Sam Witwicky’s Datsun 510 in Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon

Last year a Datsun 510 sedan with twin black racing stripes and a “Bee-yotch” air freshener was spotted filming in Milwaukee for Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon. Immediately, speculation began that one of the star robots, Bumblebee, had disguised himself as a Bluebird. We just got out of an advance screening of the movie and we have answers. Warning: spoilers ahead.


  • Firstly, the Datsun is not Bumblebee. It’s not an Autobot. It’s just a regular car that does not transform into 10,000 randomly twitching pieces.
  • As the film opens, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) has graduated from college and is looking for a job. The benevolent Autobots are jetting around the world on various missions for the US government, leaving Sam on his own. We are supposed to find this sad.
  • With Bumblebee away, Sam’s only mode of transportation is the aforementioned Datsun 510, a project car that Sam clearly loves. Sam continuously refers to it as “a collector’s item,” much to the chagrin of his parents (who call it a piece of shit) and a hot girl who is not Megan Fox.
  • The running gag is that the Datsun, with patches of rust and primer, mismatched slot mags and Rotas, never starts.
  • There’s a rich jerk who seems to be horning in on Not Megan Fox, and he collects super expensive cars like Bugattis and Delahayes. Sam feels emasculated because he has a Datsun that doesn’t start.
  • Sam learns some important news about the evil Decepticons, and he must break into the top secret Autobot hangar with his Datto. The soldiers at the entrance don’t know Sam, think he’s just a nutty kid, and stop him. One of them slaps the Datsun, inciting Sam to yell “This is a collector’s item!” once again.
  • As Sam tries to force his way into the hanger, a set of stanchions pops up from the ground and puts the ass end of the 510 sky high. That is the last we see of the car, except for a millisecond of it back in Sam’s garage later in the movie. But it’s never used in any scene again. This is about one quarter of the way through the movie.
  • Then a bunch of computer-generated robots blow stuff up, the corniest dialogue this side of Cybertron is uttered, major characters you’re supposed to care about die in slow motion with dramatic music swelling even though you fail to care at all, robots throw each other through plot holes so big you could drive Optimus Prime through ’em and glamorous set pieces held together by the thinnest strands of story, NASCAR-themed robots speaking in Aussie and Scottish accents show up for no reason, and the good guys save the day, The End.

So at first we thought, “Hey, that’s great! They’re calling the 510 a collector’s item!” But as the movie dragged on, it became clear that they were playing up Sam’s devotion to his car — and the idea it could be considered a collector’s item — for laughs.

But perhaps we were being a bit too sensitive. So I asked my date, a non-enthusiast third party observer, how she thought they represented Sam’s car. To which she replied, “A piece of shit.” Coincidentally, those were exactly my thoughts about the movie itself.

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20 Responses to Sam Witwicky’s Datsun 510 in Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon

  1. Brownie says:

    Sounds like another 2-hour patriotic car commercial flying right into our faces…wasn’t this series a japanese idea back in the 80s?

  2. cesariojpn says:

    Stop raping my childhood Micheal Bay.

  3. Jim-Bob says:

    Sounds like a typical Michael Bay picture- lots and lots of CGI but no plot or character development other than cliches.Also, I hate the way filmmakers seem to find the need to destroy several examples of a cherished classic every time they make a movie. Couldn’t they just destroy a bland modern appliance car instead? I could comment on the fact that the Autobots are now co-opted as a special force for the US government and the moral ambiguity of US foreign policy as of late but I will hold my tongue on that one.

  4. Drive510 says:

    Well at least Shai was excited about it. I’m still kind of glad it wasn’t over glamorized. It’s hard enough to find parts as it is already without Shai fans now wanting to own a 510.

  5. Camshaft says:

    If your Datsun dosen’t start, you’re doing something seriously wrong. If you’re Michael Bay and you’re attemptinmg to make another movie, you’re doing something seriously wrong.

  6. Tyler says:

    I can just hear the old daily driver Bluebirds continuing to be crushed because their owners think no one cares. Gahhh

  7. qwik510 says:

    Thanks for saving me from wasting my time and money.

  8. indy510 says:

    I think George Lucas directed the last 20mins. . . . I was waiting to see the Ewok party and another honarary medal at the end

    At least I know what to do when I’m sliding down a glass building 1,000 ft off the ground… . . “shoot the glass”

    How can you say major characters die??? … . . seems like everyone ended up just fine and ready for the next movie

    I kinda felt like I was watching Power Rangers in 3D .. .. . dorky kid who can’t even throw a punch wins the fight and gets the girl

    while his giant robot friends destroy the city only to defeat the “bad guys”.. . and save the world yet again,,, , I didn’t see that one coming

    • Ben says:

      Ironhide, Wheeljack and Soundwave died. I don’t know if they are major characters in this franchise but they were in the original. But to the point of not caring/investing in characters, I didn’t even know who the latter two were until I looked it up.

  9. TyFc3s says:

    this movie got me thinking “id rather have a 510 then ANY GM product, EVER!” especially any camaro……. anyway i came home and spent the last 2 hrs looking up 510s on craigslist….

  10. ewokracing says:

    Michael Bay… may you die from angry otters nibbling on your genitals.

  11. dmg1979 says:

    I saw the movie last week. I didn’t like the fact that they used the 510 for comic relief, but I have to salute them for giving it so much valuable screen time. I kind of got sick seeing the hero kicking his car when it didn’t start. I can’t think of any owner/enthusiast in their right mind that would do that.

    PS. I slept through the last 45 minutes of the movie.

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