(first posted 6/13/2011) The endless overuse of any given manufacturer’s styling “DNA” has finally subsided, but the reality is what it is: every maker tries to coddle and nurture an unmistakable design language for their brand, and for good reason. Few have succeeded as superbly as Audi, whose current styling theme is still deeply rooted in the 5000/100 of 1982. Certainly, when a brand is down on its heels, like Cadillac was before it reinvented itself with its Arts and Science look, it may be the right and best strategy to take a bold new direction.
How about the other extreme, of a maker suddenly tossing out all the glowing brand equity a highly successful model has just cultivated? It would be hard to find a better/worse example as Nissan in 1974. On the heels of its highly successful boxy and edgy 510, it launched a successor that couldn’t be more different. And Datsun was never quite the same again.
It appears that Japan was not immune to the effects of the Great Brougham Epoch, which sent it s ripples of influence across the globe from America. Europe was relatively more resistant, although not wholly so, especially in places like England. But in Japan, the GBE was practically a tsunami, as we saw in the 1978 Corona with its vinyl top and other affectations.
But at least with Toyota, the styling changes were a bit more incremental, although Toyota had some wild stylistic flings too in the seventies. But Datsun? It seems as if one day all the whole design department was fired, and a bunch of kids hanging out Ginza were rounded up and sent to take their place. That’s a bit fanciful, but actually quite close to the truth.
The fact was that Japan was finally coming into its own in terms of an indigenous design school. Let’s not forget that most Japanese cars of the sixties were designed by, or with input from the top European design houses or designers. Pininfarina was very involved with the new Corona of 1964 as well as designing the Datsun 510 predecessor, the 410 (above); and Bertone was responsible for the lovely Mazda Luce. But by the 1970 or so, Japan was ready to express itself, and like a kid given the drafting table and crayons. And the results were a bit uneven, but highly memorable.
And Datsun was the most drastic of the bunch. The 610 had zilch in common with the 510 (CC here), except of course under the skin. It was an enlarged platform, but with all of the key components that made the 510 so brilliant and successful: the L-Series OHC four, and the semi-trailing arm IRS. But it was a substantially larger and heavier car, which was of course inevitable.
But the target for the 610 had changed too; it was now being billed as The Luxury Datsun, one dangerously small step away from a Brougham indeed. It was part of a strategy to expand Datsun upmarket, which of course just about everyone does/did. Consider the 610 the first Infiniti.
And the 510’s true replacement came a year or so later, in the form of the 710 (above). Unfortunately, the 710 was missing the 510’s goodies, and came off highly pedestrian. The typical Datsun workhorse, but not a budget BMW 2002. And the 610 didn’t come off the slightest bit BMW-esque either, although it was a reasonably competent handling car.
But it was set up for an altogether different mission: to capture the sweet spot of the American markets, where the profits ran as thick as a juicy Porterhouse steak: American mid-sized buyers who suddenly were spooked by the energy crisis.In that regard, the 610’s arrival in 1974 was as perfect as its styling was imperfect.
Typically, I speak from an example of one, but I don’t think it’s unrepresentative. In 1974, my “boss”, an urbane director of the new Performing Arts Center at the University of Iowa traded in his silver 1971 or 1972 “fat-boy” Cougar for a yellow 610 coupe. The Cougar’s interior may have been a bit tacky, but it was decidedly plusher than the Luxury Datsun.
‘Nuff said; it was another one of so many million notches in the decline of Detroit. A few years then made all the difference: one day it was still cool to drive an American car, the next day it wasn’t. The whole thing was like a slow-motion tsunami that swept the country from California, although not exactly in a perfectly linear fashion.
Of course, the 610’s timing also had its downsides. By 1974, the emission regs were like an ever-tightening noose, and the 510’s sparkling engine was now a downright dullard, along with just about everything else. Can’t really blame it. I believe the early versions came with the 1800 cc engine, but that was soon enlarged to 2000 ccs to try to keep some semblance of perkiness. It didn’t work. The 510’s 1600 cc engine could whistle; the de-smogged 2000 had a touch od palpable torque , but like the rest of the industry, revs above 5000 rpm were now as illicit as LSD.
