SEMA 2017: Into the Badlands star Daniel Wu’s Datsun 510

One of the standout cars at SEMA was a 1972 Datsun 510 sitting in the Toyo Tires Tread Pass section. Though owned by a celebrity — Into the Badlands star Daniel Wu — that’s hardly the most interesting thing about it. In a show full of carbon fiber excess and House of Kolor assaults on the senses, it was an honest, no-nonsense build in the five and dime tradition.

The first thing you notice about the car is its pale bluish-gray paint job. It’s a solid color that could almost have come stock on the car back in 1972; no pearl, flake, or look-at-me chameleon effect here. Sitting on classic RS Watanabes, 15×8 front and 15×9 rear and wrapped in Toyo R888R rubber, it has a mean stance buoyed by classic bolt-on flares. While chrome bits have been repainted, they appear to be in the same dark bronze of the Wats.

The car was built by 510 racer and guru Troy Ermish and features his custom suspension packages throughout. That includes Ermish’s custom CV kit for the independent rear suspension, a stage two coilover setup with adjustable dampers and camber and caster plates, as well as steering tie rods, tension control rods, and lower control arms that are fully adjustable. Ermish’s four-wheel disc brake kit, sway bars and 4-point roll cage complete the package.

While some sort of big-dollar resto-mod mill seems to be a prerequisite for most SEMA builds, there’s nothing quite like a classic L-series. It wears a simple black valve cover and nicely engraved elephant oil cap, hiding the real grunt of the 2.4-liter Rebello-built motor, which is said to develop 235 horsepower on 91-octane fuel.

The engine is fed by 44mm Mikuni side-draft carbs, with hydrocarbons exiting via an Ermish-designed header and mandrel-bent exhaust. Behind the block, power is delivered via a lightweight aluminum flywheel, competition clutch, and 5-speed transmission from an S130. A Nissan R200 4.11 limited-slip differential helps put it to the ground.

Inside, the steering wheel, shift knob and tachometer are classic bits from the  Datsun competition catalog. The odometer reads 93,350 miles but who knows if that’s accurate.

Much of the interior has been lightened for race duty. A custom door panel replaces the door handles with red pull-straps, and racing seats have been reupholstered with a classic houndstooth upholstery. The shop who designed it, BayDM, says it’s serial number 0001, meaning there could be more. Our only gripe is that it seems a fairly clean bone-stock example was used as the donor, and we hope future builds start with something a bit more far gone.

As with all great builds, the car was given a name, Tanto. In feudal times samurai carried two blades: the more popular sword known as the katana, and a shorter dagger-like companion blade called the tanto. That’s kind of the perfect name for a 510 – smaller than its 6-cylinder siblings but just as deadly a track weapon.

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29 Responses to SEMA 2017: Into the Badlands star Daniel Wu’s Datsun 510

  1. Ken said:

    One of Datsun’s best.

  2. BlitzPig said:

    Now that is one well done 510.

    Do want.

  3. Fifty5engineering said:

    My dream car.

  4. Khoua said:

    Wow. That is one beautiful car. Never knew Daniel Wu was into old school cars. Pretty cool!

    • MIKE said:

      Daniel is an undercover “GEARHEAD”, He 1st fell in love with the 510 when he was 14 when he got a ride in a hot rod’d one..hence making his teenage dream come true as you see what it is today=”TANTO”

  5. Riaan Jacobs said:

    Absolutely beautiful. Regards from South Africa

  6. Dave Patten said:

    “Our only gripe is that it seems a fairly clean bone-stock example was used as the donor, and we hope future builds start with something a bit more far gone.”

    Reproduction 510 body panels are now available to take a “more far gone” car to this level of finish.

    Datsun 510 Steel Parts Now Being Reproduced
    – Front Bumper and Brackets
    – Front Valance
    – Front Fenders, with or without marker openings
    – Hoods
    – Hood Hinges
    – Hood Prop Rods
    – Hood Latches
    – Rocker Panels
    – Door Skins, 4 Door, Rear only
    – Outer Rear Wheelhouses
    – Quarter Panels, 2 & 4 Door
    – Quarter Windows for 2 Door with glass
    – Rear Window to Trunk Filler
    – Trunk Gutters at Sides of Trunk Opening
    – Trunk Floor Drops
    – Tail Light Panel
    – Tail Light Trim
    – Rear Valance
    – Rear Bumpers and Brackets

    Dave Patten, FutoFab LLC

    • MIKE said:

