Spotted

If you like scrapyards, rusting wrecks and old abandoned cars and trucks then point your feed reader at Kusahiro Exploration. Unless you’re proficient in deciphering Japanese text, you won’t be able to read much but you’ll see plenty of great photos of abandoned old Japanese motors in occasionally quite picturesque settings. It’s also been updated virtually on a daily basis since June 2007 meaning there’s hundreds of old posts to wade through and plenty of rare and interesting cars to be found. Definitely one to watch!

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The pictures are actually quite old but interesting none the less. They were sent to me by a good friend who visited Majorca on holiday and show, in only a few pictures the amazing diversity of old Japanese cars there. The sad, vandalised Skyline is a real rarity being a short wheelbase C10 model fitted with a 1815cc G18 engine, hence the 180K badging. The 620 looks to be in quite remarkable shape considering how battle-scarred the smaller Sunny pickup is. 620’s were horribly rust prone so it’s no surprise very few remain in the UK. The two non Nissan vehicles pictured are a late 1970’s Subaru Rex and, amazingly, a Mazda T2000 three wheel truck which dates back to the mid 1950’s. This is probably the first picture I have seen of one of these outside of Japan. Just seeing these few make me wish for a holiday there myself!


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I have had some enquiries as to what has happened to all of the old content that featured on Ratdat.com before it’s re-birth into a blog format. Well, initially I just wiped everything off the server to make it easy to start afresh with the new site but I still have all the data and will be restoring it to the site occasionally, along with all the new stuff.

I’ll start by re-posting some pictures that were one of the earliest things to be seen on Ratdat.com back in 2000. Back then we decided to welcome the new millennium in unconventional fashion by flying out to Egypt. We were stood in the desert in front of the great pyramids on the stroke of midnight as the year 2000 was ushered in to the strains of Jean Michel Jarre’s spectacular performance of “The Twelve Dreams of the Sun”. Memorable, I can assure you! We stayed in an around Cairo for ten days and like any good car freak, a good proportion of the sight seeing was of things on four wheels.

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The three door Stanza? I was flicking though an early (November 1981) T11 Stanza brochure yesterday and it got me thinking about the three door variant. The more I looked at the pictures, the more I became convinced that I’ve never actually seen one.. ever! Now the five door hatch, that’s quite familiar and whilst considerably more scarce than the five door, so is the slightly odd looking saloon, but that three door most definitely isn’t. It’s quite curious just how different it is from the five door version. Not only are the rear lights different and the side vent not present but the three door even has a different tailgate. The differences don’t stop there either. The three door sports a roof-line some 20mm lower than it’s saloon and five door siblings, combined with a slightly more raked windscreen to give it a slightly sleeker overall profile. It kind of looks like a cross between a Toyota Corolla and a Hyundai Pony from the rear three quarter view.

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Another Datsun Laurel but alas, not mine this time. It’s not everyday you find a car like this for sale. New Datsun Owners Club member, Billy Shears recently purchased this time warp facelift C230 Laurel. Since it rolled out of the showroom in 1979 it has covered a paltry 5400 miles! Yes, that’s five thousand four hundred! Datsun specialist Will Lightburn currently has the car in for some work to get it back on the road, as laying idle in a garage for 20 years hasn’t done the brakes much good and one or two items needed work to get it running smoothly again. Word is, the bodywork is perfect… not so much as a tiny dent and of course no rust to be seen. The car even has the original tyres still! Hopefully Billy will be bringing his Laurel to The Japanese Auto Extravaganza this year so hopefully, you will be able to see some more pictures of this car here by August.

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Mikko from Finland emailed me these pictures of a Datsun he found abandoned in the woods. Poor thing. Looking at the large front bumper overriders, I’d say it was probably a 410 rather than 411 Bluebird. This one is probably a little too far gone to rescue. Apart from those overriders maybe?
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Click through for a couple more pics…
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For some of the people who travelled in this post face-lift 130 Cedric wagon, it was most likely the last Datsun they ever travelled in. That’s because this one is a Norwegian funeral car. This unusual application for a Cedric was recently discovered by a member of the Datsun PMC Register of Norway. Being a funeral car, I would imagine thats it’s not only been very well looked after but has had quite and easy life so it should still be in tip top condition. What a great find!

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Juhani Halmeenmaki has located this super rare Prince Clipper truck (model AQTI) in Finland. This one has languished, abandoned for 20 years, Long enough for the rear end to sink into the ground! It was owned by a gypsy who transported horses with it. Juhani says this is probably the last Clipper in Finland. The vehicle has now been stripped of any useful parts which will be passed to Svein-Erik Finnerud in Norway to help with the restoration of his own Prince Clipper.

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