As quirky and different as the 610 looked, it has its fans. Actually, I have a real soft spot for seventies Japanese design, and the 610 coupe, with a bit of cleaning up, is really quite a nice example of the breed. And it evokes so many wild Nissans to come, like the Skyline. The four door sedan: not so much so. But even it looks sober compared to the psychedelic F-10.
Of course, we all know that Datsun got cold feet along with the cold shoulder it was feeling, and within a few years it was desperately aping the old 510’s boxy looks with the neo-510 (CC here). Datsun’s decades’ long identity crisis started with this 610, and ended…well, eventually; but not before it almost went belly up.
ALL the aprentices at the power station I worked at seemed to buy these called here a 180B I can remember towing many home with blown head gaskets a problem datsun kept having into the late 80s they were terrible cars prone to rust. There was an attempt to make a SSS hotrod version like the 1200cc model but it didnt succeed the 710 was called the 200B ie a 180 wiyh 20 more mistakes absolutely awful cars out here The boxy 1600 was a great car good rally car etc but that was the last good one from then on Datsuns were crap
The mid 1970’s are simply my very least favorite years of automotive styling, and here we are with more fuel for the fire. I can count on one hand the number of cars from this era I would actually own, and this ain’t one of them.
I remember reading years ago about some famous person (pretty sure it was Paul Newman) who used to race Datsun 510s, and at about the same time I had also read how the 510 was a great car and was cool and blah blah, having no clue what a 510 was. Because I had no idea what a 510 looked like, I assumed it looked like one of these puffy-looking 610 turds. Paul Newman would NOT have raced one of these dorkmobiles, of this I was sure! Where the 510 was cool and trim (and Newman-worthy) this 610 is fat and frumpy. I just didn’t know at the time Datsun made a cool car before they made this 610.
This CC and the ’67 Thunderbird CC from the other day have really made me think a lot about styling again. It is easy for us car guys to look back to some point in time and say “what were they thinking??” But stylists have to predict what will sell years in advance, make it buildable for a reasonable cost, and certainly 1000 other things we all overlook.
It’s a miracle we aren’t all driving The Homer.
Actually Paul the direct ancestor of this 610 is not the boxy 1600 510 its really the 140j Violet which was made earlier and shares many styling cues did NA not get that one, if you see the 2 of them you will see what I mean I think it was a UK model but NZ got em
The 140 Violet was the 710. The 710 came after the 610.
I had a case of car lust for the 610 Coupe, or as it was called in Australia, the 180B SSS. My lust was unrequited. I ended up getting a 1967 510, or Datsun 1600 as we knew it. Mine was completely stock, right down to the cross-ply tires that handled poorly in the wet, no radio, no heater/fan/A/C or demister, vinyl flooring.
You got a better car Davo than the 180 these were good and even though the body wobbled like a jelly at 120km on a cattle grid were quite well made 3 of us drove a 1600 all over far Norty Qld in 85 including up the cape trib road it didnt like that though the car was stuffed at the end of the trip and was dumped in Cairns
Something I wonder about affectations like vinyl tops on Japanese cars of the seventies is how much it presaged a shift in the way the cars were actually sold. In the sixties and early seventies, they tended to be imported as fully equipped models, with commonly ordered accessories rolled into the purchase price as a buyer enticement. While that had obvious appeal for customers (and as a side effect, helped to facilitate more consistent assembly quality), I imagine it wasn’t terribly appealing to dealers once sales began to climb. If you’re struggling to establish a brand, you may be happy to take all the business you can get, but options tended to be where dealers made a lot of their profit. If you limit factory options — as Honda still does — dealers have to resort to adding their own accessories, which can be profitable, but requires additional labor for installation, additional overhead, etc. Aside from creeping Brougham-ness, the obvious appeal of vinyl tops and other cosmetic options is that they give dealers a straightforward opportunity for upselling.
Once the Voluntary Restraint Agreement was enacted in the early eighties, limiting the maximum number of cars each Japanese automaker could import, the Japanese started ladling on the appearance groups and special editions, stuff like the first 810 Maxima and the Honda Accord SE, to pump up per-car profit margins. However — without doing a lot of research into factory vs. dealer options from that era — it seems like that was a trend that began a few years before the VRA, although the latter certainly accelerated it.
