Super Sport Sedan

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I can’t imagine that there are many 910 Bluebird Hardtop coupes left in France let alone ones as nice as this example from 1981. Incredibly, it’s covered less than 14,000 miles from new and from the couple of pictures in the listing it looks to be in amazing condition. It’s about as far south as it’s possible to get in France but the dry Mediterranean climate will have no doubt helped keep the usual rust away. The alloy wheels look like they are of  C210 Skyline or possibly C230 Laurel origin but I guess it’s possible that 910’s may have been available new with this type of wheel in France. There’s no mention in the ad as to whether this is an SSS or not. In the UK all hardtops coupes were SSS but in Japan that wasn’t the case so it’s possible France may have got non-SSS 910 hardtops, which also may explain the different wheels. It may have even come with steel wheels originally. It’s not that cheap at 6200 euros but then where else are you likely to find a Bluebird Hardtop with such low mileage? Check out the advert on Leboncoin.fr

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I pushed my yellow 160J SSS into my workshop while I was having a move around this week in order to give it a once over to see what was required to get it back in working order. As I’ve mentioned before, I have owned this car for 18 years and it’s been off the road for 15 of those! In 2001 I started doing the work to get it roadworthy again as I wanted to take it on a road trip to Finland, only to discover it was way rustier than I had anticipated and so, minus it’s engine and gearbox which I had removed in order to do some welding, it was left under a cover in the shed as I took a different Datsun to Finland. Sadly, that’s where it’s stayed ever since and in the intervening years its engine got pilfered for another Datsun too.

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I guess the good thing about this is that back in 2001, a Datsun 160J SSS wasn’t worth much in the UK, especially one in rough condition, but today it’s a very desirable model and even a really rough one would probably make over £1000. Had I parted with this car in 2001 it would most probably have ended up as scrap, so ironically, 14 years of neglect in my shed has probably saved it…

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Having decided that later this year I will attempt to return my yellow Datsun 160J SSS to the road, I took the opportunity to have a good look at it and decide what it requires. Apart from a considerable amount of welding (more on this tomorrow) it needs an engine and gearbox fitting which I was lucky enough to to acquire recently, some carpet which I’ll have to make and some decent bumpers which I think I have among my parts stash. It also needs some new badges which, although I have some, they’re destined for my black 160J SSS. The rear quarter panel ‘Datsun 160J’ badges I can live without if I can’t find any but the round SSS emblems on the rear pillars are essential as they look really bare without them. So I bit the bullet and paid out for some brand new ones which arrived a couple of days ago, all the way from Kuwait. Feast your eyes on these beauties!

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My thanks to Saad, who is a Kuwait based eBay seller (ukstar76) selling new old stock Datsun parts. Everything I have bought from Saad in the past has arrived in great condition and the delivery has been very fast too.

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Here’s something you don’t see every day… 0r ever if you live in the UK. A Datsun in a scrapyard and not just any old Datsun, a triple S! This 160J SSS popped up on eBay a few days ago listed as breaking for parts. As these A10 model 160J SSS have a short case 5 speed gearbox, perfect for fitting into 510 and 710 models, I was on the phone to them immediately! Yeasterday I went to check it out as it was only a couple of hours away…

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As I mentioned in my original post about the movie ‘5000km to Glory’ there is a little bit of movie merchandising related to the film, even though it was largely forgotten until it’s recent release on DVD and Bluray.  I have seen the movie soundtrack album (on vinyl naturally!) for sale on Yahoo! Japan Auction in the past and other items such as sets of postcards but the best thing I have ever come across related to it is this lovely 1/24 scale model kit made by Eidai. To be honest, when I first found this kit, I didn’t initially realise it was related to the film. Only a little later when I noticed the style of the ‘5000’ logo on the box did it dawn on me what it was! The 510 modeled in the kit is actually that of a 1968 model which makes it a little unusual as most 510 model kits are 1969 onward versions with the larger tail light and restyled grille.

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Finally, I get to watch 5000km to Glory! I only ordered this from Japan four days ago and it’s here in the UK already… amazing! Hopefully my complete lack of Japanese language skills won’t be a problem watching this…

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UPDATE! I’ve just finished watching it and I can honestly say it’s as good as any motor racing film I have seen. No really… it’s genuinely a really great filmI The cinematography is fantastic, the racing scenes are superbly shot and seamlessly blended with footage from the real events. The cast are good and best of all, language isn’t as big an issue as I expected as there’s actually more French and English spoken in the film than Japanese! I’ll do a full write up on the film with an outline of the plot etc soon but for now, I say go get yourself a copy!

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As Ratdat.com is now hosted by Datsun-France, I thought it might be appropriate to scan and post up this neat little French Datsun brochure I have. This is a slightly unusual one because, apart from it’s diminutive size at just 15cm by 7cm, it also has lovely illustrations of the cars rather than the usual photographs. Interestingly, in ’76 the Datsun E10 Cherry was still available in both 2 and 4 door form alongside the newer F10 Cherry models, although the latter seems to have driopped the “Cherry” name. Another thing I noticed is that the 710 only appears as an 160J SSS hardtop… were there no 710 saloons in France?! Click on to have a look…

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So finally the French Datsun 1600 SSS is home and I can finally take a close look to see just how much work I have taken on. The answer is quite a lot! The rear quarters and boot floor are particularly rotten as are the sills, and the interior is in terrible shape, although remarkably the dash top isn’t split! Fortunately I have plenty of parts stashed away including lots of new panels, original carpet and seats… and if necessary I’m even willing to use my 1400 Deluxe 510 as a donor to rebuild this car.  That would be a tough call to make but a European 510 SSS is a very rare car and so worth every effort to restore it. Thankfully all the important SSS parts are there and serviceable. Click through to take a look at the car as it currently stands…

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Time for the next installment of my continental adventure. In part 2 I made it all the way to Polisot and bought a 510 SSS. Now, at 3am in the morning, I had recovered from a day and a half without sleep and hit the Autoroute again. This time headed west towards the Vendée, more specifically and area right on the edge of the Vendée and Deux-Sèvres, a bit south of Pouzauges. About 440km.

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