QotW: What’s your dream Datsun 510 build?


Yesterday was May 10, or as those of us in countries that still use “inches” and “Fahrenheits” to measure things, 510 Day. The Datsun 510 is one of the most iconic Japanese classics, comes in a variety of body styles, and is one of the most easily modifiable platforms around with a host of engine, suspension and styling options. The possibilities are endless.

What’s your dream Datsun 510 build?

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 JNC is so ugly it’s cute?” 

155_Subaru BRAT 1978_Subaru BRAT

Strong and hilariously worded cases were made by Yuri for the Kenmeri Skyline Van, and by Taro for the Honda City, but when it came down to witty rejoinders the winner of the week was Funky Monkey‘s take on the Subaru BRAT:

The 1978 Subaru BRAT takes my vote. It was Japan’s automotive interpretation of the mullet; Leone-like business in the front, Chicken-Tax evading jump seat party in the back. Its Joe Dirt charm and practicality grows on you after a while. Plus, who doesn’t love acronyms?


Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

JNC Decal smash

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16 Responses to QotW: What’s your dream Datsun 510 build?

  1. jivecom says:

    I have two. One, a coupe (not the common 2-door saloon) on some Longchamps, probably in a metallic brown. Mostly stock.

    The other, which is not really fit for JNC, is a wagon with some kind of massive-turbo 4cyl in the middle. I don’t have kids so why waste space?

  2. Will B. says:

    IMO the best 510 builds are from the guys over at ratsun, where they dont hide rust, they present it. The rusty 510 idea has been around for a long time, and the argument can be made that the ratsun community were the first to put japanese war flags on cars. they definitely aren’t stock, but they aren’t track machines either; they are just good all around cruisers, almost a piece of art more than a utilitarian vehicle. Thats what makes a ratsun so satisfying; what was once an unassuming, boring looking, and otherwise non artistic car is turned into a rolling canvas for anything and everything graffiti

  3. Nakazoto says:

    My dream 510 build is one that’s pretty similar to this one:

    That sound is absolutely to die for! I would pretty much do the exact same engine swap only keep the interior much closer to stock and paint the exterior a nice deep blue. Then I would drive the wheels off it everyday!

  4. Dylan says:

    My dream 510 would be a 2 door coupe with a B18 swap, styled in a similar fashion to American pro touring cars. Very simple, stock looking exterior and interior, with a small, high revving Honda motor and a 5 speed; it’s the perfect engine for such a small car. I’d build it similar to the one Nori Miyamoto from Common Snapper built a year or two ago.

  5. Ah Wai says:

    My dream 510 Build is simple(although i own a datsun violet,nevermind):I wanna keep everything simple.Must be 100% Four Door,For family and friends ,L series engine L16 or L20 also can,no fancy engine swap like KA or RB engine,try to keep every engine component as original as possible But i would like to modified and upgrade my 510 suspension and transmission into well balance and fun ride cars.The exterior design would be similar as jay leno friends 510 datsun,with front skirt and Libre Wheels,not blue color but clean metallic black silver.I wish i having this cars,if im old, i will taking my wife(if i married XD ) having a morning breakfast outside,driving this cars and enjoy every single time we have(i saw an old couple his husband driving a clean datsun 1100,i wish i have his life one day 🙂 ;D Simple as that~~

  6. Dankan says:

    My dream 510 would be a 4-door, with a simple, bumper-less body in a light robin’s egg blue. I’d like to use the best possible suspension I could find (probably the Multimatic DSSV dampers) and some strong brakes. I’d love to throw in a full F20C drivetrain to give it some extra go, and then have the whole affair roll on a set of dark bronze Watanabes (yes, they’re a boring, conventional choice. I don’t care, they look stunning).

    It wouldn’t have to be the fastest, or most extreme of cars. Just a quick, practical family sports sedan. I think that was the idea of the 510 in the first place.

  7. RandyWanger says:

    My dream Datsun 510 would be a JDM Bluebird SSS Coupe with some race history, a bit like the one in my garage, just with less rust and a working engine.

  8. Yoda says:

    4 door sedan, stock-appearing except for Wats (silver, not black) and a mild drop (probably not more than 1″), preferably a period-specific color – the Creamsicle orange with off-white interior’s my favorite. Living in the Northeast it doesn’t take much to make a 510 stand out, but keeping it off the road in the winter is necessary to make it last.

  9. cesariojpn says:

    A Weekend Garage Sale Mobile.

    The 510 would be perfect: It’s small, lightweight, has space for many things, and maybe with some suspension upgrades, can handle a fair amount of weight. Coupled with with how many garage sales are (on streets that wouldn’t let a schoolbus pass, people parking in weird ways, etc.) it would be perfect.

  10. indy510 says:

    My dream 510 involves a time machine, traveling back to 2011, and throwing away all my sawzall blades.

  11. ACSK says:

    Mine would be a shakotan 4-door sedan; brown with a hint of olive drab paint (maybe some fine gold metallic flake mixed in), Rusty Slammington’s wheels… and of course I’d be dragging a tsurikawa behind my car!

  12. Matt H says:

    I think about this all the time.. Providing my skill level and bank account were much higher than they are now, I’d like to take my 70 to the next level. Stock fenders, a darker Metallic grey paint job, a black BRE spoiler and the rear tail light panel insert painted black to match, 14×7/8 Watanabes in bronze, Hakosuka style fender mirrors, pretty slammed, coilovers all around, 280zx front brakes, black interior, 240z vented bucket seats and a 240z wood steering wheel, and to top it off (even though I could go on forever), the OS Giken twin cam L-series motor!

  13. Mikhail CJPR says:

    Light Blue 1971 4 door sedan with original paint. Nardi wheel, decent front seats – retrimmed to look factory. All Datsport running gear, R180LSD, 14x6in steelies, lowered 40mm. L20b stroker with a KADE head with ITBs. 6 speed CR Gearbox. Rack and pinion conversion. Aircon, power steering, cruise control.

  14. M 1abrams says:

    My dream 510 is the one in my garage that’s been awaiting completion for the last 10 years. My VG30, 4dr ’71 SSS 1600 (Belgium import) had been relegated to the lower end of my priorities list (below spending time with my son; girlfriend; job; and my 2jz gte x73 Cressida that I’m always upgrading. Maybe if winters in Canada weren’t so damn long too, I’d get more work done. Sigh…

  15. blue72 says:

    Okay, I have one 2 door that I’m already building with dreams of an eventual SR20 swap (already have some parts, just not the engine and trans). That one will look mostly stock from the outside, finished in its original Kasumi green, and lowered tastefully with polished 14″ jelly bean slots tucked in the original fender lines.

    The 510 build I really want to do would start with a roached shell. I’d gut absolutely everything, including the floors, firewall, all suspension, etc….. From there I’d build a full tube chassis / integrated cage configuration that the door jambs, trunk support, and roof bolt to. The fenders, boot lid, hood, chin spoiler, etc…. would be lightweight composite. Now, for the interesting drivetrain bits. My goal would be to keep the stock ride height, because this thing is to be build like a modern day rally car. Small, powerful, turbo’d I4, a racing bang box, AWD and loads of suspension travel.

    Can you imagine pulling off Ken Block levels of hoonage in a 510 skinned car? If I did it right, to the casual observer it’d just look like a mostly stock 510. Stock ride height, tasteful paint, tires a little wider than original, but it spits flames and spins all four wheels under acceleration.

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