In 1973, my father purchased a Toyota Corrolla S-5 (the five speed model WITHOUT the big tires and fender flares). As delivered, the car included dealer installed vinyl top and metal/vinyl side trim.
Ironically, when I acquired the car in 1980, the rust worm had avoided most of the body, but the vinyl roof and door rub strips were both severly sun burned and faded. Even worse, the pop rivets holding all the accesory trim on board provided entry points for most of the rust on the car.
So long story short- In Denver, Colorado, the Toyota dealer began furiously installing this dreck in the early sevenites.
One look at this car and all I can see is a 73 Plymouth Satellite. Coupe or sedan, take your pick. Even though I am a Mopar fan, the 73 Satellite sedan was not a good car to copy. The Sebring coupe wasn’t bad, but this Datsun does not have the length to make it work.
I have a soft spot for Datsuns. As much as I love the 510, my dislike for this one is just as strong.
That little yellow car up there does appear to have a little Satellite to it, I’m kinda seeing a mini Maverick too.
I always loved the looks of these cars to be honest. It’s like a pocket sized muscle car. The really sad(or good thing) about the whole design change is that BMW obviously thought the 510 looked good enough to be launched again in 1982 as the E30 3-series, and then sold 3-4 millions of them in 10 years… 😉
A guy my dad worked with loved the 610, so much he restored them in his spare time(at one point he may have had as many as 10 cars in his yard!). This was in 1985/86.
It was a bit sad that by the time these cars were only 10 years old Illinois winters had pracitcally made them extinct.
I spent several years in Japan and I can contribute something to the discussion. I even speak the language fairly well so I can say with a fair amount of accuracy that the way Japanese view the world is, ahem, rather different than the way middle-aged Caucasian men do. Same went for the 610…
What Japanese see as good styling we may not. In this era, the Japanese were still (for the most part) focused on their home market and styled their products accordingly. It’s kind of hard to explain without having actually experienced it yourself, but the Japanese world view is very different than ours. Hence, weird stuff like the 610. I am sure the 610 was a hit in Japan, which at the time was looking for more style as their economy boomed. Eventually, Japanese styling go so way-out, they had to open design studios is the USA to style the cars sold here in a manner than North Americans would actually want to buy. Pretty smart move, too, judging by the results.
All car buffs need to take a trip to Japan to see what is on the road. More than half the cars are white. Japanese love white, thinking it is “pure” and this will lower the incidence of accidents. Toyota reigns supreme in Japan, for the exact reasons auto journalist-hacks deride them here: Japanese want a conservative, comfortable, reliable product.
I hope that I don’t get flamed by mad because the way that I can relate to this issue is more of a result of my several years living in Japan.
Your comments are spot on. I ran a bit short of time last night to discuss this issue in more depth, so thanks for the addition.
Excellent comment. The Japanese aren’t alone in wanting conservative, comfortable, reliable product. Maybe that’s why they sell so many cars all over the globe. You’d think a few others would have caught onto this idea after all these years.
White is popular in the Southwest, probably for a very different reason: No 1st-degree burns when touching a car parked in 110° heat. Thus, while we loved the shade of metallic blue Honda offered on the Civic, one touch convinced me to get white instead. And solid colors are more durable, too.
I’m not convinced the Japanese were merely aping American styling in the ’70s, at least not completely. Consider this: Detroit presumably was consistent with its design language in designing its subcompacts, which look nothing like contemporary Japanese models supposedly patterned after larger American cars.
Instead, the often strange angles & trim suggest Pachinko to me. Is there such a thing as Japanese Baroque?