      To be fair Dave and it shouldn’t be a gripe(everyone in the 510 community knows and is grateful for having you provide all the parts for them..thanks for making parts available replacement parts for the 510, but to be honest the stock sheet metal is thicker than your reproductions..hence why some tend to look for original fenders vs Futo Fabs. In the aftermarket..thank god there are vendors that exist to provide these replacement parts..but they need to be 100% truthful/honest to buyers in what they are getting..Same as such AMD..you can build a Camaro, Cuda…, out of a catalog..Yeah! right..have you ever tried to install these parts..lot’s of fitting and time involved to get them to where they need to be…shimming fenders and fitting aftermarket parts to fit is an art in itself and takes a lot of work to get them to fit like they suppose to. The parts of today are mass stamped( to keep cost down) AMD, FutoFab might get them close..but nothing is better than what came on the car…fit wise…example.. AMD promotes a build on Graveyard Cars..they put together the Cuda using their specialty equipment, knowledge and know how to do it..in which not all shops nor individuals have at their disposal to do the job right…and if you never done it..boy are in for some fun.
      Daniel, paid a little more for a cleaner 510 as a better foundation for the project he wanted to build, not that Troy, couldn’t do the rust or panel repairs, there’s was a time line for Sema 2017 in November and 6 months to do it.

      • Nick said:

        Where did you get your info on FutoFab metal being thinner? I just measured the thickness of a stock fender vs a FutoFab one and they were exactly the same.

        • MIKE said:

          Is your name Dave or the owner of Futo Fab?? Nick?? and besides..what gives Dave the right to come on here and put down a build by saying Oh! it should be built this way and that way..when it was clear..that He did not know or have all the true facts from the owner and the reasons why it was built the way it was. It was uncalled for. It was nice to see and it’s purpose to celebrate a build by a celebrity like Daniel Wu to show his down to earth side by just saying. I put my pants on like everyone else in the world. I don’t have to have a million dollar exotic to show off my success. People have their reasons for certains builds and so does Troy. It was wrong for Dave to post such a message..and was totally uncalled for. You are welcome to post the results of your findings Right here to prove your point, but it doesn’t change the fact what Dave posted..it is uncalled for ..and non relevant to what this post is really suppose to be about. Why don’t you take your measuring device and measure why that was done by Dave…, instead of a rude, unnecessary comment as such. You must be a Troll looking for attention

          • Darryl said:

            Dave was quoting the article, Mike. Your level of irritation is puzzling….

            Car is beautiful. Period. Glad he built it to this level, and shared it with us all.

  7. datsone said:

    When I was around 510’s, replacement parts mostly came from beaters and junkyard cars. That obviously has changed with these cars getting more fashionable.

  8. Jim Simspson said:

    The car is simply stunning, well done, and something to be proud of and enjoyed…

  9. Lokie said:

    Its a Nissan r200 differential not Subaru. Subaru doesnt comes with r200.

  10. MIKE said:

    Here it is straight from Daniel Wu, Local boy from the Bay Area. Bring his roots to reality..Congrats Daniel. Daniel traveled from his set in ireland just to go to Sema to see his new Teenage dream come true….https://www.garow.me/users/thatdanielwu/1543523847

  11. MIKE said:

    …Also credited with the build is “Sergio Edell”

  12. KiKiIchiBan said:

    A 510 in America still with an L series? Rocking horse shit. Glad they did it justice. Not a fan of that front lip spoiler but the rest looks spot on.

  13. Matchthebox said:

    Love the 510. I already collected a few replica of it. Hot Wheels have done it but if you want something more stock,M2 machine already released a few of them. Or if you are willing to spend, check out the Tomica limited vintage for realistic detail models.

  14. timmy201 said:

    “with hydrocarbons exiting via an Ermish-designed header and mandrel-bent exhaust”

    I’m not sure what you’re getting at here, but hydrocarbons are traditionally the part going into the engine (i.e. petrol/fuel/gas) along with air.

    Of the stuff coming out of the engine (the majority being Nitrogen, CO2 and water vapour) the hydrocarbons content it typically less than 1%.

  15. Ol' SHel' said:

    Nobody gets 510 rear flares correct. The original openings are lower than the front, giving the car a feel of acceleration. BMW and others understand this…

    …but no one with a sawzall does.

    • Fritz said:

      “The original openings are lower than the front, giving the car a feel of acceleration.”

      I actually appreciated that change and it was the very first thing I noticed – an overall more symmetrical profile.

