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On Keeping a Datsun Forever


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#1 DatsunDavies

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 02:41 PM

This is my 1977 Datsun 620 (HL620237385 manufactured in September of '77).

 

IMG_1494ratsun.jpg

 

I have had it for 6 years now, and it's my first car. My dad and my uncle still have their first cars after 38 and 39 years respectively so its safe to say I'm going to keep this one forever. Although their first cars were significantly cooler: '68 Firebird 400 (my dad's) or '69 Olds 442 (my uncle's).

 

And how about a rather lengthy history of this Datsun? My dad and uncle bought this truck brand new from Downtown Datsun in San Jose, Ca (If you look closely you can see the Downtown Datsun track jacket on the driver seat in the picture above). They bought it to haul various things for the ice cream shops that my family owned at the time. This is going way back in South Bay history but some of you might remember Scooter's Ice Cream in Gilroy. It was off of 10th st. on the same side as the DMV across from where Guitar Center is now. They had another store in Morgan Hill, but I couldn't tell you where it was. The truck is actually still registered as a commercial vehicle. 

  

This is what it looked like around '81-'82 sporting a nice set of Hurricanes. The black truck you can see the nose of is their friend Dan's 620. I assume this truck was the inspiration for what our truck would eventually look like.

 

scan1ratsun.jpg

 

We have always been a Datsun family. It started with my Grandma, who has had four Z's over the years including a '72 240Z, a 260Z, a 280Z, and a 280ZX Turbo Anniversary Edition. My uncle has had a few Z's including one with a 327 he swapped in. My aunt still has her maroon 280ZX with 4xx,xxx on the body parked in the garage. Sitting next to it is a '75 280Z waiting to recieve a 350TPI Camaro motor.

 

scan02ratsun.jpg

 

This picture is from a year or two later. By this time the truck was repainted the coppery orange that came on the 720's and wearing the same rims it wears today. I would love to have that rear sway bar but my uncle said it wouldn't work with the 2" lowering blocks that were later installed and he got rid of it. The groovy chrome roll bar was adapted from a Chevy LUV and the front spoiler you can see in the first picture was mounted.

That '73 Riviera used to tow their ski boat to Anderson and Tahoe.

 

scan03ratsun.jpg

 

My dad sold his half to my uncle in the mid 80's for whatever reason. Not too long after that it the L20b came out and in went an imported SSS L18T with twin SUs, higher compression pistons, and a bigger cam out of a 610 Bluebird SSS. The 4-speed was swapped for a 5-speed at the same time. I wish it still had that engine... The head gasket gave out in that motor and in went a Z24 out of an '85 720. I actually still have the receipt for the motor in the glove box, its dated in '92 or '93. Circumstances at the time (mid 90's) prompted the truck to go into storage where it would sit for 10 years waiting for me.

 

 

To be continued....



#2 RedBanner

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 03:40 PM

We want moare!!! Great so far, welcome also
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#3 MikeRL411

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 06:03 PM

All three of my Datsun[1967], Nissan[1990] and Infiniti[1997] are "forever" cars. I will not buy a car that is not well designed and more importantly well built! If it won't last, it's not worth buying.

#4 Yakuza

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 12:10 PM

what a tease...finish the story..lol...



#5 dat77sun

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:47 PM

wow thats awesome thata you know the complete history, but we need MOAR!!!


my current 1982 720 4x4 build

http://community.rat...ld/#entry994991

 

my old 1984 720 4x4 build (R.I.P.)

http://community.rat...-720-4x4-build/

 

my old 1977 620 kc build
http://community.rat...7-620-kc-build/

 

 

the story of my 84 720 by SICK620

 

     Tyson felt the frosty wind flow through his grill and opened his headlights. He knew that according to the snow under his michelins, he had hit Colorado  Another trip, and once again towed behind big Bertha's smelly backside. Every backfire allowed Tyson to smell Bertha's cheap oil changes and rancid maverick gasoline. He knew there had been talk about him leaving, but he didn't know why. He had always been reliable, and to him it seemed they hadn't even really ran him. They had just hitched him up and there he stayed. A prisoner of the open road, how is that even possible Tyson thought. He had seen so much of the road yet so little. His tires were worn and he was old now, but he was still as fit as the Hardbodys and Tacomas. His brakes were still new, and so was his heart. The day came, and Tyson's title was signed over on his hood. Tyson wasn't sure what to think when the new man entered his cabin. All he knew was that the warm buns on his seat made him tingle, and when the man slowly inserted the key chills went up his drive shaft. Tyson exited the driveway and he knew what he had to do, He chirped his tires a little kicking rocks and debris on big Bertha's fat ass as he left under his own power..... The world now his to explore, Tyson loves to ride. He has seen the highway for far too many miles, and always would rather take a back road or trail. He wants to die being ran hard on country roads and mountain curves; and he never wants to see the backside of a Winnebago again! 

 

#6 ArchetypeDatsun

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:07 PM

Nice I love it, reminds me of my uncles that he later gave to my cousin but his was a 4x4.



#7 DatsunDavies

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 02:03 PM

Alright to finish the story...

