Datsun 510 For Sale

The Bluebird is a compact to medium-sized car that Nissan first launched in 1957, and the nameplate is still in use today in both Japan and China. One series of the Nissan Bluebird, the legendary Datsun 510, also called the Datsun 1600 outside of North America, was particularly popular in the United States as well as Australia and New Zealand. Nissan manufactured the Datsun 510 between 1968 and 1974, and although they sold it throughout the world, it never did as well globally as it did in those three countries. This period marks Nissan's first great success in the U.S.

The automotive publication AutoWeek referred to the Datsun 510 for sale in 1968 as a "poor man's BMW". This referred to Nissan's use of the European sedan, such as the 1966 BMW 1600-2, as inspiration. For the Datsun 510, Nissan adopted European-influenced sheet metal design prevalent on their sedans and several integral components of the BMW, such as the SOHC engine, the front MacPherson strut suspension, and the independent, semi-trailing arms in the rear.

Released in August 1968, the Datsun 510 for sale was available as a 2-door sedan, a 2-door coupe, a 4-door sedan, and a 5-door station wagon. For the U.S. market, this first Datsun 510 included a 1.6L L-Series Hitachi downdraft I4 engine, which Datsun rated at 96 horsepower. It was rear wheel drive with front disc brakes. The 4-wheel independent suspension included a sold rear live axle and leaf springs in the rear along with the front MacPherson strut suspension, and the independent, semi-trailing arms in the rear. Moreover, it was available as a 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic.

Nissan's success came at the heart of the muscle car period. So, what was it that set this car apart and made it so popular? It obviously couldn't compete with the muscle of the period, but it did offer an amazing level of performance at the price. In addition, there were several other factors working in its favor. Mechanically, it is one of the simplest cars made during that period, which it made it very accessible to new enthusiasts who wanted to start with a minimum investment, and then upgrade their car.

Also, during this period all Nissan and Datsun parts were essentially interchangeable. This made the parts needed for repair and upgrade plentiful and inexpensive. The Datsun 510 would never compete with the sex appeal of the late-60s early-70s muscle. However, it made a lot of financial sense for young people at the time. A basic stock Datsun 510 for sale exceeded 100 mph, and owners could upgrade it to perform far better without a substantial investment of time or money.

Some refer to the Datsun 510 as the first Japanese car that truly mattered, and it is tough to argue with that assessment. How many Japanese cars can you think of that the American enthusiast adores and considers a classic the way they do the Datsun 510? There is none. The Datsun 510 was the perfect storm of situation and circumstance.

One of the great aspects of the Datsun 510 today is that it's uncommon, but you can dive right it with a $1,000-$3,000 investment. A creative and mechanically inclined enthusiast can have a fully restored Datsun 510 for under $5000. With today's technology and expertise, they will have a car that screams at a fraction of the price that that performance would generally cost.

Dan Legal is a member of the web team that runs the website Used Cars For Sale. LemonFree is a car search engine which currently has over 2 million new and used cars for sale. If your trying to locate a Datsun 510 For Sale; trust LemonFree to help you find your next car today!

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