1968 Datsun 2000 Roadster: Low-Buck Racer

While there’s rarely such a thing as a cheap race car, this ’68 Datsun Roadster here on eBay may be the exception to the rule. Said to be a California car through and through, the structure looks sound and has been reinforced with a professional roll cage and lots of cool period go-fast bits, from competition-grade Nissan parts to Koni shocks. There’s some troublesome primer at the rear, which could indicate hammered-out race day damage or corrosion issues stemming from a hasty bondo job. If you can get into it for under $5,000, I’m not sure I’d be too worried about it, but much more than that and it may make sense to find a more turnkey candidate. Personally, it’s hard not to be swayed by the period racing graphics and vintage American Racing mags. Do any of our autocrossers or Chump Car experts think it’s worth a bid?


1968 Datsun 510 Wagon: Not For Kids!

Those who know me know I like wagons, Datsun 510’s, and manual transmissions! Barn Finds reader Olaf E. sent in this great find, which is located near San Diego, California. The seller states that they purchased it from the original owner’s son in Denver and that it hasn’t been started since the original owner died. We don’t know how long ago that was, but I’m guessing it’s been a while. It’s hard to tell from these pictures if the rust is just surface rust and looks worse because of the car color or if it’s really pretty bad, but the seller states “it’s not for kids”, so I’m guessing it’s not pristine up close! I love the blue interior that we can see, but I can’t really tell how intact it is from the pictures. The ad is here on craigslist where the seller is asking $2,800. What do you think, is it worth it?

Jeff In the Junkyard Foreign Cars

Jeff in the Junkyard: Foreign Relations

Even if I told you where this yard was located, you’d be hard-pressed to find it on a map. While somewhat known by junkyard raiders like myself, it’s not a place that advertises and the inventory rarely changes. So, not great for parts hunting but it almost always guarantees a good photo or two. Some of my favorite finds are below, which follow a common theme of American-Japanese badge engineering. Read more »


Dealers Truck: 1962 Datsun Pickup

There’s an interesting story behind this 1960 Datsun pickup! The current owner is the son of a former Datsun dealer owner. He drove this actual truck when he was 14, but unfortunately at 16 decided the engine needed improving. After taking the engine apart and getting some new parts, by his own admission he lost interest. The engine parts were stored inside, but the truck itself was left out in the elements, leading to the rust issues that are there today. It’s located in Rancho Palos Verdes, California and is for sale here on eBay. There’s a buy-it-now of $2,500 but bidding starts at $200. The seller is including the engine and new parts that were bought way back when. I wish there were some period graphics from the dealership, but we don’t actually know that it was ever used at the dealership – a question to ask the seller! Are you interested in this little pickup?

Jeff In the Junkyard - Archives

Jeff In The Junkyard: Digging in the Archives

Due to the summer time activities taking priority over my junkyard excursions, I’m running out of fresh meat. But rest assured, an external hard drive still has a few gems stored away on it, and I’ve begun pulling together some finds from the yards of yesterday. What’s most distressing about this process is realizing how many valuable cars (for my purposes, anyway) I walked right past before I ever knew I’d need parts from them someday! Read more »

Return to the forest junkyard

Jeff in the Junkyard: Return to the Forest

As I mentioned a few entries ago, my last junkyard visit provided more than enough fodder for a few weeks’ worth of posts. We’ll revisit this yard in Western Massachusetts for some additional diamonds in the rough, and, as always, there are a few I can’t quite identify so we’ll need your help in pinpointing years and models. I hope to return to this yard again soon and another one nearby as I need seat brackets for my Recaro seat project! Read more »


1975 Datsun 280Z: Daily Driven

It’s not uncommon to see the words “daily driven” on eBay listings for classic cars. It boosts the car’s credentials, in some ways, that it’s in good working order and hasn’t been relegated to garage storage with a trickle charger. This 1975 Datsun 280Z is listed here on eBay with a Buy-it-Now of $13,888 and the option to submit a best offer. The seller claims it’s been used as a daily driver, and with much of the original components still attached, from the hubcaps to the factory A/C, that’s an impressive accomplishment. Of course, with only 115K miles accumulated since 1975, it’s clearly been used sparingly or as a summer car, so a pampered life is not out of the question. Personally, I like cars you can use without having a mountain of deferred maintenance to tackle, so this 280Z speaks to me. The lack of the factory badging, however, screams repaint so some additional homework will have to be done to determine just how honest this car is.

