Curbside Outtake: Datsun 510 Wagon – True Blue

It’s been a while since I’ve run into a Datsun 510, although I know there’s a couple of them still around. So here’s a chance to renew our loving feelings to one of the better things that Japan ever sent this way, even if the wagon had a solid rear axle.

The eager SOHC 1.6 L engine was as good as it got back then, backed by a slick-shifting transmission. The 510 became something of cult object almost from the get-go, and that accelerated in later years, until the cult become huge. Of course that’s now mostly played out, but there’s still plenty of 510 love to go around.

Just don’t end up with an automatic one, which blunted the fun very considerably. This orange ball looks ideal to optimize the shifting experience.

Yes, the back seat is tight, especially with today’s preferred laid-back front seat habit. But then these were quite small cars; much smaller than anything comparable sold today.

Keep on trespassing, little 510.


My love letter to the 510 is here