I had purchased a 1970, 2000 roadster in 1976. It was the most incredibly fun car to drive.
Later that year I headed down to Arizona, the hwy. was 89 or something, the middle of nowhere- flat & straight. I had my foot buried on the pedal, about 134 mph. All of a sudden, the engine quits. I still can't believe to this day, it happened @ a place called "Ray's last stand". It wasn't until I bought the latest "Bad Company" album, desolation angels, that when I opened the cover, there was a picture of Ray's last stand. That old tow truck had towed me the 200 yards to Ray's. I've got to say, Ray was a very decent person. He looked @ my roadster, said "nice car" it's vapor locked. He put 3 wooden clothes pins on the fuel line... & away I went. Now prior to that, we did shoot a game of pool & have a couple of frosty brews.
Kate & I have just restoring a 1969 Datsun 2000 Roadster... & it is... Sweet!
My father bought his first roadster, a 68 1600, in 1970. He drove it for years and it became my car in 1986. It still only has 64,000 miles on it. It's always been a fun car and gets plenty of attention.
Last summer I purchased a 69 2000. The increase in power from 96 to 135 hp and in torque from 103 to 140 is amazing. Although I drive both cars, I prefer the 2000 because I can still keep up with newer cars. In its day, the 2000 was considered pretty quick but it's not compared to today's cars.
It is easy to work on and parts are available on ebay and through independent vendors. You can even find some parts from you local Nissan dealer. Many roadster owners replace their engines (especially 1600's) with newer Nissan KA24DE or SR20DE or SR20DET engines for the increased power, reliability, and smooth idle that comes from fuel injection, turbos, and electronic ignition (now available for the older engines). These conversions can easily do 0-60 sprints of 6 seconds in an 1890 lb car, but exceed the capabilities of the chassis and leaf springs (in other words... hang on).
I love these cars, and am always thrilled when I can work on them and actually fix them.
I bought my 69 Fairlady 2000 in the early 90's. We loved that car so much, that we'd drive it up the interstate from Utah to Wyoming in the snow with the top down! What a blast!
Blew the motor when the timing chain bracket holder got loose, and got caught by the timing chain, throwing the timing and knocking a hole in the valve cover guide. I was seeing dollar signs, and made the mistake of turning it over to a kid to rebuild the motor, fix up the body and paint the car. Terrible mistake! Got the motor back in pieces, and the paint job sucks.
It has been in storage for 14 years now... strongly thinking about replacing the motor with an SR20DE; almost just a swap out from what I've read. But I've always wanted to flair the rear fenders and add wider rims and tires (with stock body have very narrow tires as you know). I also have the hard top and rag top for this baby.
Question I have is why didn't you consider doing this swap rather than to an American motor?