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.
Often, the facelifted saloon version of the 710 model is regarded as a bit of an ugly duckling with it’s notch back and squared off boot but I suspect that’s because most export versions, especially the Datsun 140J and 160J sold in Europe, didn’t get the big tail lights and smooth centre panel like Japanese domestic version, the Nissan Violet. They certainly look pretty good in this Japanese brochure, especially in SSS guise.
The SSS saloon wasn’t sold in Europe as far as I am aware. Like the SSS hardtop, it had independent rear suspension and the Violet SSS-E, got electronic fuel injection as well. Plus there were extras like electric mirrors and an awesome top loading cassette deck! 1976 (Showa 51) also saw the introduction of the Nissan Anti-Pollution System (NAPS) so the 1600 models came equipped with a catalytic converter and evaporative emission controls. These NAPS cars are usually designated as being a 711 model rather than 710.