even in Alameda it's a challenge to spot once-ubiquitous 70s Civics, Corollas, and the like. Here's one that I took for a Celica from a distance, but instead it turned out to be the first Datsun 610 I've seen in years.

The 610 was never a huge seller in the US, and the lack of wild-eyed 610 fanatics (as you see with aficionados of its quasi-predecessor, the 510) means that they're awfully rare today.

This 610 is on the beat side. Well, actually, it's probably just one more mechanical ailment away from The Crusher.

You can fix the bashed-in fender and hood, but the body rust around the windows isn't so easy. So as long as it keeps running, it avoids the cold steel jaws of The Crusher. Keep running, little 610!

The 610 was available in the US for the 1973-76 model years. In '73, the list price was $3145; by comparison, you could get a '73 Pinto sedan for $1997.

Hey, those taillights sure look familiar!

This car is actually a pretty good-looking design, now that we've had a few decades to get used to it.

And, of course, it's got the classic aluminum wheels. Well, three of them, anyway.