1972 Datsun 510 GL boss 302

Summary:

The best I've ever driven

Faults:

Well first the transmission droped then the thermostat blew and finally the radiator.

General Comments:

My car has new Honda prelude seats, they are the best seats you'll find in any Datsun I've ever seen and comfortable to. I've also installed a much better engine a boss 302 in stead of the 1800 I had for the first 700,000mi. The car has great handling and a great two door frame and body. my car runs the quarter in 10.7 and Max's out at about 150mph.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th July, 2003

1968 Datsun 510 pl-510 Wagon 1.6 OHC

Summary:

A classic Japanese car if there ever was one

Faults:

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.

General Comments:

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.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2001

12th Aug 2004, 21:22

As a teenager I too.. had a '68 510 wagon. It was one tough little car. I abused it for 3 years, when I was 16 to 19 years of age.. It never let me down. I had to replace the clutch once. Also, it would lock up in 4th gear. So, I drove it for the last year I owned it using only the first 3 gears. It would do over 80 mph in 3rd gear and probably more. The engine never let me down. I would just keep winding. 1600 cc OHC. 96 H.P. I have a lot of memories of that car. It was originally Light Blue when I got the car. Get this! I painted it Mo-par Crazy Purple. I was a terror to the highway the way I drove it. Everyone called it the purple people eater (from the song). That was 1971 when I first got the 510. I drove it for my last 2 and a half years of high school. It was my first car and the one I will always remember. I actually drove it to my senior prom with my date. Most didn't think it was a very cool car. Of course, that was the muscle car days. I traded the car after graduation in 1973. If I could find another in good condition, I would buy it. I have been looking, but I cannot find one.

Thanks for your article. I didn't know there was another person like me that loved the '68 510 wagon.

Ronnie.

9th Nov 2004, 22:41

I would like to hear comments from other '68 510 wagon owners.

Ronnie.

1981 Datsun 510 5 door hatchback 2.0L 4 cylinder 5 speed

Summary:

Indestructible - forgotten model

Faults:

Almost nothing went wrong...

Brake pads changed, and that's about it!

General Comments:

It's 100% original... from paint to mechanic, absolutely NO rust, kept in the garage 6 months each year (WINTERS in Qu├ębec are DESTRUCTIVE). Even the A/C works!

Believe me, that car drives and looks like new - it's so beautiful!!! Around here, cars hardly last more than 10 years... So my 510 is quite original and even GIRLS like it :)

RWD or nothing else (4X4???)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th January, 2001

23rd Jan 2007, 23:33

I agree also. I inherited a 1980 Datsun 510 Hatchback. I'm only a teen so I took it out in the dirt and tore the crap out of it!!! AND ITS STILL GOING!!! with the original 1952cc motor and original matching numbered parts its one of the hardest cars to kill!!! but I just wish it would have a bigger engine lol.

28th Jul 2007, 01:03

I comment on myself for a good reason. I recently was hit in the front by some drunk on the freeway. Now, living in California where even the old people do 85 on these freeways, the only thing besides body damage on my car was that the radiator cap came off. Besides the nasty dent in the front, the car is fine!!! I could use new gaskets though, the ones I have on there are the original from when the car was made lol!!!