One of our proudest accomplishments for the inaugural Nissan Jam was the ability to gather a truly diverse set of rare Nissans that you can’t see anywhere else. In Part 01 we looked at the SoCal Standards, stalwart machines that no Nissan show would be complete without. In Part 02, we’ll visit the rarest gems that filled the venue, and — this is how spoiled we are in SoCal — that doesn’t include the hakosuka Skylines.
Don’t get us wrong, a proper C10 is still a sight to see, and in any other part of the country it’d be sure to cause JNCers paroxysms of joy. A half dozen hakos lined up in a row is even more awe-inspiring, like a formation of samurai ready for battle, but this installment is about cars that, if we’re lucky, we might see only one of at any given gathering.
Salvador Alegria‘s 1966 Datsun 520 is a beautifully done resto-mod powered by a race-spec A14 motor with Weber 40mm sidedrafts. Lowered a good four inches all around, we actually don’t mind the 17-inch wheels, though we can’t help but wonder if it would look even sexier on a set of fifteens. We’d probably do without some of the more modern touches like the projector lights too, but hey, everything matches.
David Moreno‘s 1976 710 was the cleaner of the two at the show, with eighties-style blacked out trim and racing mirrors. It had the dreaded interior-panel-cut-for speaker mod, but it was still refreshing to see some love for a non-510 or Z Datsun.
Quite a few 240SXs populated Nissan Jam, but there was only one genuine RHD Silvia. Michael Senato‘s 1993 Art Force sported a set of very 90s Veilside Andrew V wheels but was otherwise clean and stock-bodied, just the way we like it.
Another workhorse that somehow survived 40 years without being pounded into scrap metal was Raymond Medeiros‘ 1972 Datsun 521. Though it’s been swapped with a 2.3 liter motor, 5-speed and a Wilwood big brake kit, the body appears to be wonderfully original in that trademark shade of sixties Datsun pale green, thus winning it the Best Truck award.
Despite being Pininfarina designed, the Datsun 411 is largely considered an ugly duckling among the Datsun world, especially in Japan. But it is rare, and this was as fine an example as any of Nissan on the cusp of entry into the modern age.
The owners of Connell Nissan of Costa Mesa, our show’s venue, are enthusiasts themselves. Their mint green Datsun 210, a previous JCCS “Best in Show” winner, is probably one of the finest examples in the states. Usually there’s a brand new GT-R parked next to it in the showroom, a mind-boggling reminder of how far Nissan has come.
When you think Datsun B210, it’s usually the atomic cockroach hatchback that pops into your mind’s eye. That’s probably why we liked Enrique Elias‘s 1978 B210 coupe. We dig the look he’s going for too — JDM bumpers, front lip and black Wats on a nice drop — the proper Japanese kyuusha style you’d see at a show in western Honshu.
As you know I’m a sucker for wagons, and Josue Elias‘s 1973 610 is exactly the type of car I’d be bombing around in if I didn’t already own a longroof Cressida. Josue’s goon won the Best Early Datsun award (a category that included all the #10 chassis Nissans except the 510).
For all the readers who think we’re biased against front-wheel-drive cars, we say take a gander at this magnificent Datsun 310 GX! We loved this thing.
We can’t even remember the last time we saw a first-gen Pulsar, either in the metal or in photos, and this one was an amazingly well kept survivor. It’s a tragedy that the owner was a day-of-show comer and thus ineligible for a trophy. Personally, I’d lose the paint-scratching roof rack and keep everything else as is. Gorgeous, gorgeous, car.
Mark Duncan‘s RHD 1971 Nissan Sunny 1200 is one of the cleanest B110s we’ve ever seen. It was already in very nice condition before, but Mark’s given it a thorough OCD detailing and it shows.
A sedan from Japan. Joshua Leach‘s 1972 Bluebird is a genuine RHD import from the motherland, which he daily drives, despite having a stock motor and 4-speed linked to a 4.11 rear end. Its drop comes courtesy of Nissan Competition coils and low-ridin’ 13-inch Techno Phantoms.
One car you never, ever see amongst a sea of slammed Nissans is the rough and tough Patrol. Audrey Reese‘s 1967 was a beautifully restored example of Nissan’s answer to the Toyota FJ40. Sadly, despite having Roy Rogers as a spokesman these never quite caught on like the Land Cruisers. They have dedicated followings in other parts of the world, but remain rare in the US.
Ron Sino-Cruz‘s 1991 Nissan President is likely the only one of its kind in the US. The long-wheelbase VIP car based on the Cima/Infiniti Q45 was dressed to the nines an Admiration body kit and bright red paint. It’s also among the last Japanese sedans to have a raised hood ornament. It’s probably also the only President to be converted to LHD, a process likely made possible using parts from Infiniti’s original Q-ship.
Ryan Romaine‘s 1974 Bluebird-U SSS-E is the only one of its kind in the US. These 610 variants were produced only during the first five months of 1974, so it’s a rare car even in Japan. Aside from a coilover kit and some 15-inch Wats, it’s all stock and has less than 48,000 kilometers on the clock.
Not surprisingly, Ryan won the JDM class at the show, but we were stoked to learn that he had also won Best in Show according to fans of NISMO USA. We would’ve bet good money on NISMO’s fan base choosing a 370Z or something equally unripe, but in fact the top three vote getters were all nostalgics — Ryan’s 610, followed by Paul Bischoff’s and Eric Auburg’s hakosuka Skylines. Proof, once again, that old school rules.