I dont need to go to Japan to see the incrediblly diverse range of Jappas NZ has had a thriving used import industry fo many years On returning from Aussie it was amazing whats on the road over her from Japan all sorts of strange looking and strangly named vehicles all fully loaded and very cheap to buy once used again JDM spec cars leave a lot to be desired in the drivability stakes though their roadholding is appalling they ride on very soft suspensions and vey skinny tyres handling on NZs twisty roads is a joke every single model seems to have a 4WD version and diesel vesion but dont expect Subaru style road manners speaking of Subarus NZ has the highest ownership rates of these in the world they are every where slowly rumbling along $10 gas and Subs dont work well there has never been an economical one yet but all those silly looking baby cars are about fuel economy is the attraction for them .Toyotas aboundhere reliable though boring to drive and lethal at speed with their JDM?US spec shocks there are more Corolla types than I can name most of which were never destined to leave Japans shores Repairing this lot has been a challenge as there is no published data in English and even looking in a fuse box is con fusing unless you read Japanese and safety can be a concern as most of these do not meet any foreign safety standards often no side intrusion bars and the stupid stand on the brake to move the shifter automatics are a pest and take getting used to Its scary too as after the Kobe disaster lots of water damaged cars turned up here now after the tsunami are the shady dealers going to start importing flood damaged cars again I never saw these cars in Aussie as the only shipment that came during my tenure was scrapped because they were not up to roadworthy standard and could not be registered this also happens here and occasionally I see on trademe cars for sale that cant be complianced often because some Japanese tuner has been at it first. The scrap industry thrives here sending these cars on to the next owner in blocks probably China but again back they come with Great Wall on them or Geely. We even have that merican Toyota Cavalier here badged both ways they are rubbish and sell for peanuts how on earth did GM get Toyota to accept those awful cars and guarenteed to break down.
That’s the longest sentence I have seen since James Joyce.
Sorry about that,. trying to make a 50 year old Lucas electrical system work is softening my brain.
As a man who has tried that same feat twice, the best I can say is to give up.. Only American Motors could come close to what Lucas did. Sadly as much as AMC tried being as heinous as the Dark Prince even they couldn’t punish humanity as Lucas did..
Oh I wont give up ,its quite a simple system just old and lots of bad contacts to sort thru all the pieces work just not in the car. I really want this thing legally back on the road as it runs and drives well
Keep at it, Bryce. A 50-year-old Lucas system has so few bits compared to modern systems. A lot fewer wires and a lot fewer gadgets to go wrong. But the mechanical contacts in the old-style generator regulator – I’m glad it’s you working on it, not me! 😉
Long ago, my local auto-electric specialist recommended a replacement voltage regulator, but from an earlier model: the MGA. I also remember going through several rebuilt alternators (to be sure, maybe these weren’t really Lucas’s fault). British cars are good for you; they build character & perseverance.
Please, please, please, for the love of all that is holy, use some punctuation! You make some interesting points, but they are buried in an impenetrable avalanche of words. Show the world that we Kiwis are more literate than average. Or perhaps you spent way too much time in Oz. (j/k)
Look at it this way: the ancients had neither punctuation nor spaces in their texts; the Greeks used either all capitals or all lowercase, & the Jews had no vowels (points were added later to help the clueless). Must’ve had to be pretty smart to unpack all that.
Not clueless, but I much prefer reading Hebrew with the vowel pointing, thank you! 🙂
Sorry, I was trying to be ironic in imagining how some ancient adepts might sneer at such helps for the uninitiated (such as ourselves). Indeed, without those Masoretic additions, we’d have a much harder time making sense of the manuscripts.
The new Kia Optima reminds me of this car (the 610 sedan). Same “J curve” C-pillar.
I remember the explanation at the time for Japanese styling preferences was that they looked at cars a little bit closer and admired surface detailing. Right up Chris Bangle’s alley, in other words.
Also remember that 5 mph bumpers made everything look awkward. I noticed that customized yellow 610 coupe lacked them. Much nicer.
You can certainly draw a parallel between 1970’s Nissan/Datsun and 1960’s Chrysler as it transitioned from Exner craziness to Engel understatement.
And the Nissans of the 1980’s-early ’90’s were pretty good-looking cars. The original 240SX, three generations of Maximas, three more of Sentras, two 300ZX permutations, the second-gen Pulsar NX, the original Infinitis, not a loser in the bunch. Couple them with the sweet SR20 four-cylinder and VQ V6 and you had a very sound lineup. If anything, things got a little goofy in the mid-90’s, hence the Renault rescue.