1975 Suzuki RE5

Rotary Bike: 1975 Suzuki RE5

As many of you already know, my daily driver is a Mazda RX-8. Well I’ve had an on again, off again relationship with rotary powered sports cars since I bought my first RX-7 at the age of 15. The rotary engine is possibly the most fascinating motor I’ve ever dealt with, which would explain why this Suzuki RE5 that Jim S, sent in caught my interest. You see, rather than being powered by a conventional piston engine, it gets its power from a 497cc rotary engine. And if you are thinking that isn’t much displacement, remember rotary engines don’t work like piston engines. This screamer was rated at 62 horses with 55 pounds of torque. It’s not the most powerful bike engine, but it had its strengths! Reviewers of the RE5 gave it top marks for handling and smoothness, but complained about hesitation. If you’re like me and want to experience this rotary powered bike, you can find it here on eBay in Cleveland, Ohio with bidding just over $500. Thanks to Jim for the tip!

Woodland Treasures

Jeff In The Junkyard: Woodland Treasures

I had to find some new territory recently. It was bittersweet, in a way, because this latest yard represented the last of my “new” places on a list of six yards I identified over the winter. So, I’ll need to find some new stomping grounds to keep things fresh, but this particular yard has so much hidden in the woods that I’ll likely go back for multiple visits. The big score of the day: a set of very clean factory Recaro sport seats! Now, onto the finds! Read more »

Mazda RX4

Wankel Wagon: 1974 Mazda RX4

No, it’s not an RX2, 3, 7, or 8! This unusual RX4 wagon is currently in Sanford, Florida and is for sale here on eBay, where the buy-it-now is $4,000, but the opening bid is only $2,500. Let me start by saying I’m biased here; I like Wankels (rotaries). To a mechanical engineer, the whole idea of drastically reducing the number of moving parts in an engine is a good thing. Mazda struggled for years to find the right market niche for the rotary and finally did so with the RX7 and RX8; where enthusiasts don’t care quite as much about fuel economy but are interested in the performance aspects of the engine. So putting it into what at the time was not-quite-a-compact wagon puzzles me (almost as much as the rotary pickup, but that’s a whole other story). Read more »

Honda S600

1965 Honda S600: Original Screamer

One of my all-time favorite vintage roadsters is the Honda S600, for two reasons: one, it’s the spiritual forebearer to the modern-day S2000 roadster, a true performance car bargain and engineering feat that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. And two, it makes the same exhilarating noise as the S2K, capable of being wound out like a sport bike in an era where most cars were designed to operate in a performance threshold of somewhere between 1-3,000 RPMs. This 1965 example here on eBay is RHD and clearly a restoration project, with some bodywork underway but very few details on how far along, or gone, this car truly is. That hasn’t slowed bidding activity, but the reserve is yet unmet on this pumpkin-orange roadster. As project examples grow increasingly scarce, my guess is that this is a car that will be among those we look at and say, “I should have bought one when they were cheap.” Do any of you have any first-hand experience with S600s, or any particular trouble spots to watch out for?


1981 XK1 Tri-Hawk: Never Seen One

What’s that you say? You’d like to ride a motorcycle but you don’t want to get wet from the rain or bugs in your teeth? Well, have we found a solution for you. Called the XKI Tri-Hawk, this curiosity is listed here on eBay with no reserve and bidding up to $400. Apparently, it is a custom creation by a motorcycle shop on Long Island in the ’80s, used as a functional roadside display for the store. Featuring gullwing doors and a Honda motorcycle engine, this custom creation also has a full interior and a 5-speed manual transmission! It’s like the Reliant Robin, but – cooler? I don’t know how useful this trike would be for anything other than a promotional display, but for short money, it could be fun to keep in the garage for days when it’s too cold for a motorcycle or if your scooter is out of gas. How would you use this mystery machine?

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