      Honestly, it’s the one thing I’d love to change about my 510 (and my dad’s ’86 560sl for that matter). To me it looks like there’s 100lbs of sand bags in the trunk or something. This is even more obvious on lowered cars where a level 510 has the rear is tucked ~1″ and the front still has 1″ of exposed gap. When I do actually have stuff in the trunk the ‘feel of acceleration’ is even more exaggerated.

      Having said that I won’t change the arches because my 1/4 panels are stock and the 510’s value and recognition are a more significant with them in place.

  16. MIKE said:

    Daryl, it’s obvious you and Nick are either very good customers( get a pretty good discount for parts of Dave from Futo Fab..to come on here to to come to his defense for his disrespectful comment on this build. Dave WAS NOT QUOTING THE ARTICLE, You and Nick are delirious and speaking out of your ass. IT clearly says from Dave’s posting in quotations on the 1st sentence “OUR ONLY GRIPE… Since you and Nick are the only ones coming on here to defend Dave..Instead of Dave coming back to defend or explain why and what he said, and you removing your reply marker(you must have something to hide), so your comment can not be responded to ..only leads me to think and assume its to avoid taking responsibility for such a tasteless, useless comment..especially coming from a owner of a business..that is totally non professional nor called for… Daryl your level of irritations is self inflicted due to your ignorance. This article was to celebrate and compliment a build..not to criticize. If you have anything to be puzzled about it’s how you don’t recognize the bs you are shoveling. It’s easy to sit back and be a key board warrior/troll. If you have not nothing nice to say about someone’s nice build..get a life instead of trying to gain attention online in which you probably don’t have a life to deal with.This site is dedicated to Nostalgic Japanese Cars, very tasteful and knowledgeable,..does a good job to promote it..Seeing Negative comments like Dave’s, Nick and Daryl..DOES NOTHING TO HELP NOR CONTRIBUTE POSITIVELY. I’VE NEVER SEEN SUCH A NEGATIVE COMMENT ON THIS SITE.i WAS SOO SURPRISED TO SEE, ESPECIALLY FROM A OWNER OF AN AFTERMARKET BUSINESS..SUCH AS FUTO FAB…FROM DAVE TO GRIPE ABOUT SUCH A NICE BUILD..THE COMMENT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BUILD AND THEN TO LIST AND PROMOTE THE BUSINESS IS JUST PLAIN TACKY AND UNNECESSARY. DAVE HAS YET TO EXPLAIN WHY HE CAME HERE TO DO THAT..OR WHY HE WAS GRIPING ABOUT THE BUILD..WHEN IT SHOULD JUST SAY..”NICE BUILD”…NOT OH! HE SHOULD OF USED A MORE FAR GONE FOUNDATION..THEN TRY AND PROMOTE HIS BUSINESS BY LISTING PARTS AVAILABLE FROM HIM. THAT TO ME..TELLS ME THIS OWNER HAS NO CLASS AND OUT OF PLACE BY DOING SO. EVERYONE IN THE 510 COMMUNITY KNOWS ABOUT FUTO FAB. THERE IS NO NEED TO DO THAT..ESPECIALLY ON HERE AND TO DO THAT TO DANIEL WU, TROY ERMISH, AND ON NOSTALGIC JAPANESE CARS. IT SERVES NO POSITIVE PURPOSE OR ADDS CONSTRUCTIVELY . IN RETROSPECT…DARYL, SINCE YOU HAVE NOTHING POSITIVE TO CONTRIBUTE..YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS THE IRRITATION IN YOU PUZZLING WAY OF RESPONDING . GET A LIFE. CONTRIBUTE POSITIVELY TO THE SITE AND POST..IF NOT PUT YOU INDEX FINGER AND THUMB TOGETHER..RUB TOGETHER AND GO PLAY YOUR WORLDS SMALLEST VIOLIN TO YOU MOMMY..NOT HERE

    • Iceman said:

      Mike, your reading comprehension needs work. Dave’s comment is indeed quoting some of the text of the article, albeit slightly modified. He in no way criticized the build but instead simply provided information about parts availability.

      Your righteous indignation is in no way justified, either to the original comment of the other posters you have attacked. No one needs to be accused of collusion simply for pointing out your error.