Did all 610s have red above and blue under the “AT” of DATSUN or just ones equipped with automatic transmissions? It looks odd.
The red white and blue were a tribute to the ’71 & ’72 Trans Am 2.5 series winning 510. The red white and blue colour scheme was from the BRE 510 driven by John Morton.
The red/white/blue from the ’71 510 badge more accurately reflects the diagonal stripes from the John Morton 510. They kept the colours going after that though.
Forgot I had this image from when I reassembled my current 510 long roof. Ignore the red head light bucket I was dying for a spin around the block.
As a kid growing up in California in the ’80s, I remember these swoopy, Baroque ’70s Japanese cars looking so much prettier than the K-cars and such that were then topping the sales charts. A neighbour had an orange B210 fastback that I thought was just about the coolest car on the road:
for sell, locate in Thailand!!
When new I derided these cars looks but looking back I think they got the 1970’s vibe down pat and don’t look too bad .
For me the car magazines promoted the 510 into my auto lust list, it was around ’72 before I actually saw one in Illinois. When the 610 came out I was so disappointed and then Datsun brought us the F10 and B210. I think that Nissan committed hari kari with their styling and then their name change here in the states. Sort of like late Exner era Chrysler, the Japanese culture liked the styling just like Chrysler styling and management liked the ’61 Plymouth and Dodge. I believe Datsun was the no. 1 Japanese import in the early 70’s.
There is really no excuse to take the 510 and turn it into something looking like that.
Exner was bad, but if you take a look at a decade earlier, you can see that a 1960 Plymouth still looked better than a 1950 Plymouth, in many ways.
You can’t say that here. The 510 looked like a German car, all business and class. What replaced it looked like “Mothra Meets The Mushroom Leeches” and it was stomach turning. To go from a perfectly proportioned three-box 510 to the tumor-like Quasimodo look of the 1970 Datsun/Nissan line is confounding!
I guess I forgot, ugly styling is nothing new to Nissan They have all had the odd turkey now and then but Nissan wins the top prize for consistency, then and now..
Very rare here still, I’m not sure this one still runs its been parked here for some time or it parks here exactly the same every day its a 180B
Another once common car seen off by the rust monster and the UK climate
Australia’s top-selling four cylinder car in its day. And the last reasonably-popular Datsun/Nissan car in this country. You see more used-import R32-R34 Skylines here than you do any new Nissan.
I drove one an automatic 3 up and gear from Batlow NSW to Donnybrook WA across the lake King shortcut 250km of sand it made it and ran another 6 weeks left it behind the Donnybrook Hotel the starter died and it wasnt worth fixing.
This had to among the first volume selling Japanese cars in the Midwest. I actually recall seeing a few of these around. The styling doesn’t bother me at all. While its predecessor is a clean simple design, it also looks too much like a car built by the government in a planned economy – which the East Germans proved you can only do that for 25 or 35 years before people get bored with it 😉 This car is a bit busy as there is a lot going on over its little body. But, I can see how this attracted some buyers that thought the Nova was dowdy and gas guzzling for its size.
A few folks early in the “discussion” pretty much hit the nail on the head.
In Japan, nearly every car manufacturer has multiple sales arms. When I visited in the mid-late 80s I noticed that Honda had a sales arm called Honda Vigor and this dealership sold cars that in the U.S. were badged as Acuras but in Japan and other countries were sold as Hondas.
At one point, Nissan had 22 different platforms for building cars. (By contrast, Honda had about 5.) As was pointed out, the 610 did NOT evolve (stylistically) from the car know as the 510 in the U.S. I believe Nissan shifted from the boxiness of the 510 by sourcing the 610 from one of it’s alternate sales arms and following models became “locked in” to the (vaguely) puffy look as evidenced by the 710 and 1st gen 200SX.
Sales were lack luster for Nissan in the late 70s and therefore a “new” 510 was launched here that featured the old 3 box look. The 210 picked up that 3 square box look in the mid 80s…as did the 2nd gen 810/Maxima.
“How about the other extreme, of a maker suddenly tossing out all the glowing brand equity a highly successful model has just cultivated?”
