Cars like the hakosuka and kenmeri Skyline GT-Rs, the Fairlady Z432, Cosmo Sport and Toyota 2000GT have already hit prices that we bitter, long-time JNCers can no longer afford. What’s the next ship we should jump on before it leaves port?
What’s the next blue chip JNC?
What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “What’s the greatest nostalgic Nissan?”
There were as many great comments this week as there are great Nissans. John M waxed nostalgic about the kenmeri Skyline, ahja made a strong case for the Datsun 240Z, Tom Westmacott had us searching craigslist for S13s, Daniel made an impassioned argument for the DR30, Chris Tonn went off script with the Datsun B210, while cesariojpn evoked a fictional car altogether with the Super Z from Seibu Keisatsu. In the end, however, it was Dutch 1960 that won the week with his ode to the Datsun 510.
Beans and Brian nailed it, but I am going to throw a twist on their arguments. The 510 is the “Deuce Coupe” of Japanese cars in the USA. The ’32 Ford introduced Americans to budget, dependable V8 cars, and the ’32s were everywhere later on, for second cars, used as commuter beaters, and for the kids and the hot rodders. The Deuce was not the most capable, reliable or comfortable car, as technology and reliability moved fast in those days. But it could be fitted with a variety of power plants and drive lines, and could be equally at home as a boulevard cruiser, race car, dragster, or custom. They were cheap and widely available for decades, then the supply dried up, but they were still revered, as an icon in the history of modified and rodded cars. Stock examples are now almost nonexistent, except for those still rusting in barns or behind a fence somewhere. Now, substitute the 510 for the Deuce, and a twin Webered OHC four for the V8, and there you go. The story is almost exactly the same. The 510 was not the first or the best, the fastest, most beautiful, or the most comfortable. But it was the first universally desired and widely popular cheap Japanese modified cruiser/racer on these American shores. And John Morton’s BRE Trans-Am car was icing on the cake, just in case the 510 cruisers and racers needed something specific to aspire to. The BRE-built car defined a particular look, with Libres, a front air dam and suspension kit, a hunkered down body with a bit of negative camber all around, and the tri-color paint job if you want it. A marriage of Japanese and American, giving the world a unique and timeless interpretation of the Nissan “sky-box” look, that is recognized anywhere in the world. Not the best work Nissan ever did, even back in the day, but it was the one that put Nissan, and Japanese cars generally, “on the map”, at least here in the U.S.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!