We’ve all been there. You’re sitting around bench racing and throwing back beers with your pals, looking at a handful of non-running cars and haphazardly strewn engines and transmissions and an idea pops into your head. Your brain becomes that Patrick Star meme; What if we take that Ford V6 and shove it into that Datsun 510 and go racing? Yeah! What if?
There isn’t much information about this car’s creation, but I imagine that must have been what was happening. I’m just surprised there was enough beer in the shop to get beyond the point of no return before sobering up. The listing doesn’t specify, but it looks like this is a Ford 4-liter V6 mated to a 3-speed C4 automatic dumped somewhere in the middle of a Datsun. It’s such a bad idea that I love it unconditionally.
What we have here is a 1969 Datsun five and dime two-door sedan, which was already a pretty popular chassis for vintage racing and the like, because it was raced in-period, it’s relatively lightweight, and it’s so incredibly simple. The 510 was one of the first truly successful Japanese imports in American motorsport, and it helped build the legacy of the Nissan brand that exists today.
The 510 originally came with a variety of small inline four engines, the most common among them a 73 horsepower 1.5-liter. Obviously that’s not enough for a race car, so this builder went and slung a Ford 6 under the hood. The most readily available Ford V6 is the Cologne V6 which came in 4-liter guise in a whole mess of cars, including the Ranger, Explorer, and Aerostar van, so parts and spare engines would be super easy to find, and stock they came with 160 horsepower, more than double the 510's stock block. And based on the limited description of the car, it looks like this motor has been seriously modified.
1969 *Datsun* *510* COUPE, Race Car, V6, C-4 Automatic Transmission, Roll Cage, Race Seats, Removable Steering Wheels, Electric Power Steering, Heads ported & Polished, Fuel Cell, Oil cooler, Custom Paint, Local Car, Complete Build notebook to come with car, Everything is custom built on the car, original California registration, motor bored .040 over 10.32 to 1 Compression, Roll Cage 1 5/8" D.O.M .134 wall, Suspension Techniques, Tokico, TMC, Offenhauser, HEI, Super-Trapp, Outlaw, Summit, Holley, Dorman, Dave Turner, Weld, TMC, Flex-a-lite and lots more.
This is clearly built for E Modified autocross, but also not built to the full extent of the rulebook. It might do alright regionally, but if it were to run at nationals, it would have to contend with monsters like Jeff Kiesel’s wild multi-time champion Austin-Healey. With a heavy drivetrain like the Cologne V6 and C4 automatic, the thing doesn’t stand a chance. Without massive aero and way more dedication to lightweighting, this would be a back-of-the-packer. That doesn’t mean it isn’t tire smoking fun!
The asking price is near-as-makes-no-difference twenty grand, and there are way worse things you could buy with that kind of money. I mean, there are way better things, too, but everyone has their thing, you know? With a supertrapp muffler on a built up Ford V6, I’m sure it sounds like dogshit, but man it’s probably fun for a Saturday morning spent shagging cones. I really miss autocross, maybe I should get back into it. This would be a weird and fun way to start. If you want to pick it up before I do, go check out the listing over on eBay.