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All posts for the year 2001

Tomica Pocket cars have long been popular with die-cast collectors, so much so that prices for early examples can be very high. Sometimes it’s hard to justify paying $50 or $90 dollars for such a tiny model particularly if you only want it as a model of your own car and not for it’s “collectors” value. There are hundreds of Tomicas and fortunately a large number of them are Datsuns and Nissans. Many of the popular models such as the 510SSS coupe have been reissued recently which makes the task of finding one much simpler. Many are also made by third party companies and come in special boxes and unique colours. I can’t possible go through every model available here as there are just too many but I will try to outline roughly what’s available.No surprise really that it’s the early models that are the most sought after. Sadly some of the nicest are extremely expensive, such as the E10 Datsun Cherry and B210 Sunny coupe. Expect to pay up to $60-70 for one of these in good condition.

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The first ever Finnish Japanese Auto Extravaganza was held in August 2001 and we were lucky enough to be there to check out some of the most unusual old Japanese cars we had ever seen. The event was held on a campsite at Riihimaki, a little north of Helsinki and was a weekend long event. The setting was beautiful (as is usually the case in Finland!) and the camp site very modern and well equipped. This being the first event of it’s kind here, the turnout was fairly small but the quality on show was high and the people very friendly. There were some vehicles in attendance which, unfortunately we never got the chance to photograph including a factory built 50 series Toyota Crown pickup but those that we did capture in the gallery below show what an extraordinary variety of old Japanese machinery exists in Finland.

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The day started very well. It was a day I had been looking for for some time as we were due to collect the keys to our new house. The plan was simple. Me and a mate were to tow two of my cars the 270 miles to the new house on trailers whilst Bernie, my girlfriend went ahead to collect the keys. I was using my red 910 Bluebird to tow my Datsun 1200 pickup on a trailer and my good friend Dave Walbrin towed my turbo 510 project behind his blue 910. Simple right? Er… not exactly. The day resulted in not one but two dead Bluebirds. Read on…

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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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