Red Roadster – 1970 Datsun 1600 SPL311

Everyone talks about the Japanese interpretation of a British roadster being the Miata… copied the Lotus Elan, all the fun and drips less oil, blah blah blah. But back in 1963 when Tom Matano was only a teenager and the Miata wasn’t even a glint in his eye, Datsun released a roadster to compete with the British, Italians, and the odd German or French. And the Datsun SPL3xx roadsters, built from 1963 to 1970, were really pretty competent cars, even if they weren’t widely recognized as such when they were in production. Overshadowed by hits like the 510 and the 240Z, it’s only in the last few years they’ve come out of the shadows of their more famous siblings. Check out this 1970 Datsun 1600 SPL311 Roadster for sale for $3900 in Portland, OR.

1970 Datsun 1600 Roadster right front

Top down, sunny day, you don’t really need an excuse to ditch the minivan, do you? Well, apparently having three kids doesn’t allow much minivan-ditching, as the seller is moving the car along after eight years of ownership and storage, and the car is said to need attention to brake, cooling, and fuel systems – more or less what you would expect after storage. The seller also concedes the interior needs some attention – a missing horn button, center console and glove box insert, semi-functional radio, and old carpet.

1970 Datsun 1600 Roadster left front

The front looks decent from both sides, and the car looks fairly complete in terms of trim, though you’ll want to ditch those 1980s baby turbo mirrors. Something about those silver steel wheels and shiny chrome caps really makes the red car pop, but there does appear to be some fading, and the seller admits to some small rust spots, calling the car a 20-footer. Nonetheless, with a little bit of negotiation you could have yourself a solid running project for little money.


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One Response to “Red Roadster – 1970 Datsun 1600 SPL311”

  1. steve in podunk Says:


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