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
I don’t think there ever was such a thing as a DU-5 as described by this American magazine in 1955 but as this was prior to official exports to the US by Nissan, they could be forgiven for having little information available to them. I believe that the model shown in this short piece is a Datsun 6147 which went on sale in Japan between 1953 and 1954. This model was very dated looking and owed much of its design and styling to the pre-war Datsun 13T of 1936.
The 6147 came as a regular pickup but this version had a double cab making it a four seater, albeit a very cramped one. I’ve also seen this body style referred to as a ‘Ranch Sedan’ by another American publication from the late 50’s, although I doubt it would have been known as that in Japan.
I’m pretty sure I have never posted any Datsun literature from Belgium before so this might be the first. This marketing material is in the form of a Magazine (this is issue Nr.1) and it dates from Autumn 1974. The range shown is pretty much the same as that sold in the UK and most other Western European countries with the exception of the C110 Skyline hardtop, a model which never made it to the UK. There’s a little bit in there about the Datsun ESV too, about which it says something like;
‘Not just a safety prototype, but additionally looks very nice also. The front visibility is optimal by construction without windscreen pillars. The special bumpers play a dual role: a collision softener for passengers, but on the other hand they protect the pedestrian as much as possible. Steering wheel and dashboard are specially refined and moreover reflect the same safety philosophy” .
I’m collecting some info together to write a piece about Nissan’s ESV projects so watch for that in the future.
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.
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…
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!
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.
I’m pretty sure that when the M10 Prairie was new back in the early 80’s it wouldn’t have been considered to be a really small car but these days it looks tiny against modern small cars. The Vauxhall Meriva to the right is considered to be a ‘Mini MPV’ which I would guess is the class of vehicle the Prairie falls into. The Citroën Berlingo on the left looks huge next to the Prairie yet it too is considered to be a small car and like the Meriva it almost certainly doesn’t have as much useful space inside as the Prairie offers. I guess the Prairie doesn’t have the fuel efficiency or crash protection that either of these modern equivalents but it still beats them hands down for practicality. I wouldn’t swap it for either of them.
Although it has served me well, I have finally come to the conclusion that my ancient desktop PC running Windows XP is no longer up to the job as it’s becoming tiresomely slow, especially for editing images, plus support for XP ended last year. My PC has lasted a decade without and trouble so I think I’ve had good value from it! It’s hard to move on as my old PC is a like a comfy pair of slippers, but times change as I guess I must accept progress eventually, so this last week I have been trying to get up to speed on using my new laptop with Windows 8.1 installed. It’s horribly cumbersome compared with XP but the machine itself is so much faster that it should make editing and work online a breeze once I get used to it. I might even be able to put together some videos, which was always a bit of a chore on the old machine!
Dutch model car distributor Replicars BV launched their own 1/43 scale range back in 2007 under the name Neo Scale Models. Since then they’ve produced only three Datsuns but all three are very welcome additions to the growing number of 1/43 scale Datsun miniatures. Best of all, Neo seem to be keen on producing models of the cars that others are unwilling to do. Whilst there are dozens of versions of the 240Z, the Skyline GT-R in various flavours and even quite a few 510’s, Neo has chosen the C230 Laurel, 910 Bluebird saloon and the less popular version of the S30, the 260Z 2+2. I suspect that this is the only 1/43 model of a C230 Laurel available, especially as a plain old four door rather than a hardtop. Likewise, it’s nice to see a 910 model that isn’t either a Turbo, SSS or a hardtop. All three models are also in European specification with left hand drive. The Laurel and 260Z each come in four different colours while the Bluebird is available in two.
Pitching the Datsun 510 at the flower power generation somehow seems incongruous but maybe that’s because to us the 510 seems less like a product of the 1960s and more like one of the 1970s. Regardless, it is a 60’s car so this ad from ’69 does just that, attempting to lure peace lovin’ hippies away from their VW Beetles with some added flowers and a neat set of Empi wheels, a favourite of VW fans. As with other early 510 ads, the car is curiously referred to as the “Datsun/2″…seemingly in reference to it being a 2 door.
It’s now two months since I prepared some samples of an assortment of rust preventative products and left them exposed to the elements. So far the winter has been reasonably mild with only maybe four or five frosty nights and not that much rain. I’ve only subjected the samples to a salt spray once at the beginning of December. It’s time to take a look and see how they are doing…