SoCal Roadsters Toy Drive @ Datsun Heritage Museum

The SoCal Roasters Owners Club held their annual charity toy drive at the Datsun Heritage Museum last weekend. We’re always looking for an excuse to head down to the DHM, so Dan and I hopped into the Toyota and away we went (we really need a Datsun one of these days).

Ron Carter‘s race-prepped Datsun Sports 2000 Roadster greeted us at the door. This car is a true race machine in every sense of the word. Look for an upcoming feature on it.

This poor roadster was caught in an Arizona barn fire. Amazingly, it still runs. More amazingly, owner Ron Dickson drove it all the way from the Copper State.

Up close, a hardened pool of melted lead shows the effects of the blaze while still holding the car together. Its vanity plate reads “BURN VIC” and it took home the “Diamond in the Rough” award.

The show was open to any pre-1978 Datsuns (sorry, S130s!). Slotted mags and chrome bumper bars were popular mods in the 240Z‘s heyday and we’ve seen of S30s decked out that way. However, dipping said mags in gloss black gives the car a whole new look.

Remember the old Nissan commercials? Dogs loooove trucks! We can’t blame Fido’s for loving a little red Datsun 320.

The 510 Goon Squad and their unconventional hood props.

Old Japanese work trucks — overloaded with landscaping equipment and one faulty relay away from scrappage — still trundle down southern California highways by the boatload, but rarely do they appear at a car show. Despite the accoutrements of a hard knock life, this Datsun 521 pickup seems unusually straight and can probably serve another 20 years of hard labor.

John Frampton‘s black beauty won Best in Show. Low-windshield 2000s are the most desirable and rarest of the Roadsters due to their clean looks and lack of emission equipment.

They also boast vintage-look flat dashboards, safety be damned. Few nostalgics are more amenable to making you feel like you’re piloting a WWII biplane.

If you weren’t happy with the judging, take it up with the legend himself, John Morton, who tallied up the points along with SpeedTV’s Jamie Howe. It was a mini BRE reunion of sorts, with former teammates John Knepp and Don Devendorf.

The trio waxed nostalgic next to Ron Carter’s faithful replica of Morton’s old race car. A car just like this put the Datsun 240Z in the history books with SCCA C-Production championships in 1970 and 1971.

Don Devendorf signed diecast models of his 1982 IMSA GTO-winning Datsun 280ZX Turbo.

Most importantly, boxes bound for a southern California children’s hospital overflowed with toys.


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3 Responses to SoCal Roadsters Toy Drive @ Datsun Heritage Museum

  1. Nigel said:

    I go to watch a fair number of auto cross events and the “Z’s” always represent.
    Thanks for the picks it is starting to get cold up here. (3 deg C. in the AM.)
    (Z’s warm the heart.)

  2. Tony L said:

    Very nice. Thanks for the pics. I need to make a pilgrimage out to the museum someday.

  3. Dan said:

    Tony – You’ve definitely got to get out there ASAP! =D

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