      • MIKE said:

        ICEMAN YOU, NICK AND DARYL, AND YET DAVE FROM FUTO FAB HAVE YET TO ANSWER TO WHY HE DECIDED TO BASH A BUILDERS BUILD AND CHOOSE TO USE THIS POST AS A ADVERTISING PROMOTION FOR HIS BUSINESS AND BASHING THE BUILD WITH HIM SAYING..THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE IT THIS WAY AND WE HAVE PARTS AVAILABLE..DOESN’T MATTER HOW FANCY OF WORDS YOU USE..IT’S STILL PLAIN WRONG. ICEMAN, SINCE YOU THINK YOUR SO SOPHISTICATED IN USING SUCH FANCY WORDS YET HIDE BEHIND A SCREEN NAME “ICEMAN” TO POST AN INSULT, YET YOU LACK OF INTELLIGENCE TO INTERPRET WHAT DAVE HAS DONE IS JUST PLAIN TACKY AND NON PROFESSIONAL FROM A KNOWN 510 PARTS/BUSINESS OWNER. YOUR SOPHISTICATION OF WORDS DOESN’T MATCH YOUR INTELLIGENCE.. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT DAVE WROTE.. “Our only gripe is that it seems a fairly clean bone-stock example was used as the donor, and we hope future builds start with something a bit more far gone.” ( WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO WITH THE BUILD AT ALL???)IF THIS IS NOT MENT BY DAVE AT FUTO FAB TO CRITICIZE DANIEL WU AND TROY ERMISH..IT SURE SOUNDS LIKE IT. ITS NOT A NICE COMMENT FOR SUCH HARD WORK FOR TROY AND DANIEL TO PROVIDE A NOSTALGIC VEHICLE BACK ON THE ROAD. ICEMAN..DOESN’T MATTER HOW YOU WORD IT..ITS STILL WRONG AND THIS WAS NOT THE PLACE FOR WHOM DAVE SHOULD HAVE POSTED WHAT HE DID. HE HAS YET TO COME BACK HERE TO OFFER A REASON WHY HE POSTED WHAT HE DID. NICK, DARYL, AND ICEMAN ARE PROBABLY GOOD FRIENDS OF DAVE’S FROM FURO FAB. INSTEAD OF DAVE..OWNING UP TO HIS INAPPROPRIATE POST..HE SENDS HIS BUDDIES TO DO SO. IT STILL DOESN’T CHANGE WHAT IS POSTED BY BY HIM AND EVERYONE IN PLAIN SITE CAN SEE EXACTLY WHAT HE DID..DESPITE THE FACT HOW YOU(ICEMAN) TRY AND SHIFT THE FOCUS AND BLAME TOWARDS ME..WHEN INDEED DAVE IS THE CAUSE OF ALL OF THIS AND HAS YET TO ANSWER HIMSELF..WHY HE DID AND SAID. THIS SITE IS MENT TO CELEBRATE/HONOR THE CLASSIC IMPORT CARS. BEN HAS DONE A GREAT JOB IN DOING SO AND GOES TO GREAT LENGTHS TO GET ALL THE FACTS STRAIGHT AND TRUE. ALL THESE CARS IN THE PAST HAVE NOT BEEN GIVEN CREDIT IN THIS COUNTRY…FOR SUCH WELL BUILD AND DESIGNED VEHICLES. AMERICANS ..GOT BUTT HURT BECAUSE THEY ARE LAZY AND REFUSED TO BUILD A BETTER CAR AND INVEST THE TIME AND EFFORT TO DO SO. IT’S JUST THAT GOOD ENUFF ATTITUDE..THAT’S IS WHY ON A STREET BLOCK..THERE IS OVER 90% IMPORTS VS AN AMERICAN CAR. THAT EXAMPLE IN ITSELF SPEAKS FOR ITSELF. SAME FACT WHEN THE IMPORTS WERE OUT SELLING THE AMERICANS..THEY GOT BUTT HURT AGAIN AND TRIED TO IMPOSE UNNECESSARY IMPORT TAXING MAKING IT MORE DIFFICULT TO GET THE CARS OVER HERE. TO KEEP A LONG STORY SHORT..YOUR ATTITUDES( DAVE, NICK DARYL AND ICEMAN) ALL REFLECT THIS SAME SUCH AMERICAN ATTITUDE. DON’T WANT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE REAL TRUTH IS..TRY TO TURN THE TABLES AND SHIFT THE BLAME..YET SHOULD BE FOCUS WHAT IS TRULY THE FAULT AT HAND…DAVE PATTAN. POOR CHOICE OF WORDS AND POSTING. BE A MAN AND OWN UP TO IT AND CLEAN IT UP OR ERASE IT. IT IS NOT A NICE COMMENT AND TO TRY AND PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS ON TOP IF IT IS JUST PLAIN WRONG..PERIOD. IT IS DISRESPECTFUL TO TROY ERMISH AND DANIEL WU. FOR THEIR HARD WORK AND DEDICATION TO WHAT THEY TRULY LOVE…COMPREHEND THAT ICEMAN..YOU TRY AND MAKE YOURSELF SOUND INTELLIGENT BUT STILL LACK THE SIMPLE COMPREHENSION AND RECOGNITION IN WHAT DAVE PATTEN IS DOING HERE IS WRONG AND INAPPROPRIATE. A SIMPLE NICE BUILD WILL BE SUFFICE. NOT..HEY! YOU SHOULD HAVE USED A TRASHED OUT 510..GO BUY OUR PARTS SO THAT WE CAN PROFIT FROM IT AND GET OUT NAME ON THE BUILD TO FURTHER PROMOTE OUR BUSINESS…SHOW IT OFF AT SEMA WITH OUR NAME, USE DANIEL WU’S CELEBRITY STATUS TO SAY,.. HEY HE USED FUTO FAB PARTS,,SO EVERYONE SHOULD JUMP ON THE FUTO FAB BOAT..BECAUSE ITS ON DANIEL WU’S CAR. WHEN IN FACT DANIEL HAD HIS OWN REASON AND TROY HAD A TIME LINE TO MEET. ICEMANE, DON’T TRY AND SHIFT THE FOCUS AND BLAME TO ME BECAUSE I CHOOSE TO POINT IT. ITS STILL WRONG FOR DAVE OF FUTO FAB TO DO THAT..DOESNT MATTER HOW MANY OF YOU COME OUT THE WOOD WORK TO TRY AND SHIFT THE BLAME TO ME..UNLESS DAVES COME BACK ON HERE TO CLARIFY OR OWN UP TO WHAT HE SAID AND DID. SO TO PUT AN END TO ALL THIS AND ALL WHO WANT TO JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON..I CALL OUT DAVE FROM FUTO FAB TO EXPLAIN/CLARIFY WHY AND WHAT HE DID AND SAID. OTHERWISE IT STANDS AS A POOR WAY TO PROMOTE A BUSINESS

