MOTORSPORT: The Reincarnation of Lady Blue

Balboa Datsun 610 Lady Blue 01

Anyone who grew up drooling over the Datsun Motorsports catalog knows the original Lady Blue. Going along with the topic of resurrection this week, it appears that she’s been reincarnated and the azure 1973 Datsun 610 spotted last Sunday. 

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This last weekend was the Spring Club event of the Historic Motor Sports Association, held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The car was seen mingling with the crew of Datsun collector and comedian Adam Carolla.

Balboa Datsun 610 Lady Blue 02

The original Blue Lady was built by the Balboa Racing Team circa 1973, where Pat Daily campaigned it in the SCCA B-Sedan class against greats like Dave Frellsen, Bob Sharp, and other racing luminaries of the time.

Although Brock Racing Enterprises was the most well known of the west coast Datsun race teams, back in the day LA and San Diego and the area in between were a hotbed of Nissan motorsports activity.

Balboa Datsun 610 Lady Blue 03

The team was backed by the Balboa Datsun dealership, located in National City, California near San Diego. Today it’s known as Mossy Nissan along the National City mile of cars. The original Blue Lady was sold in 1976 and totaled by the new owner at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

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The reborn car was built by Les Cannaday of Classic Datsun Motorsports. The owner is a Los Angeles based attorney who wanted a vintage Datsun sedan, no expense spared. Les and the customer settled on a homage to the Blue Lady.

Balboa Datsun 610 Lady Blue reborn01

The engine is an L20B and it races in the Vintage Sedan Race Group. Les barely finished assembly on Saturday morning, but they were able to conduct nine shakedown laps. The flares and many body parts are made out of fiberglass and Les is now selling all the fiberglass parts for the 610 for others who want to recreate their own B-Sedan 610s.

Balboa Datsun 610 Lady Blue reborn02

The world of classic Nissans can be very 510-centric, but it appears that the 610 is gaining momentum and having its racing provenance recognized by collectors. There are a total of two other 610 B-Sedan cars racing now including Adam Carolla’s. They plan on bringing Lady Blue to the Coronado Historics as well as other California tracks this year. B-sedan racing peaked in early 2000’s but now Les and others are trying to revive it again.

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19 Responses to MOTORSPORT: The Reincarnation of Lady Blue

  1. Nigel says:

    I see a B110 in in that last photo.
    Great to know to know somebody has made a replica of this famous 610.

  2. Pete240z says:

    Nice!

  3. Dutch 1960 says:

    “Grandma, is that really you?”

    Mmmmmm, the ’70’s, loved it when the girls at my high school (just a few minutes drive from the National City Mile of Cars) would dress up like that.

    The Daily family owned the Balboa Datsun dealership. They sponsored some good looking off-road Datsun pickup racing trucks, too.

  4. Dutch 1960 says:

    Balboa also did some small runs of “Balboa Racing Team” special editions, usually B210’s, with the rocker panel stripes, fancy wheels, and other dealer installed options. They were all over South Bay San Diego for a few years.

  5. InZane240 says:

    Very Cool. Nice to see the attention being given to these forgotten classics.

  6. mister k says:

    carolla vid on his 610 racer for those who haven’t seen it

  7. Tyler says:

    “Les is now selling all the fiberglass parts for the 610 for others who want to recreate their own B-Sedan 610s.”

    Although I hope original cars will stay original, it is great to hear that cool parts like that are being made available. Give it a year before someone tucks some flush barrels under those flares.

  8. alveen says:

    wow…love to see the 610 back..i have been saving mine [altogether 10 in my collection right now]…proudly boasting to be the only large collector of 610 in british columbia here.

  9. Darryl says:

    You know Carolla has the Bob Sharp 610, right? Thumped it a year or so ago at an event. Have you guys done a feature on him? Been to his shop? You need to be a guest on his CarCast.

  10. Kathy says:

    Les and his crew did a wonderful job in recreating “Lady Blue” it brought tears to me today when i saw in person. I was shaking so bad it was hard to take a picture.

    Dad is greatly missed in the racing world.

  11. Bill Swan says:

    More history on Lady Blue if anyone is interested. Who built it, ho tested it, who the blond is sitting on Pat’s car, etc.

  12. Kevin Hess says:

    A long time ago I had the opportunity to work on Lady Blue when Pat was driving. I was merely the helper and gopher doing any odd job that needed to be done. Find memories of Holtville Aerodrome raceway. And Pat clowning around. Riverside raceway when the car raced in SCCA race and IMSA race on the same weekend. That was a well prepared race car and Pat was always easy going

  13. Dan Hicks says:

    I recently dug up a bunch of old 16mm film footage of the original Lady Blue, shot at Riverside in 1977: https://youtu.be/fye8zeJ-8xs

    (sorry for the ebay watermark- the film itself is currently for auction)

  14. DWAYNE MALSOM says:

    Kathy, hi, my name is Dwayne Malsom, I live in a small town in western Kansas, (Ellis) . Anyway, wanted to let you know that I got out of the Navy in 1969 from Naval air station, Imperial Beach. calif. Shortly after that, I got a job at Balboa Datsun when it was located in Chula Vista, I went to work there as a mechanic, working mostly in the lower shop that was located kind of to the rear of the dealership kind of like on a lower level as best I can remember. Anyway, I was the first person as far as I know that helped build, (mostly built), a SCCA race car for your dad, Pat. It was a 1600 roadster sports car kind of like a MGB. I remember it was red,white and blue. Seems like the fenders were white and the hood and trunk were blue. I dont remember the car number anymore, but He had a friend, Lanny? that I also helped build a car for. We used to race at riverside, phoenix, laguna seca, and ontario too I believe. I only worked there a few years and then had to move up north to Martinez and eventually back home to Kansas to help out my father with his farm equipment dealership. I remember also like I helped him or Lanny build a 510 sedan that we raced in the “b sedan class” . I remember the 1600 was racing in the “f production class”. Man, that has been a long time ago, but I know back in those days we worked with Pete Brock from Brock Racing from El Segundo, up by LA. I know we hauled our motors up there a coupla times to put them on his dyno as we didn’t have one there in Chula Vista. Just came across Pats obit today. I know it has been a long time ago but I felt I just needed to let you know how much fun I had helping your dad in his early racing days. It was a blast and he was a really good guy !! Here was this nobody from western Kansas building race cars for this Car dealer in California !! LOL !! You have to understand that the town I grew up in only had around 100 residents and there were only 12 of us in my senior class!! Your grandpa, Bob was still at the dealership at that time too. He was a tough ol guy but he even smiled sometimes, not sure how he felt about his sons racing adventures but he never shut us down. LOL !! My dad also raced back in the 50s, but that was stock car racing on 1/2 mile oval dirt tracks, He collected 37 trophys in his career. Hope you found this interesting, take care, Dwayne

    • Kathy Ray says:

      Hi Dwayne, omg thanks for the walk down memory lane. It’s nice to read that dad is still remembered after all these years. Those were the best days.
      I only remember a few names from the old CV lot, since I was just a young kid running around the lot. But your mention of gr.pa was spot on his nickname was pappa bear. He was tough but a fair understanding boss. I sure miss the company picnics and baseball games sales vs mechanics steak for the winners and beans for the lossers.

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