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coleclearman

The Datsun

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Hello, I am a student at Bettendorf High School and I am not spam and I am doing my project on the old Datsun. If any one knows any information on the Datsun I would really appreciate if you shared it with me. Thank you!

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The iconic car of Datsun is the 240Z sports car. It put Datsun name out for all to see. It was quite a car for the money. The Datsun 510 sedan made its way on to the racetrack and helped Datsun market its brand. These cars were popular in the 1970's.

Terry

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Coleclearman, do you know anyone who is a member of the AACA. It's publication, "Antique Automobile" had a photograph in the Nov/Dec. Issue of a Datsun Cedric that was at Hershey last October. I was at Hershey but did not see the car. It would be interesting to see. Datsun was probably the first company to successfully sell small pickups in the U.S.A., beginning in the 1960's.

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Datsun's first big success in Canada was the 510 sedan. This was a small sedan with a 1600cc OHC 4 cylinder engine. It resembled a cut price BMW and was a hot performer for the time. It was competing against the VW beetle and Austin Marina and cars like that. Not only would the Datsun 510 outperform the competition it got great mileage and almost never broke down no matter how hard you drove it.

In those days they were new on the market and nobody ever heard of Datsun before. Mostly young people bought them, who were not afraid to take a chance and didn't know enough to be afraid of a new unknown car. The 510 impressed a lot of people and created a loyal base of Datsun buyers. Datsun (later called Nissan) grew to be one of the best selling cars on the market because they made good reliable cars at a good price. They earned their market share and the 510 was the car that put them over in the early days.

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I've had one experience with a Datsun. I am 6'2", my oldest brother is almost 6'6". About 1980 I decided maybe a Datsun 510 would be an economical car to commute to work in so I stopped at a lot to look one over. At that time Japanese cars were notoriously lacking when it came to interior room. Japanese people are smaller than the average American and is spite of trying to sell their car here they still sized them for the average Japanese person. I got into the Datsun and my head was against the roof. I proceeded to lay the seat back far enough to clear the headliner. By the time I cleared the headliner I was reclined too far to think about driving. As I went to get out the salesman approached me and asked me if I wanted to drive the car. I turned him down. Within days I met my brother in town and he showed up in a Datsun 510. Amazed, I asked him how he managed to get into it and he got his feelings hurt and refused to answer.

I had earlier considered a Subaru station wagon for a work car but the inner front fenders protruded into the floor area and I had to keep my left foot under the brake and clutch pedal because there was no where else to put it. Gave up on that idea very quickly also. To this day I have never owned an imported automobile and probably never will.

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Ha ha ha I am 6'2" and over 200 lbs and had the same problem with Japanese cars. For years I drove VW beetles because it was the only small car I could squeeze into. My brother had Datsun and Toyota cars when they first came out, I could not ride in them.

Today it seems all cars are made for midgets even Cadillac and Lincoln. Only the Germans know how to make roomy cars. I usually drive a minivan for this reason but I am even crowded in the Dodge minivan.

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Rusty,

You should try a full size Buick, or even a Chevy Impala. Other than that, My Chevy Tahoe has plenty of room but the gas mileage is nothing much to brag about.

Now, back on the subject,

The last imported car that I ever had was a Datsun wagon in the mid to late 70's. My father bought it used and it was junk. We had all kinds of trouble with the car. I guess we were lucky because I noticed an oil change sticker on the door that had higher mileage on it than the odometer reading. We reported the car to DMV and they investigated and found that the mileage had been rolled back on the odometer. The dealer that my father bought it from was ordered by DMV to buy the car back. While it was not the car's fault that it was involved in fraud, I have never driven an imported car since.

Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)

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Maybe being 5'9" worked to my advantage, but my experience was somewhat more positive. Just after college I bought a written off 1975 Datsun 710... 2000cc, 4 spd. It had been flipped on it's roof in a snowbank and I had it back on the road for less than $2k with only 20,000 miles on it (1978). We boosted a Triumph with it once and the "mechanic" forgot to allow for the British positive ground so I fried some ignition components, but other than that I put 80,000 miles on that car without problems. Got about 6 ft of rubber in 1st, a foot in 2nd and the tires would chirp going into third. Under 45 mph I blew the doors off more than one 350 Camaro between the traffic lights (Almost got in a fight once over it too! Apparently the muscle car drivers didn't like being shut down in front of a crowd of girls...) and it would make great 180's on dry pavement. It took a beating and the old guy I sold it to drove it till the day he died. Eventually the rust finished it off, and it got left parked with the windows down so the interior was shot, but I've often wished I'd bought it back for the power train. You just don't see these 70's cars around anymore.

