London Bridge is Falling Down – 1966 Datsun Fairlady Roadster

Back when I was looking at buying my first sports car, this was among the list of possible cars. They were (as they were originally marketed) a reasonably-priced sports car with European style and near the top of their class (4-cyl. roadsters) in power. As it happens, I ended up with my Alfa, largely because the Datsuns were fairly uncommon, even in the early 90s, and 60s Japanese cars did not have as much cachet as they do now. As with most older sports cars, their shrinking numbers, and the increasing disposable income of buyers, means the cost to purchase one of these has gone up, at least one that fits into the rusty-but-trusty segment of the market.

The subject of today’s post is this 1966 Datsun 1600 Roadster in Placerville, CA for $2500. As one of the earlier cars, this has less power (a still respectable 95hp), but no doubt, fans of the 1600 will tell you a smaller engine revs more sweetly.

1966 Datsun Roadster front

This car looks like it’s already been subjected to some level of restoration work, although you might notice the fenders still appear to be faded. Seller states he has “the rest of the paint”, so either you could get out the old spray gun, or take the paint over to a paint shop and have them finish off the job. Given most of the car appears to be done, this shouldn’t be a too significant cost. You’d also want to be sure the trim that is currently off the car actually comes with it.

1966 Datsun Roadster engine

Amazingly, this seller went to the trouble to show a shot of the engine. If you’ve seen my past posts, you know not showing off the engine is a pet peeve of mine, and this seller seems to have nothing to hide. While this engine is out of a ’67 (not clear if it’s a 2000 or 1600), the old engine does come with the car. I would enjoy the car the way it is (mechanically) and do a rebuild on the original for fun and learning.

1966 Datsun Roadster rear

The back end looks pretty clean – it’s not quite clear where the new paint stops on this car. In this shot you can also see the redone tan seats, and the apparently more-desirable metal dash panel. For practicality, you’d want to find out what your options are regarding a top – having one means you don’t need to constantly worry what the weather will be, and your use of the car will be less restricted. All in all, this car, which comes with a collection of parts and a restorable hard top, looks like a good deal on which most of the work has been done. I hope someone can have fun with this one.


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