(Adam Browne’s second Kids CC post.) Me (on the roof) with my brother and sister (and Juno the dog) washing the family Datsun in August 1970, near Vancouver.
It was a 1968 Datsun 1600 (the 510 badge wasn’t used in Canada for another couple of years) which replaced our previous Morris Minor convertible. I actually remember going to pick it up from the dealer and being very impressed that the reversing lights actually worked. Hey, I was six years old and we’d only had old cars until that point.
The area where we lived was countryside at that time and only just starting to become suburbia. We had a long driveway at the end of a gravel road, and since I was crazy about cars from infancy, my father taught me to drive when I was 10. Until we moved away a few years later, I’d always drive the gravel part of any journey.
For a couple of years it was our only car, so it carried our family of five plus the Newfoundland dog in the picture. You’ve never lived until you’re in the back seat with your face in the flank of a large dog who’s having a wonderful day because she’s been swimming in the lake and now gets to hang her head out of the window.
Unfortunately, this was the first year of production and there were problems – it rusted quickly, the fuel filter kept clogging, etc – so in 1973 it was traded in on my father’s prized Rover 2000TC.
Ive spent some miles in some of these and the B pillar shake on rough gravel roads is quite scary, Datsun 1600s go ok for what they are but yeah rust eats them alive and very very few remain alive here.
“B pillar shake on rough gravel roads is quite scary”
Inquiring minds want to know: WHO looks at the B-pillar when driving??????
(Big, big 510 fan here)
A glance in the sideview mirror is enough also riding in the back gives you a great view of the body shake in one of these, I might add those were extreme roads not your ordinary gravel surface.
I remember back in mid 80s my dad hit one of these from back with his 77 Peugeot 504,the car was jammed from trunk to back seat.totally destroyed the Datsun&we drove away with only slight damage to the bumper&left headlight.(chrome European bumpers ofcourse)
From a Morris Minor to a Datsun 1600?! You must have thought you had landed on a different planet.
Yeah. It had reversing lights!!!!
Some years later I came across a bunch of car brochures in the storage room. If they’re to be trusted, my parents also considered a Hillman Imp and Fiat 1500, among others I can’t remember now.
When we got the Datsun, our other car was the ultimate 50s-mobile: a 1959 Dodge station wagon with tailfins, push-button automatic, and two-tone paintwork: salmon pink and metallic bronze. The Datsun was indeed modern by comparison.
I’m thinking, “From a Morris Minor to a Datsun 1600 to a Rover 2000TC? That’s somebody who doesn’t believe in driving four wheeled appliances.”
The Datsun and Minor are both appliances, but they have personality and if Pulp Fiction taught us nothing else it is that “personality goes a long way”. Now the Imp was also supposed to be an appliance but was designed by enthusiasts including Ferrari grand prix racer Mike Parkes, so I think the Datsun was a wise choice!
I don’t remember seeing any of these as a kid,the C pillar and rear roof look a lot like the Mk2 Cortina.
Also the Hillman Hunter.
The Datsun 1600 is probably the most-rallied car in Australia thanks to parts from other Datsuns being bolt-in upgrades, body strength itself not too relevant as you have a cage to reinforce it. I remember coming across a roof & pillars being stored by a rally guy as a ‘spare part’ as a hedge against body damage. They are starting to run out now at least in terms of ‘new’ rally cars being built, too few donor cars left.
I’d forgotten about the Hunter,I always thought it looked a bit like the Mark 2 Cortina. and remember thinking it looked very old fashioned when the Mark 3 Cortina and the FE Vauxhall Victor came out
hunter arrow was a great car(compare to other 60s cars)that 1725cc engine was tough as nails.kind of like 4cyl version of Chrysler slant6.no wonder it stayed in production in iran for several decades.
Adam, you look like an intensely determined professional detailer in this photo!
I used to reach that part of the roof by standing on the rear tyre
A great car. The “poor man’s” BMW at the time. Early independent suspension for the Japanese. It is a sought after car now, if found rust free. Many collectors like to modify these cars, but rust is usually the issue.
Wow great period photo, gotta love those old Datsun’s..they are becoming rare in Australia
Were would one ever find a rust free sample ? .
Even in Los Angeles or the Mojave Desert these rusted like Chevy Vegas .