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Coleclearman,

First of all good luck with your Datsun project. I have owned 3 Datsun 240Z's of which I still own one that I show in the AACA. If you had a chance to attend the AACA Grand National Meet in Moline, earlier this year, you may have seen it. It is orange so it tends to standout. I am not sure what type of information you may need but if you PM me I will be glad to help in anyway I can.

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I want to thank all of you for taking your time to give me information about the Datsun. I have presented my project and did well on it. Thank you again, coleclearman

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Datsun's first big success in Canada was the 510 sedan. This was a small sedan with a 1600cc OHC 4 cylinder engine. It resembled a cut price BMW and was a hot performer for the time. It was competing against the VW beetle and Austin Marina and cars like that. Not only would the Datsun 510 outperform the competition it got great mileage and almost never broke down no matter how hard you drove it.

In those days they were new on the market and nobody ever heard of Datsun before. Mostly young people bought them, who were not afraid to take a chance and didn't know enough to be afraid of a new unknown car. The 510 impressed a lot of people and created a loyal base of Datsun buyers. Datsun (later called Nissan) grew to be one of the best selling cars on the market because they made good reliable cars at a good price. They earned their market share and the 510 was the car that put them over in the early days.

DATSUN was always a NISSAN. No one questions that a Chevrolet is a GM product. Look at the data plate on a Chevrolet and you see manufactured by General Motors Corp. Open the door of a DATSUN and you see manufactured by NISSAN Motor manufacturing or depending which country it's built NISSAN Ltd. Open the door to a Cadillac and you see Manufactured by General Motors Corp. Open the door to a Infiniti and you see manufactured by NISSAN Ltd.

FYI there is a possibility that NISSAN will release a Datsun model in the future again.

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Rusty,

You should try a full size Buick, or even a Chevy Impala. Other than that, My Chevy Tahoe has plenty of room but the gas mileage is nothing much to brag about.

Now, back on the subject,

The last imported car that I ever had was a Datsun wagon in the mid to late 70's. My father bought it used and it was junk. We had all kinds of trouble with the car. I guess we were lucky because I noticed an oil change sticker on the door that had higher mileage on it than the odometer reading. We reported the car to DMV and they investigated and found that the mileage had been rolled back on the odometer. The dealer that my father bought it from was ordered by DMV to buy the car back. While it was not the car's fault that it was involved in fraud, I have never driven an imported car since.

Everyone has a story and here is mine.

I had been working at NISSAN ( not a dealer ) for three years in 1976 and had no idea I was to retire from them after 34 years so I gave the domestic's a shot. I ordered a new 1976 Oldsmobile. It took 12 weeks to get it and it came with bubbles and what looked like sand in the paint of the hood, two dents, one in each front door and a dent in the cowl. The rear doors were out of align and had not paint dings, but ripples in the metal skin. When, after asking the sales manager to fix these things he asked me if I was expecting a Rolls Royce! I knew then and there why the reason domestic's were loosing the game to other makers. If that car had been a Datsun, First it wouldn't have left the factory in that condition. If it had the car would have never left Distribution and Auto service at the port and third the dealer would have had a district service manager down to see it. Three safety nets before the customer would ever see such a thing. Today I show that Olds in the historical preservation class. I have a letter from the OCA head judge stating that the hood, two ft doors have non matching paint and are cracked, but are considered factory original because the dealer acting as a representative of the factory BEFORE delivery took place. When someone asks about the ripples or the dent in the cowl or paint I always say " came from the factory that way " @ no charge! And that was my last domestic car.. The exception would be my two NISSANS which were made here and they are not really considered domestic's They are considered like all other cars today as global cars.

http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20830/images/p1080790.jpg

http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20832/images/img_0124.jpg

http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20832/images/img_0125.jpg

Edited by helfen (see edit history)

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Everyone has a story and here is mine.

