5k: Yellow Submarine: 1978 Datsun 510 Wagon

The Datsun 510 (known as the Bluebird outside the US & Canada) was the Japanese equivalent of the BMW 2002 from parent company Nissan.  Like the 2002, they were built by the boatload, rusted instantly when exposed to moisture and languished in a price range that put them just inches from the crusher for decades.  Recently, the 2-door sedan model (particularly the SSS) has seen some ludicrous asking prices which reminds us of the market the Tii – another victim of being too cool for its original production numbers.  This doesn’t mean you should abandon hope and start driving Corollas, because the 510 is still a great bargain as long as you don’t fall for the fanfare and bright lights, just pickup an original and cheap example from someplace like Canada.  Find this 1978 Datsun 510 Wagon for sale in Vancouver, BC for $5,000 Canadian Dollars ($4,557 USD at time of printing) via ebay.

The original 510 was gone from North America in 1973, but in 1978 the Nissan Violet/Stanza 710 was rebadged as the 510 and sold to unsuspecting ‘Mericans.  Purists claim that the 710 is a piece of junk compared to the original 510, but both were not exactly paradigms of motoring virtue.  Frankly when searching for any 510 the first thing you find is a boatload of stanced, engine-less, bondo’d, airbagged, piles of parts…so…510/710…potAEto…potAhto.

The 1977 510 was powered by an enlarged version of Nissans L-series 4-banger, now displacing 2.0 liters and making 110 horsepower (a small jump in power and torque over the original purist’s 510 L18).  This engine is stock, but it is just a few side draft carbs with velocity stacks away from sucking dirt and rocks into the intake.  Damn those things look sooooo much sweeter under the hood than the stock Star Trek saucer filter, but you gotta really ask yourself if the juice is worth the squeeze before you start down the path of unfiltered (and non beachwood aged) air.

This 510 wagon is the nicest one this 70’s crap-can neophyte has ever seen, and the seller has owned it since 1985 when bought it from the original owner.  The seller critically notes that he bought it from the original owner “just prior” to his passing away, so this should be free from ghosts/haunts/spooks.

See a better lemon yellow wagon?  tips@dailyturismo.com