For $2,450, It’s Your Dime

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Owing to dreams of Brock Racing Enterprises heroics, most of the love for Datsun’s venerable 510 is reserved for the two-door. While not quite so raceriffic, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe ’70 longroof is still pretty dreamy. That is, unless its price gives you nightmares.

The thought of paying a buck-shy of ten grand for yesterday’s custom - and even more retro than stock - PT Cruiser was apparently tantamount to letting your mom go on a date with a guy named Biff Tannen. That rolling ad wagon dropped in a monumental 90% Crack Pipe loss, making it one of the biggest losers in NPOCP history.


And now, in the immortal words of Rocket J. Squirrel, here’s something we hope you’ll really like.

While we have already established that the vast majority of you hate the PT Cruiser in the same way you despise atomic wedgies and sweaty under-boob lint, that opinion will probably not be held for today’s 1970 Datsun 510 wagon. The thing of it is, that’s all based on style and provenance. After all, even when new, the 510 couldn't hold a candle to the PT Cruiser's competence in any regard to performance, comfort, or safety.

But who cares, isn’t this little longroof just the ginchiest? By the way, I don’t know why I’m including all these pop-culture references from before you were born, but work with me, will ya?


The 510 wagon differed from its 4- and 2-door stablemates by having a live axle supported by half-elliptic leaf springs rather than a semi trailing-arm IRS set up. That meant that it could carry a lot more junk in the trunk without squatting like a dog in doodle factory mode, but it traded that competence for poorer handling and ride.


This particular 1970 510 is said in the ad to have been in storage for 22 years and while the L16 OHC four pot is claimed to fire and run, the seller says that the car needs some freshening before its ready to start increasing your coolness factor around town.

The body looks straight and the ad says there’s no rust. The car was once red but it has at some time gained a new coat of white that around the edges looks like it was applied with a Rastafarian. Not by a Rastafarian mind you, but with one, if you get my drift.


Inside, the car seems reasonably complete and tidy although the diamond pattern front seats looks like something you’d sit on in the bus that delivers you to prison. Fortunately replica upholstery is available.


Mechanically, the engine put out a respectable 96-horses new. There’s no saying how many are left in its present corral however, and those that remain may be too busy dealing with the car’s PRNDL to do much work getting you to freeway speeds. Back in the day, the zero to sixty time for these cars was something along the lines of 15 - 17 seconds.


Starting to reconsider that PT Cruiser vote, aren’t you? No? I didn’t think so. There’s a claimed 109,000 miles on this Datsun’s clock, and it even comes with the added niceties of a roof rack and A/C, although who’s to say how fab that’ll work today.

I don’t know about you but I think the Tasmanian Devil floor mats really make this car. Those along with the black steelies and overall patina are a middle finger in the face of the typically overwrought and underthought rat rods that dot the classified and car shows these days. This instead is the real deal and comes across like a drag on the last cig in pack of year-old Camels, or at least that’s the vibe I get from it. Of course, I have a soft spot in my head for old Datsuns.


Are you equally soft for this one? Or, does it make you hard? WAIT, forget I asked that, I don’t need that image in my head. Puppies and kittens, puppies and kittens. . . Whatever your state - and keep it to yourself - it’s now time to weigh in on whether you think this old 510 is worth its $2,450 asking price. Is that deal of a Datsun? Or is that too much for a 510 that could potentially nickel and dime you to death?

You decide!


Los Angeles Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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