In my opinion, Nissan/Infiniti has repeated itself by tossing out all of the glowing brand equity of the G35/37 by bringing out the Q50. They’re now backtracking a bit by installing the G’s hydraulic power steering in the 2015 Q50, replacing the notoriously numb electric unit. Rumor has it that they are also trying to do something about the awkward styling. They also need to go back to the G’s value-adding packaging of equipment rather than forcing folks to spend upwards of 3K and to accept electronics stuff they don’t want just to get back-up sensors.
For the sake of clarity, i’d like to point out the first year of the 610 was 1973, not 1974 as the article states. 1973 was also the last year we had the 510 in the US; the following year, the 710 was introduced, so there was no gap between the 510 and it to potentially hurt sales.
I grew up seeing Datsun 610s, and some looked better than others. Sometimes the grille makes an otherwise good looking car ugly. The grille on this Datsun 610 looks ugly, but the rest of the car is handsome.
I actually like the 610/180B/Bluebird! And not because I like elderly RWD Nissans either! When I started school in 1979, the office lady had a blue 180B, it was one of the first cars I learnt to recognise. As a young kid I remember being irrational about car styling (MkIII Ford Zephyrs were scary-looking and terrified me!), but the 180B styling just emitted warmth and comfort (hey, I was only 5!). I still like the looks today; I think they’re unique and distinctive with the silver trim up the C-pillar adjacent to the rear-side windows. My favourite version is the JDM-only long-wheelbase Bluebird U-2000 ‘sharknose’ that had the Laurel/Skyline straight-6 in it:
In the context of Nissan/Datsun’s 1973 range, the 610/180B/Bluebird makes sense; it’s neither the most bland nor the most outlandish.
That is a truly dizzying array of models for a single year. President, Cedric, Gloria, Skyline, Laurel, Bluebird, Violet, Sunny, Cherry, Fairlady–that’s ten models in just the car lineup, and some of those had submodels.
Also that Skyline “van” is completely nuts, with the rakish upswept crease of the coupe/sedan and that huge blanked pillar where you’d expect a window. Wonder how many of those were made?
Looking at the Nissans in the picture above, I don’t find them odd at all. If any of them were offered here in the USA, I would’ve chosen the Cedric 2600 sedan or the wagon, the Nissan President early H150, and the Skyline GT-R. It’s too bad neither of them were even offered in North America, for it would’ve shown us that Nissan/Datsun were capable of offering more interesting cars than the Sunny, the Bluebird, the Violet and the Fairlady Z.
Don’t recall seeing one of those before but I did see a 710 wagon (I think) once
My 1974 610 was a very solid car. I sold it at 50K miles and it had been mechanically flawless. Oh, the awful pollution controls of that era made the throttle response like a rubber band, but the gearbox shifted precisely and the body was like a bank vault. I was in the South, so rust wasn’t a worry. The fabric on the seats was of poor quality; three years of sunshine rotted the fabric. It came with the hated ignition/seat belt interlock–like all cars then did–but that was easily defeated. (I still buckled up; I wasn’t stupid.) The A/C was competent and the ride was decent. It just went about doing its job without fuss. It’s a shame the styling was regrettable, but in the 70’s there was a LOT of regrettable style.
Back in the day. I feel old now saying that. It was the mid ’80s and 510’s were appearing sporadically in the local boneyard and that’s when I saw my first 610. It was in the boneyard near where I had been pulling parts and it was very complete. I thought it was ugly yet appealing at the same time. I tried to buy it complete but anything that made it behind the fence was pretty much doomed. Too bad though because I’m sure I must have seen these on the roads before yet never noticed them. At the time I considered any Datsun from 1974 through the 1980s as organ donors for the 510. With the exception of the Z-cars. Well I do have 280zx front struts and brakes on the 510 long roof.
These 610s and 710’s have a beautiful ugliness that grows on you. The B210 was the cockroach of vehicles. Ugly and everywhere! I would love to find a decent 610 now though. A B210 even. Not a hatchback though. I do have my limits.
I think the B210 was the worst of the lot. The quarter and rear treatment was absolutely hideously ugly…proportions very ungainly. Ugh…. I fear Nissan is in a similar styling funk now. The Sentra/Altima/Maxima design language is consistent, if boring–while Cube, Armada, Titan, Versa, Pathfinder and others are variously ugly, obsolete, or derivative.
