Monday, October 6, 2014

1k: Fire Up The Welder: 1967 Datsun Roadster SPL-1600

From 1959 through 1970 the Datsun Fairlady was badged as the Datsun Sports or Datsun 1600 Roadster for export markets outside of Japan.  It was then, and is now, a fantastic and cheap alternative to 2-seat roadsters from Britain and Italy.  Find this 1967 Datsun Roadster SPL-1600 currently bidding for $1,525 with a few hours to go, located in Franksville, WI on eBay.

The SPL311 generation Fairlady was the final version of the little ragtop as the sports car in the Nissan/Datsun lineup and in 1970 it was replaced by the 240Z.  It might not have been as rugged as the tractor powered MGB or as sexy as Alfa's Spider, but it offered a compromise between looks, durability, reliability, price and sportiness that was almost unmatched by its competitors.

This one has had the original 1.6 liter inline-4 replaced with a 2.0 liter Nissan engine for a few more horsepower and torque.  Expect something in the range of 130ish horsepower once you get all the issues related to life in a barn sorted out.

The seller points out a few issues including some rust spots on one of the "frame rails," but the rest of the vehicle doesn't look bad from a cosmetic perspective.  You'll have to replace or recover the seats, but it really could be a whole lot worse. Just how hard would it be to replace the frame rails?

 See another cheap barn find looking for a new owner?


  1. "title is in limbo"

    That's all that needs to be said. Otherwise, I can be in Wisconsin in three days...and this one's small enough that I can make room around the Cortinas.

    1. Cotinas!?! Do tell more. What years and models? My first car was a 1970 Cortina GT. That started a life-long association with Kent Ford engines.

    2. "Cortinas", was what I tried to type.

      By the way, how do people delete their own posts? I have seen messages about that, but I have not found the magic button.

    3. A pair of Mk1s, one GT that's a bare shell and one Deluxe that's stunningly complete but doesn't quite run right now.

      Speaking of which, I should have thrown this one up on the forum here a while ago, it looks very complete and solid, the four doors probably kept the price down:

  2. Wow, This is an easy fix. Nothing difficult here with relatively straight lines to work with. The body looks reasonably solid. Fix it, strip it and repaint in original color.

    Lars H.

  3. Not only it the title in limbo, but the PO's widow refuses (or declines?) to help the current owner get a new one. What chance do you think you have?

  4. Title in limbo, and dead previous owner? Not a problem in New York!

    Gotta love the New York DMV,

    "Sir, what is this dirty cocktail napkin in a plastic bag?"

    "It's a bill of sale and what smells like mouse urine"

    "Looks good to me"

    1. You know, for all the grief we give the CA DMV, I've never had a problem registering a car in California (say it like the ex-Governator -- CAL--EE--FOUR-NiA) that has a "lost" title. It is just a matter of filing the correct forms. You could have a sasquatch sign them for all the lady behind the counter cares about.

      For a pre-75 car you need an application for duplicate title and a bill of sale. That is it. Post-76, you'd better have a smog cert. The car may have a rusted out frame and be contaminated with nuclear waste, but as long as you get it to pass the current smog limits, you are good to go.

    2. @DT: True That. You just gotta to be a step faster than the immobile objects behind the counter at the DMV. Hell a dead person could do it

  5. I had a 69 1600 that I had to sell when I moved to the US... still regret that after 14 years...

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