1981 Datsun 510 1.6 from North America


A reliable, but weak car


The handle to the car window broke off when I shut the car. Also, the rear-view mirror had to be super-glued back on. The seats are torn, the handle to open the gas tank is broken so I use the key. The highlights won't stay on.

General Comments:

This car is funny. It has no power (under 100, 97 I think) and is very heavy (3100 lbs.). It is very reliable though, but uses a lot of gas. It also doesn't have power steering, but that gives me a good workout.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th October, 2003

1981 Datsun 510 2.0 from North America


Extremely reliable


Head gasket replaced at around 200k miles (ended up nothing being wrong with it)

General Comments:

Just received this car from my father. The car I pretty much grew up in. He bought it in around 1984 for $1300 and he just gave it to me (to save gas) as my go to work car. In 344,000 miles it's had 2 clutches and a head gasket (which ended up being fine anyway). This car is the most unbelievable vehicle. It's got some rust and isn't the most beautiful thing, but I can't find anything on this 81' on the net. Thought I could find a few body parts and make the "rust" go away. My father would get a kick out of it if it were "made new" again. A/C even blows cold today.. What a car. Not another one for sale in the nation on Trader online...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th September, 2003

19th Aug 2004, 01:27

I agree I can't find any parts on this car as well. i need body parts. any luck in your search.

9th Mar 2005, 23:02

I too have the 1981 Datsun 510. However, my vehicle is going down the slide and I need to restore it to excellent conditions. I can get exterior parts for my car, but interior parts are difficult to find. I need an instrument panel cover, the one you can install the stereo AM/FM. But this is plastic and it's broken by the original owner of the vehicle before I acquired. I went from one place to another even in junkyard, but many of them have broken covers as well. :(

I can't believe why someone never take good care of 1981 Datsun 510. Dual-plug engine vehicle is so easy to take care of.

10th Mar 2005, 16:45

The reason most, if not all, Datsun 510's tbat you find in junkyards will have broken dash panels, is that it was impossible to put an aftermarket stereo in place of the original radio unless you cut the part of the dash over the radio. Since the factory am/fm radio was pretty crappy, most owners replaced it with something better. I once owned an '81 510 back in the early '80's whose previous owner had cut the dash to put in a replacement radio/cassette. It did not look too bad with the faceplate that came with the radio on it though.

If you have not had to replace the head gasket on yours, you will soon. Weak point on these cars.

10th Jun 2005, 09:38

I used to have a 81 Datsun 510 that I gave to a junkyard in Manassas VA. Some of the interior parts were in good condition, but the outside had rust everywhere. Ran like a champ. Unbelievable car. Email is tommyniles1979@yahoo.com if you need more info.

1972 Datsun 510 GL boss 302 from North America


The best I've ever driven


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