BEHIND THE GARAGE DOOR
We take a peek at a handful of your ongoing classic car restoration projects
Garry Inder has a passion for Datsun/nissan cars, born, he admits, from working closely with his father, Fred Inder, who established a car dealership in Eastern Southland in 1962. Datsuns proved to be popular sellers in the district for the business, with the tough little vehicles establishing a reputation for reliability and performance.
A recent arrival in Garry’s collection, and well on the way to being finished, is an impressively straight and tidy 510 series example: a 1970 two-door Bluebird SSS fitted with a 1600cc motor.
“The car is very original, with just the paintwork needing a touch-up, and there is no rust in it at all. Pretty good for a 1970s Japanese car,” Garry said.
Purchased a year ago from its Auckland owner, the compact Datsun has been undergoing a lengthy and comprehensive tidyup to bring it back to original condition.
“The numbers all match and the interior is unmarked. I was looking for a four-door SSS, but when this two-door came up for sale, I decided to buy it. It does drive very well on the open road, and I really enjoy it,” he said.
Evidence of its almost as-new condition is the healthy rattlefree thump when closing each door. The predominantly black interior is a real eye-opener, in very tidy condition. It comes with the correct SSS instruments and dashboard, along with the original Datsun rubber floor mats and Datsun motifs in the middle of the seat uprights.
The under-bonnet area is no less impressive, and clean! Its condition is testament to a very-well-preserved slice of 1970s Japanese motoring history. Datsun took over Prince Motors in 1966. It inherited some talented engineers and designs with its rumoured Mercedes-benz design input — hence the very Mercedes look to the top of the L16 motor in this example. Carburation varied too, depending on models and markets, and this example has two very-weber-looking Hitachi twin-choke side-draughts taking care of the induction.
Little touches, such as the sporty wing mirrors and rain guards over the windows, add to the overall detail. It has very clean lines for what, in its day, was a very popular seller in New Zealand, with the 510 being assembled in New Zealand in various body forms.
New tyres are on the shopping list, as well as new chrome trim for the rear boot panel, which was available from Australia. A new front bumper bar is also planned to just about complete the restoration to original specification.
“I love Datsuns, and I always try to get them to as original condition as possible. This one is nearly there, and there can’t be many 1970s cars around as rust-free and original as this one. I’m looking forward to driving it more,” Garry said.