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All posts for the month October, 2014

safari5000tnA relatively unheard of title, ‘5000km to Glory‘ or ‘Safari 5000’ as it was alternatively titled, was a movie depicting the fictional events surrounding a Japanese team entered into the East African Safari rally with the legendary Datsun 1600-SSS, a car that would go on to win the event for real in 1970. The film was directed by Koreyoshi Kurahara and starred Yûjirô Ishihara, Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshirô Mifune in the tile roles.
Despite ‘5000km to Glory’ being Japan’s highest grossing film of 1969, it remained almost impossible to see for decades after it’s release as it was apparently never released onto VHS (although I have seen a Betamax copy for sale once… for 250 euros!). But finally, after it being screened for the first time in years on Japan’s NHK BS-hi TV channel in 2012, it would seem that it was made available on DVD and Blu-ray in Japan last year. Sure, this means it’s Japanese market and therefor still hard to get hold of and lacking subtitles but it’s a start!
I first learned of this film whilst in Norway about 14 years ago, where the film was screened at it’s release back in 1969. Apparently, the National Film Archive in Oslo still has a rare copy of it. Internet research at that time revealed little and even in the years since, whilst I have found plenty of movie posters and stills from the film, any actual footage has eluded always me. Until now…

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Electroplating your own components is something that most of us who do our own restorations never consider trying but having had a go at it myself, I am pleased to tell you it’s not as hard as you might think. That’s not to say there are plenty of potential problems, but with care you can get some really good results like I manages on these Datsun 510 parts…

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This kind of gold passivate finish is common to a lot of cars and Nissan tended to use it a great deal on brackets and fasteners. It’s not uncommon to find parts with a slightly blue finish, as well as fasteners in black or an olive drab. All of these various finished can be done at home with a little investment or money and time.

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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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It’s just gone 10pm on Saturday night and I can finally announce that all of the missing posts have finally returned after three days of work! I have also been working on tidying up the categories to make navigation a little easier. There may still be one or two missing images from earlier posts and a number of page links that are broken but I will work on correcting these problems until they are all repaired.

Sadly, all of the subscriber comments posted after 7th April 2010 are lost and although it’s theoretically possible to manually edit the database to replace then, I think it’d be time better spent on writing actual content for the site. The registration and contact page is now back and operational but the post tagging needs fixing still.

I have also done a little work on the aesthetics of the site. The plan as always is to keep it reasonably simple. I decided that I would go with light coloured text over a dark background this time as I feel it is less tiring on the eyes.

In the immediate future I will be finishing some of the posts that were left as drafts in 2011 and filling in some of the gaps over the last three years. I have a whole wealth of new material to post up and of course I’ll be bringing you up to date with the status of the fleet in the coming days. There have been some MAJOR changes!

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Planeteauto1-200x261Nissan Planète Automobile is an amazing new publication from French publisher E-T-A-I and something I would regards as an essential purchase for any diehard Datsun fan. The author, Bernard Vermeylen, has covered a colossal amount of ground in this history of the marque, from the company’s early days at the beginning of the 20th century right through to last year’s Nissan IDX concept. The book is absolutely packed with pictures, both in colour as well as black and white and it’s by far the most comprehensive book I have seen, coving some really obscure models. Unusually, it also has a ‘world view’ as well, rather than placing emphasis on the authors home market as if often the case with books like this.

Of course, being from a French publisher the entire book est écrit en français but don’t let that put you off if you can’t understand French… it’s a beautiful book to flick though purely for the pictures. Or look at it the way I do… it’s a great opportunity to learn or improve your French!

So far I have only seen this book for sale online via French websites but I doubt it’d be difficult to get hold of. It’s not particularly cheap at 49€ but in my opinion it’s well worth the price. I’d just like to add a huge thank you to my Dutch friend and total Datsun nut Iwan for sending me my copy!

Click through for a brief peek inside Nissan  Planète Automobile and the details (ISBN# etc)…

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Just so you know… I’m aware that there are a whole lot of pictures that are not being displayed, especially for posts later than about March 2010. I’m working on fixing that problem but the priority is with recovering all of the missing posts first! It’ll take me a day or so to re-write the year of lost posts. Hopefully, it shouldn’t be too tricky to get the images back online. Image galleries attached to post are being resurrected as I go so they should still display fine. Mostly.

In the meantime, here’s a wintery Datsun picture taken with a 35mm SLR – old school!  Brrr…

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July 4th 2011. That’s when I last made a post here. Nearly three and a half years ago!

After three long years of gathering virtual dust, Ratdat.com finally disappeared into the ether at the end of May earlier this year but now we’re back in the game! This is wholly down to the general awesomeness of Datsun-France.com  and in particular Sylvain and Sean, who very kindly offered to host Ratdat.com . Thanks guys!

Currently, as you’ll no doubt observe, pretty much everything is broken and non-functional and there’s about a years worth of posts missing from 2010/2011, but over the next few days I shall be putting in a few hours in order to get everything up and running again. I unfortunately lost the most recent database backup in a laptop meltdown so I will have to manually re-write the lost posts. Also the blog software has moved on in the last 3 years so there are plenty of incompatibilities to sort out and as such I can’t be sure if all, or indeed any of the features work at present.

Also, this isn’t just a case of restoring Ratdat.com as an archive…  oh no…  it’s going to return to ‘active’ status and allied to the massive changes made to my car collection, it’s likely to return to being a more Datsun biased blog. Once I have fixed everything, I shall drop in a few backdated posts to bring you all up to date with what’s been happening in the last few years. Lots of work ahead!

 

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