February 2, 2023

Put Some Mustard On It – Datsun 510

Modified Datsun 510

When Allen Anderson was 16 his dad asked him what car he wanted. Allen said he wanted a Datsun 510… He ended up with a BMW 2002.

CAMautoMag Datsun 510

The BMW wasn’t a bad first car, but it wasn’t what he wanted. Eventually Allen got his 510.  Then another, and another, and another. As it sits he has three 510’s: this one which he lovingly refers to as MusTurd, a white one that will bring you to your knees with its clean-ness, and another in the rafters of his garage. We’ll talk about the white one later.  We’re here to talk about this thing we first met at the track!

Datsun on BBS wheels

Some of the parts on this car are from other cars. The front brakes are the Brembo rear brakes from a Porsche. The Bilstein inverted, short stroke shocks and coilovers are for a Volkswagen.  eBay helped out with some of the other parts, like the 15 x7 12lb BBS RG wheels. Most of the other parts are specific to the Datsun, like the Nissan Factory road race springs in the rear, the Addco 1″ front sway bar, and the camber plates.

And seeing as how this thing is a race car the BBS’s are wrapped in a set of 205/50-15 Toyo R888’s and Hawk Black race pads are residing in each of the calipers.

Under the hood is all Datsun baby. The L20B sports an A87 large valve, closed port head in addition to some other goodies. A MSD 6AL ignition and Pertronix electronic points eliminator provide the spark, and a lone Weber 45 DCOE carburetor provides the gas AND air. A close ratio 5 speed transmission helps this 40 year old coupe boogie.

Inside is rather spartan. You plant yourself in a Recaro seat, grab onto a custom steering wheel and do what any sensible person does in a car that was built during the Nixon administration: drive like a hero.

Allen was patient and got the car he wanted. Does this prove the old adage that patience is a virtue?  Eh, maybe but if YOU want a 510 you best get to getting one. They’re not getting any younger. Or you could hunt down a BMW 2002, whatever works for you.


Datsun 510 Feature on CAMautoMag from CAMautoMag on Vimeo.

Words, Photos, and Video by Michael Chandler

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