They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that's the case, the MGB should have been flattered as today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Datsun 1600 is sure like that British bomb. The question is, does this imitator's price make it the real deal?

Have you ever noticed that Volkswagen's original Wolfsburg logo was a dog on a castle guarding bacon? That awesome reminder of a tasty and secure treat resides comfortably in the steering wheel center of yesterday's 1971 VW Squareback, and if that wasn't enough to push it to a near record 97% Nice Price win, its thirty five hundred price tag certainly was. Go bacon!

But let's say you don't have thirty five hundred dollars, perhaps you only have thirty three hundred and a handful of magic beans. What're you going to do then, Jack? Well, if you like wind in your hair and the promise of Japanese quality in your cars then a Miata is your best bet this classic Datsun 1600 may just be your cup of tea.

The Fairlady Roadster debuted in 1963, a year following the arrival of the eerily prescient MGB. Both cars had similar styling, featuring sugar scoop headlight surrounds, brushed metal side strips and a forward-canted rear-end. Underhood things looked similar as well, as the Datsun's 1,500 four drinking through a pair of Hitachi-SU side-draught carbs, while the Brit featured the real deal from Skinners Union.

This SPL311 represents the mid-life crisis 1,600-cc version of the Fairlady line, the last iteration before the 240Z being the 2000. The 1,595-cc R16 motor featured 5 mains, an 8:1 compression ratio (meaning you could probably start it by spinning the fan), and a factory promised 90-bhp. Behind that is a four-speed all-synchro box, the five-cogger not arriving until the 2000 model.


This one seems to be in really good shape externally, with a claim of no rust and what seems to be a perfectly serviceable paint job in fucking merlot. The wheels are not original, but neither do they seem overly offensive in appearance, and nicely, the convertible top looks brand new. As a final observation, all the chrome looks to be in good shape and intact, so it's got that going for it.

Under the hood things are a little less tidy, but there don't appear to be any major red flags visible, and the car does have a shiny aluminum radiator to keep things cool. And after all, who doesn't look at that engine bay and salivate at the prospect of bringing the car home and first thing polishing up that sweet finned alloy valve cover?

The ad says that under that valve cover, the engine has been the recipient of a recent valve job, and that overall the car drives nice. Inside, there is the claim of some non-functional gauges, which along with the obvious cracks in the plastic molded dash and gnarly wood and electrical tape steering wheel, makes the interior probably this car's least inviting feature. Still, is that enough to knock it out of contention?

When a car has reached middle age, as this one has, it's hard to consider the mileage as an important factor, unless it has like 2 on the clock. This one has 80K under its tires, and really while that's not all that much, it's probably the years rather than the distance that most heavily weighs on its current condition.


But check out those sweet lines and classic chromed accoutrements. For those of you muttering to yourselves that if you wanted a Japanese roadster for as much as this one is asking you'd buy a Miata, go for it. This isn't the car for you and you probably always order vanilla ice cream at 31 Flavors too.

For the rest of us, what do you think about this Datsun's $3,300 price? Do you think the seller is most likely to get that? Or, do you think that by asking that much he doesn't get it at all?

You decide!

Colorado Springs Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

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