For $8,500, Here’s a Dime You May Want to Bag

Illustration for article titled For $8,500, Here’s a Dime You May Want to Bag
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

A dime doesn't buy too much these days, but as we wind up Nissan week here at Nice Price or Crack Pipe, we're going out with a Dime that you might want to buy, but is its price too much?

Being a minor plot device in the movie Three Kings didn't hurt opinion on yesterday's 1991 Infiniti M30 convertible, and no one needed an Iraqi ass map to find its price to be 74% Nice. Today's car lacks a Hollywood pedigree, but that doesn't mean it can't land a starring role in somebody's driveway.


The Datsun Bluebird PL510 first appeared in 1968 and like so many Asian immigrants it traded names upon arrival in the U.S.. Here, it went by just 510, and as the car's reputation grew it gained the more familiar sobriquet of ‘Dime' from five and dime. Made famous both on the track, as one of the BRE team's Trans Am champions, as well as on the road, where its combination of clean boxy styling and sport-oriented mechanicals garnered praise as the poor man's BMW.

Those mechanicals included a semi trailing arm independent rear suspension, and a 96-bhp SOHC 1600-cc four cylinder. A choice of either a fun four speed stick, or fun-sapping 3-speed autobox was offered, as was a selection of door count

Illustration for article titled For $8,500, Here’s a Dime You May Want to Bag

Our 1971 510 is the most desirable of those (unless you favor circle jerkin' the wagons) being of the two-door variety. In this case, the clean lines -thought to be the work of Teruo Uchino - have been accented by fenders with more than the minimum 18 pieces of flare, plus a molded-in spoiler. Bodywork like this can sometimes result in a car-tastophe, but here it all looks pretty unified, and the electric orange paint proves a nice match the car's size and accoutrements. Viewing this car, those of faith might point to the 11th commandment which is Thou shalt not paint Panasports, but the dark Pannies work well here against the orange. They are tucked in so tightly you may wonder how many kidneys per mile the car gets, however.

Illustration for article titled For $8,500, Here’s a Dime You May Want to Bag

Inside things aren't quite stock either, but again the changes are of the reasonably tasteful variety rather than the shock and awe. . . crap kind. Looking a bit forlorn are a pair of thrones yanked from a Honda Quaalude, and framed by a roll bar that you can put your Chiquita banana and tech inspection stickers on. The steering wheel smells of Manny Moe and Jack, but the dash looks unmolested and the beer tap shifter, safely snooded in its Nismo wrap, has a certain erotic quality to it.

Illustration for article titled For $8,500, Here’s a Dime You May Want to Bag

What that shifter is linked to goes unmentioned, but I'd wager it's something like an FS5R20A 5-speed. That's because, instead of the 96-horse L-series under the hood, this Dime rocks an Fj20 twin cam. That engine hails from the I ass-cones the ‘80s and brings 150 horsepower to the table. Oversquare and built like a tank, the Fj20 digs the revs like Charlie Sheen likes poon. It can normally found under the hoods of Nissans both fast and furious, but here in retro-land it just looks effing righteous, almost like it's ready to do chin-ups on the strut tower brace above it. Booyah.


The seller says other upgrades to the car include power brakes (discs at each corner) and strangely enough power steering, in case people are frequently mistaking your arms for those of Dakota Fanning.

Illustration for article titled For $8,500, Here’s a Dime You May Want to Bag

So we're finishing up on a high note here, and this modded 510 is a far cry from the 240Z with which we started the week. Of course, as you would imagine, that means that it's also more expensive than that turd-forty zee, and at $8,500, you'd be right. Right or wrong, the question at hand is whether you think anybody should pay that much for this particular 510. So what's your take, does $8,500 make you want to stop on this Dime? Or, does that make this a Dime that doesn't make sense?


You decide!


Seattle Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears. Hey, it's also on the Dime Quarterly!

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I like the engine, the color, the tires and the interior. But at

the same time, I don't.

Engine swaps from Nissans into Datsuns is like a SBC

into...hmm...damn near anything. That doesn't mean I trust the

skills of the guy doing the swapping. Having not done it myself, it

makes me distrust the work.

The interior in general looks damned good, but seeing wires peek

through gaps gives me great doubts regarding the overall quality of

the work. What other corners are clipped?

The 510 lends itself to a sporting nature so easily. It has the

compact, tense toughness of that hardened little dude at the karate

tournament, the one who punches way above his weight. Commuter car?

Sure. But two weeks out of the year it's a balls-out race car.

The fender flares are just a touch too much. I like them, but not

that much of them. The wider rubber is good good good. The seats

and interior look great. I'd have to spend a lot of time crawling

around this thing with the big Maglight, a wrench or three, and

even then I wouldn't drop more than $6,500 on it.

I'd want to do the swap myself.