Not sure whether the US got this little bomb. Maybe you had rear-three-quarter visibility regulations? Nissan Cherry X1-R from the same era.
I love old Japanese cars. BUT these Nissan look too weird, even for me.
” Old Pete
Posted September 4, 2014 at 11:40 PM
Keep at it, Bryce. A 50-year-old Lucas system has so few bits compared to modern systems. A lot fewer wires and a lot fewer gadgets to go wrong. But the mechanical contacts in the old-style generator regulator – I’m glad it’s you working on it, not me! 😉
Lucas systems are not in fact so bad , the complete lack of QUALITY CONTROL when manufactured is the usual culprit .
Those ” control boxes ” (Voltage Regulators) for example : the later versions have slip typ adjusters in them making adjustments dead simple *IF* you pay attention and do all the necessary steps before making any adjustments , and knowing to attach the voltimiter to the generator directly , not the battery or regulator as is done on other vehicles .
Soldering all those myriad bullet connectors is another time consuming but simple & easy thing to halt all lighting problems .
I’m still running a generator in my LBC’s and have little troubles , I just keep them lubed and change the brushes every 60,000 miles or so .
There’s not much wrong with that car that smaller bumpers and larger wheels and tires won’t fix. The poor thing looks like it’s on its tippy toes 😀 .
God, I hate these POS! Had to be cut out of my parents orange 180B sedan after a crash when I was seven. My parents sold it as it had constant trouble with suspension issues and vapour locking. That upswept window line made for a claustrophobic, carsickness inducing ride for small children.
This is a perfect exemplar of the 70’s school of Japanese bizarro styling, and Datsun were the star pupils. While I can certainly appreciate the restraint and elegance of the 510, and how well it’s aged, this car and most of their other 70’s products went all the way in the other direction. They aged so quickly that they became pointedly unfashionable in the 80’s and 90’s, but the ones that have survived until today are now exciting to see because they stand out. Fantastic 70’s styilng cues no matter which one you pick–and that yellow coupe with the big bumpers and bric-a-brac removed shows that it’s actually a good design at the base level.
There’s room for appreciation of both the elegant 510 and the baroque wonder of this car and its even crazier successors. At least to me there is.
strange as it is, the datsun 510 and i go back,,,way back.
the year was 2012. A strange time where a black man and a mormon squabbled over presidency on a hdtv.
As i flipped channels i so happened aponst a channel where teenagers had taken crap turd vehicles and slid them across the ground. As I begunst to change the channel my illegitimate son reeses puffs(my peanut butter captain crunch days, looking identical) begunst to shriek” don’t chuuange dadddddd, its touge, drift, there drifting race cars”
To which i replied ” no reese, thats a 1976 datsun 510, and a 1986 corolla. They are a junk cars who have lost their ability to steer”
That is when reeses puff walked to the refrigerator grabbed a gallon of milk and poured it in the bath tub in preparation for our family dinner. As he was doing so he kindly screamed at me in furious gentle explanation.
”Noo dad, thats a datsun 76er and ae86, there ONLY THE BEST CAR EVER A TOUGE MOUNTAIN DRIFTING SO YOU CAN BE REAL JAPANESE DERRRRRRRR DAD” as we slurped our milk as a family out of the bath tub i pondered, are 1986 corollas and datsun 510’s really whats popular now, and considered classic and used as sports cars??? I remember when a datsun 510 was a running joke…..
I decided i must be wrong and went outside to polish my daewoo leganza. As i watched her glisten in the sun, i realized and spoke aloud,,,,, ”someday you’ll be a classic sports car too…. somday…”
^^^^^^ comment above.
Quite possibly the weirdest AND funniest thing i’ve ever seen. I love it.
Hadda 74 610. Yellow. 4speed? Black interior. Bought cheap, needed alternator. Very good car for 2 years., must have got it in 81? Car was smashed in wreck, other guys fault, nobody hurt amazingly. From inside it made me think Dartsun (AMC) Hornet! But car was ok.