Here’s a photo of a 1969 Datsun 510 race car I’ve been meaning to post up for a while now. It isn’t simply that it’s a cool action shot, but more so that I just LOVE the Datsun 510.
The Datsun 510 is arguably the coolest shape to come out of Datsun in the late 60’s and early 70’s with the possible exception being the classic Z cars. The 510 was also called the Datsun 1600 outside North America.
This particular generation Datsun 510 was produced between ’68 to ’73. Some rightfully compare the body lines to that of the BMW 2002. Personally, it reminds me much more of an Italian car than a German car. Think Alfa Romeo GTV, GTA and the like. The particular race car in this photo from Coronado Speed Festival runs a 1814cc engine.
Datsun 510s from this era are highly sought after. The few examples one usually finds for sale are often pretty ratty – sometimes rusted through. Reason being, those that have the good ones don’t sell them. Thanks to the rarity and high desirability of this era’s Datsun 510, seeing them in action in a race circuit is pretty awesome.
This wasn’t the only Datsun 510 race car charging the Naval Air Station North Island’s airfield track. There were at least 7 510s from the 1968 thru 1973 era racing in Group Two for the 1953-1966 production cars under 2000cc class. Pretty darn cool. Notice the car is from 1969 and the class reads 1953 thru 1966 production cars. That’s not a typo — Or at least not in this article. That’s exactly how the race program read. Don’t ask me why.