I had been working at NISSAN ( not a dealer ) for three years in 1976 and had no idea I was to retire from them after 34 years so I gave the domestic's a shot. I ordered a new 1976 Oldsmobile. It took 12 weeks to get it and it came with bubbles and what looked like sand in the paint of the hood, two dents, one in each front door and a dent in the cowl. The rear doors were out of align and had not paint dings, but ripples in the metal skin. When, after asking the sales manager to fix these things he asked me if I was expecting a Rolls Royce! I knew then and there why the reason domestic's were loosing the game to other makers. If that car had been a Datsun, First it wouldn't have left the factory in that condition. If it had the car would have never left Distribution and Auto service at the port and third the dealer would have had a district service manager down to see it. Three safety nets before the customer would ever see such a thing. Today I show that Olds in the historical preservation class. I have a letter from the OCA head judge stating that the hood, two ft doors have non matching paint and are cracked, but are considered factory original because the dealer acting as a representative of the factory BEFORE delivery took place. When someone asks about the ripples or the dent in the cowl or paint I always say " came from the factory that way " @ no charge! And that was my last domestic car.. The exception would be my two NISSANS which were made here and they are not really considered domestic's They are considered like all other cars today as global cars.

http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20830/images/p1080790.jpg

http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20832/images/img_0124.jpg

http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20832/images/img_0125.jpg

Interesting story about the Olds Omega you own. I kinda like the car, even with it's flaws. But anyway, similar story with a different outcome... My grandfather loved Buicks, he always bought them since his first in 1955, which was a Special, til his last which was a Grand National. In 1974, he ordered a new 1975 Lesabre two door. Huge car in a very dark blue with white interior and white vinyl top . Unfortunately, it came off the truck with hail damage and crazed paint elswhere. The hood was riddled with little dents. His dealer (he purchased every Buick from the one dealership) called him and let him drive a different Buick ( I think it was a Skylark) till the bodyshop redid the entire car with a new hood and paint job. They even had a guy come in and do a custom pinstripe job on it. I don't know if that dealer just went the extra mile or maybe your dealer didn't care for what was basically a Chevy Nova and would not go to the expense on a lesser model. After all, Olds was all about Deltas and 98s back then.

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Interesting story about the Olds Omega you own. I kinda like the car, even with it's flaws. But anyway, similar story with a different outcome... My grandfather loved Buicks, he always bought them since his first in 1955, which was a Special, til his last which was a Grand National. In 1974, he ordered a new 1975 Lesabre two door. Huge car in a very dark blue with white interior and white vinyl top . Unfortunately, it came off the truck with hail damage and crazed paint elswhere. The hood was riddled with little dents. His dealer (he purchased every Buick from the one dealership) called him and let him drive a different Buick ( I think it was a Skylark) till the bodyshop redid the entire car with a new hood and paint job. They even had a guy come in and do a custom pinstripe job on it. I don't know if that dealer just went the extra mile or maybe your dealer didn't care for what was basically a Chevy Nova and would not go to the expense on a lesser model. After all, Olds was all about Deltas and 98s back then.

The point is the car should have never left the factory like that. I am sure your grandfathers car was well reimbursed by GM warranty. My car was built less than 50 miles from my house. I found out after all the hassle that the dealer had so many complaints and legalities going against him he only lasted a couple of years after my problem.

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Hate to burst any ones bubble , but 510's were notorious for blown head gasket's and warped heads. 240's as well but not quite as bad. I repaired MANY of them when they were daily drivers. Good little cars but certainly far from perfect. They also rusted nearly as bad as Fiat's. Seat's used a thin fragile covering. large tears were very common within 3 or 4 years. The little 1200's like in the autocross video were pretty tough, but head gasket's were still a weak point. If rebuilt with modern Felpro gasket's and upgraded head bolt's they are really quite good cars. Just hard to find one with a decent body shell.

Greg in Canada

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The point is the car should have never left the factory like that. I am sure your grandfathers car was well reimbursed by GM warranty. My car was built less than 50 miles from my house. I found out after all the hassle that the dealer had so many complaints and legalities going against him he only lasted a couple of years after my problem.