 

So the truck was put into storage when I was a few years old. I had always grown up hearing stories about my family involving cars. Things like the Morgan Hill Police knowing my dad by first name because he was always pulled over for running 12's on the back of his Firebird that stuck out way too far, or my grandma asking my dad and uncle to increase the boost pressure in her 280ZX so she could get to work faster over Hecker Pass. I started to appreciate the stories when I was was a bit older. I knew I wanted stories of my own. I thought how it would be neat it to have one of those old cars and continue the stories where they had been left off. Out of the 10 cars my uncle had in storage at the time the 620 was really the only one a 16 year old could realistically afford. Everything else was GM muscle or Mopar mucsle. When I was 13 my uncle agreed to let me buy the truck for $1000. Any money I could scrounge up mowing lawns or painting or something of the like went to my uncle to put toward the truck. I have a notebook somewhere where I would log the date and the amount I gave him plus the balance I had left on the truck. This continued for 3 years. I was $250-300 away from paying it off and this day came:

 

scan04ratsun.jpg

 

It was (mid-February '07) a few days before my birthday and as a surprise my dad and uncle took it out of storage and got it running after just over 10 years of sitting in the dark. Their good friend Tony at Community Garage in Morgan Hill rebuilt the carb and replaced the vital fluids and down it went to Hollister to my uncle's house where the above picture was taken.

 

I think a week or two after this picture I cranked down the torsion bars and lowered the front end to where it sits now. I definitely wanted to do an engine swap since the truck has already had a history of it. I settled on a KA since the SR swap in 240SXs was booming and you could get a lower mile KA for pretty cheap. I found one in Fresno with one of the rod bearings gone on it.

 

I had this engine sitting in the garage for a while. Unfortunately as my only vehicle it was going to be difficult to find the time to do the swap between high school and working. This picture (please excuse the quality) is actually when I was selling this engine for my engine swap idea 2.0.

KellensPictures187ratsun.jpg

 

Between engine swap idea 1.0 and 2.0 I put a huge crease in the front end of my truck. I won't tell you how... but I needed a whole new hood, bumper, and grill. It's embarrassing and my wonderful girlfriend (whom I've been with since I've had my truck [sophmore year in high school] hmmmm....) won't let me live it down to this day.

 

Here's after I replaced the front end parts. I don't know why I didn't fasten the license plate all the way before I took the picture. Also the front spoiler wasn't back on yet and I still hate the post '77 rubber bumper pieces.

KellensPictures151ratsun.jpg

 

About this time (early '08) I found Michael Spreadbury's "Strutless Wonder" and became hooked on the VG so I found this in San Jose for the right price. It was an '86 VG30e and 5 speed out of a cabin fire car.

KellensPictures112ratsun.jpg

 

I had this engine for a while too and just needed a wiring harness be ready for the car. Meanwhile, it was 3 days before I was to graduate highschool (June '09) and I hear through the grapevine (as you usually do in HS) my friend Tim had wrecked his car in the school parking lot of all places. Tim was the only other Datsun driver/enthusiast in my class. I called him and asked if he was alright. Good. The second question was.... "So now what are you doing with your car?"

 

I sold the VG30e as quick as I could. So I could buy his car:

DSCF1016ratsun.jpg

 

He gave me a screaming deal on the whole car. Everything up to the radiator was toast, but the VG30ET he had just rebuilt and everything behind it was perfect. So the engine and transmission are coming out of this car and I'm settling on engine swap 2.1 and hope to get it in sooner than later (Summer '13).

 

Its kind'a funny but I raced Tim in this car a few weeks before he wrecked it. The Z24 had him off the line, then his turbo spooled up and he was gone.

 

 

Sorry but...

 

Also, to be continued.



#8 RedBanner

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:46 PM

.. like.... waiting.... lol
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#9 socaldatsun

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:44 AM

awesome story! don't keep us waiting too long -.-



#10 DatsunDavies

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:00 PM

Wrap up

 

Since my dad and uncle will always keep their first cars, I am too. After buying it brand new they chose not to keep it stock so why should I? DId I mention this was a factory air-conditioned truck? The A/C went out with the L20b and the plumbing was removed. The truck has evolved over the years and it will continue to. When I was 18 I moved out of Hollister and settled in Los Gatos to work on a mechanical engineering degree. Its interesting to see how the Bay Area has influenced us and our Datsuns. I know its influenced me and the truck just over this short timeline of our lives.

 

Going to old school meets. (August '09)

hl620.jpg

 

Driving up Hwy 9 and Skyline Blvd. with friends. photoratsun1.jpg

photoratsun.jpg

 

Or just taking parking lot pictures.

IMG_1278ratsun.jpg

 

All of which perpetuate the evolution of the truck. It may not always be my daily driver. It may not always have the same engine or paint color. But one thing is for certain- I'm keeping this Datsun Forever.

 

postdiscbrake2.jpg



#11 MikeRL411

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Posted 13 March 2013 - 08:38 AM

A fit example of the old Datsun mantra, "Datsun, buy it for the long run."

#12 Spoona_Jay21

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:21 AM

A fit example of the old Datsun mantra, "Datsun, buy it for the long run."

 

 

i must agree!

 

i hate it when you are out of likes for the day :sneaky:



#13 Spoona_Jay21

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 09:24 AM

hl620.jpg

 

not only do i LOVE your truck, this pic is so awesome, i think i will draw it =P



#14 DatsunDavies

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Posted 16 March 2013 - 03:26 PM

not only do i LOVE your truck, this pic is so awesome, i think i will draw it =P

 

 

Thanks Spoona_J21. I appreciate it. If you do end up drawing the truck please post it.



#15 Datasun

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:28 PM

Thanks, I think you've helped me make a decision.



#16 DatsunDavies

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:47 PM

Thanks, I think you've helped me make a decision.



Well, you are welcome. I'm glad I could help. What decision are we talking about?

#17 DatsunDavies

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:50 PM

Thanks Spoona_J21. I appreciate it. If you do end up drawing the truck please post it.



Here's Jay's drawing of my truck. Thanks again!
http://emob1135.phot...526155983_n.jpg