  17. Darryl said:

    Mike. Seriously, take a breath. Re-read to original posting. In the original text, between the pictures of the interior (from the passenger side, looking at the steering wheel), and the last one (driver’s side, partial front), the quoted statement comes from the JNC author.

    We, who you have ACCUSED (capitalization intended as a comedic effect) of defending Mr. Patten, are doing nothing more than informing you of your error. Nothing more. I can’t speak for Nick or Iceman, but I personally do not have any of Mr. Patten’s products, although I was aware of his offerings to our community. That’s seems very hard for you to accept, but I can’t help you there.

    Please re-read my original response to you. For you to interpret that as coming from someone who needs attention because I “have no life/am a troll” etc, only justifies the statement that “your reading comprehension needs some work”.

    See how that works? I’ve quoted Iceman’s post.

    Your ALL CAPS (i.e. Yelling) replies only hurt your position. It appears you, sir, are the one craving attention.

    To the original JNC author, please help Mike with this. We all love this car. To think ‘we’ are crapping on this build or disrespecting its owner or builders is ludicrous. It gives us something to strive for with our own project.

    Darryl, OUT.

    Cheers.

    • MIKE said:

      DARYL, DO WHAT YOUR MAMA SAY’S IF YOU GOT NOTHING NICE TO SAY KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, AS FOR DAVE PATTON OF FUTO FAB..IF BEEN A WEEK AND NO RESPONSE NOR REASON FOR WHAT HE HAS POSTED..SO ITS STANDS AS IT IS. HE IS WRONG. FOR POSTING A “GRIPE COMMENT ABOUT A NICE CAR BUILT BY TROY ERMISH AND DANIEL WU. SO NO MATTER WHAT YOU TRY AND DO NOR SAY DARYL, AND SHIFT THE FOCUS TO ME..IT, STILL STANDS AS IS. CAPP THAT DARYL!! YOU BRITS ARE ALL ABOUT YOUR SNOBBY SELFS. GET A LIFE, TROLL UNTIL DAVE COMES BACK TO POST WHY..THEN GO PUT YOUR THUMB AND INDEX FINGER, RUB TOGETHER AND GO PLAY YOUR WORLDS SMALLEST VIOLIN IN YOUR OWN PATHETIC WORLD

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