In the 3 years I had this car, nothing major went wrong with it. My Grandfather willed me this car, and he was the original owner, bought it new in 1968 for $2400 CDN. He did replace the tires once (4), and other maintenance items like brakes, tune-ups etc. He did repaint the car in 1981, because of bad oxidation, and even kept the ugly light green colour!
When I had the car I only had to get the (original) radio working again (loose wire). I did not have the car long enough to experience any big troubles, but people I know who own them report excellent reliability.
As a teenager, of course I abused this car, it was indestructable!
It had the 1600 OHC, 4-speed manual, and solid axle (being a wagon), and was great fun to drive, outrunning then current-model cars to the surprise of their drivers. (My 510 with 3 friends and myself beat an '86 Corolla SR-5 with just the driver in it, for example).
But the curse of rust had taken its toll over the years, and one day I was making a low-speed left turn when the car started to only go straight. The front wheels were crabbed in opposite directions because a welded front suspension member had rotted away, resulting in a tumble into a ditch. I was okay, but the 510 would not drive again.
I sold it to a friend of mine in high school for $100 - he had a '69 510 sedan which he needed and engine for - so in a way it still lives on.
A great car for its time and becoming a classic. Even 12 years later, I would buy another if I could find one with minimal rust. Anyone looking at one should check for rust around any structural or suspension components, or it could end all your fun like it did with me.
The engines are tough, as is the rest of the driveline, even the automatics. And the styling is nice, clean and simple, sort of like a bite-sized Chevy Impala.
Any year of the 510 of the '68 to '73 body series is a good car, and in my opinion, best looking of the 510's.