Thanks for reply. True, the car should have never left the plant in that condition. US car makers and dealers were still selling on reputation and not actual quality then. Obviously also, the dealer did not care about happy customers at all seeing that the car clearly was buggered by the factory and let into the dealer queue. I think it started to change a bit after with the new downsized full size cars of 77, but still had a bit to go. Today, a new Chevy or Ford or Chrysler clearly looks good at all angles and lasts longer than it's warranty does. I bought two new HHR panels, one in 07 and the other in 2010. One small trouble with a brake rotor on the 07 and none on the 2010 with over 60,000 miles on it. Actually, I think your Olds is awesome in that you do show how quality building and lazy Quality Assurance can destroy a car company's reputation.

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Thanks for reply. True, the car should have never left the plant in that condition. US car makers and dealers were still selling on reputation and not actual quality then. Obviously also, the dealer did not care about happy customers at all seeing that the car clearly was buggered by the factory and let into the dealer queue. I think it started to change a bit after with the new downsized full size cars of 77, but still had a bit to go. Today, a new Chevy or Ford or Chrysler clearly looks good at all angles and lasts longer than it's warranty does. I bought two new HHR panels, one in 07 and the other in 2010. One small trouble with a brake rotor on the 07 and none on the 2010 with over 60,000 miles on it. Actually, I think your Olds is awesome in that you do show how quality building and lazy Quality Assurance can destroy a car company's reputation.

Thanks for responding, I do point those things out when people ask or a judge asks. I also point out that the car has been one of the best driving, trouble free cars I have ever owned. The engine; seven main bearing I-6, never been apart, original fuel pump, alternator, P/s pump, carburetor never been rebuilt, original spark plug wires, Original air pump and catalytic converter, third cap-rotor spark plugs, 2nd water pump 32mpg non ethanol 28mpg 10% ethanol. Will do a honest 100mph. Brakes; original master cylinder, original calipers in ft @ 2nd set of pads, original rear wheel cylinders original rear shoes.

Just a shade over 112,000 miles. Even the engine paint is original;

http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20830/images/p1080789.jpg

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I was in a Dodge dealership about 1981 having suspension repairs done on a worthless Dodge Omni. There were about 4 cars in the showroom. After seeing a major dent in the side of one car I got up and started looking around and every car on the showroom floor needed body work. I am not talking about dings; I 'm talking about things such as would happen if two people got to fighting and crashed into the side of the car. The paint was not scratched. I got the feeling the panels were dented before the paint was sprayed.

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Thanks for responding, I do point those things out when people ask or a judge asks. I also point out that the car has been one of the best driving, trouble free cars I have ever owned. The engine; seven main bearing I-6, never been apart, original fuel pump, alternator, P/s pump, carburetor never been rebuilt, original spark plug wires, Original air pump and catalytic converter, third cap-rotor spark plugs, 2nd water pump 32mpg non ethanol 28mpg 10% ethanol. Will do a honest 100mph. Brakes; original master cylinder, original calipers in ft @ 2nd set of pads, original rear wheel cylinders original rear shoes.

Just a shade over 112,000 miles. Even the engine paint is original;

http://www.pismoderelicts.com/photogallery/new%20format%20830/images/p1080789.jpg

That's good you kept that car in such nice shape. That Chevy 6 is about the most bullet proof engine I know of. My dad had the first year Buick Apollo four door with an actual Buick engine in it, a V8 in fact. He bought it used, owned it 6 years and it never gave him a lick of trouble.

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That's good you kept that car in such nice shape. That Chevy 6 is about the most bullet proof engine I know of. My dad had the first year Buick Apollo four door with an actual Buick engine in it, a V8 in fact. He bought it used, owned it 6 years and it never gave him a lick of trouble.

Funny you should mention that. I am a Pontiac, VW and lastly Oldsmobile enthusiast with Nissans as daily drivers. Originally while shopping for that Olds I had originally wanted a Pontiac X body Ventura-later to become Phoenix, but 1976 Pontiac Ventura's front end was so ugly and the "big" difference was Ventura and Skylark in that year had switched to the Buick V-6 as the base engine. Only Nova and Omega still used the I-6. The I-6 with seven main bearings and a gear to gear-NO timing chain engine was as you say bullet proof. The Omega looked better than the Nova so Omega got the nod. Many don't realize this, but not only was the I-6 the base engine for the Omega for that year but it's also the base engine for the Olds Cutlass.

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Yes, very durable engine. It was funny when my Grandfather got a Skylark Custom new in 1969, that the dealer showed him a six cylinder powered Special Deluxe and it had that same Chevy engine in it. Buick was in-between marketing a V6 in those years.

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