The Honda F20C engine from an AP1 S2000 is a modern marvel in mass production internal combustion engines. It employed an array of bespoke racing technology to obliterate similar sized naturally aspirated engines in power density and is known to last well into the 200k miles with minimal issues. The S2000 roadsters have dropped to a price point where a good crash will cause the car to get parted out, allowing all manner of plasma torch wielding mad scientists to use their greasy bits for transplants. Find this 1972 Datsun 510 w/F20C and 6-spd for sale in Raleigh, NC currently bidding on ebay for $8,000 with a 4 days to go.
The Datsun 510 Bluebird was the Japanese equivalent to the BMW 2002, a lightweight opening fight to heavyweight brawl that is the modern G35 coupe vs BMW 3-series. We think the 510 market is just starting to get its legs after a long winter of affordability and are starting to see some of the nicer stock examples appreciate with 2002/1600 prices, but it is interesting to see what happens with a highly modified example like this one.
The F20C 2.0 liter inline4 from an AP1 S2000 is a remarkable piece of engineering. It eschews convention at every step of the way, with a timing chain/gear driven DOHC, a fiber reinforced alloy block, roller guided camshafts, molybdenum disulfide coated piston skirts — all of this techno-babble building to a crescendo of 9000 rpm and Formula 1 engine matching 5000 ft/min mean piston speeds. When new the F20C put out 240 horsepower and 153ft-lbs of torque, but this seller claims 300 wheel-hp, a considerable jump without the use of forced induction. Most S2ks with an intake/exhaust/tuning claim to be able to put 250hp to the pavement, so we assume the seller means 300 flywheel hp. Regardless, with the S2000 6-spd transmission and a 3.7 LSD out back, this 2200 lb shoebox will scoot when you give it the boot.
The sellers icloud photo stream has many additional photos included and shows a working S2000 cluster integrated into the 510 dash – but it could use some cleanup and finishing touches, maybe a trim piece to frame the bezel. But this isn’t a show car, this is a driver, a real Daily Turismo, and aside from removing the head-bashing rollcage, we’d just drive this thing as is.
Bottom line, if you are in the market for a modified classic, this redcrested Bluebird looks like a lightweight S2000 with a rear seat and no CA smog test requirements…what’s not to love?
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