Yes, yes, YES! Tasteful modifications are right up my alley and this? This is a tasteful modification right here. You guys remember the Porsche I wrote about? This is like that, but x1000.
You guys are looking at Dave’s 1971 Datsun 510 two-door. Believe it or not, he’s actually the second owner of this gem. When he bought it from a 70-year-old woman back in 1980, the car had been sitting for five years so seeing in such showroom-quality today shows Dave’s dedication to his 510.
Throughout the years, the little 510 saw a full, doors-off restoration with a new headliner, new seals, and nickel-plated brackets and bolts. If he took Demi Moore on another date in it, she would have loved it even more than before. Oh, I didn’t mention that? Let me backtrack then.
Back in the ’80s, sometime after he bought the car, Dave was a rafting guide on the American River. One day, actress Demi Moore showed up on one of their raft trips and she got on his raft. Now, this was during the time she was on “General Hospital”, before any of the movies that really made her famous. The stars aligned and he ended up taking her dancing that night. You go Dave!
Anyway back to the car. It’s that time of the article where I tell you about the mods on this car and looking at it, you can probably tell there are quite a few. Under the hood is an L18 engine, taking the place of the stock L16. It’s bored out to 1900cc courtesy of Rebello Racing and makes around 140 to 150 HP. Considering the car weighs around 2100 lbs, that’s pretty good. The L18 is fed by dual side draft carbs and backed up by a 5-speed manual transmission. The underside also got its share of love with a redone undercarriage, suspension, coilovers, and sway bars all thanks to Techno Toy Tuning.
Okay, I’ll talk about the elephant in the room. The marker lights! No just kidding, that paint job! That’s a three-tone paint job done by a local-ish shop called Datslocos. The green is Porsche Signal Green with Nissan Gray sides and dotted racing stripes. The paint job is accentuated by fiberglass quarter panels in front and fiberglass flares in the back. Funny story, when I went to the Sacramento Datsun Club meet to talk to Dan, his car was the first one I saw out of the entire parking lot. That’s how you know your car really stands out.
Also while we’re looking at the outside of the car, check out how well the LED headlights match the chrome line of the housing!
Pop the door and admire the carbon fiber door panel, handmade by Dave himself! He’s a pretty handy guy, isn’t he? The seats are straight out of a Hyundai Genesis and have been equipped with modern seatbelts to allow for the handbrake turns that Dave is very keen on. Controlling the Rays wheels is a Momo steering wheel and rollbars protect the driver should the car rollover.
All in all, I think this is a very well-modified car. Honestly, if you told me it came straight from Japan looking like this, I wouldn’t think twice about it. Everything looks period- correct, it’s all done right, and none of it looks out of the place on the car. Even though he wants a GT3RS (honestly, who doesn’t?), Dave plans to keep the car in the family. He has a lot of emotional attachment to the car and it turns heads even at exotic car shows. It truly is a unique Datsun and it sounds as good as it looks.
Big thanks to Dave for sharing the story of his awesome Datsun 510 with me and for keeping it in such good shape. I look forward to seeing it at future car shows! What do you guys think of the car? What do you like or dislike? Let us know in the comments below!