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1968 Datsun 1600: Cleans Up Nice

Datsun 1600

I’m of the mindset that sticking with one brand of automobile from a project perspective has its advantages: you learn the market, the prices, and the people who have the stuff you want. It’s harder to make the same mistake twice if you own two of the same marque, as I’m (thankfully) learning on my newest project. However, the Datsun 1600 roadster, like this 1968 example here on craigslist for $7,500 discovered by Barn Finds reader Robert R, will continue to remind me I should perhaps think differently. I love the idea of owning a vintage convertible and the 1600 has been on my list for years as a car I should get to know better. It strikes me as a cheaper alternative to the Honda S600, and with a better supply of used parts and vehicles being parted out. This particular example cleaned up very nicely once out of storage and has only 67,000 miles – tempting, for sure, now that the nice weather has arrived in the northeast!


  1. randy

    I love these emails, but you are killing me! Too many toys, too little time and money!

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  2. Alan (Michigan)

    Wait. How on earth does the seller think he will not be called out on the claim to “original paint”? This clearly has the appearance of a low buck respray, which does not look to have been sanded and buffed. Someone forgot to reinstall the front bonnet emblem.

    Sure, the fenders look straight, and that is great. But I think that the only original paint on this car lies somewhere between what the eye sees and the metal below all coatings. For certain, check for body filler on this one. It really might be a nice car, but….. Caution advised!

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  3. Dolphin Member

    Agree with Alan, it has been painted. Should be the name Datsun in chrome letters on the hood above the grille and on the sides of the front fenders. The sure sign of a repaint is the badly masked VIN plate in the engine bay shown in one of the pics. I might have given the seller a bye until I saw that, but he saw it too.

    Other than that, if it’s as good as it looks and the seller describes it, it’s probably worth it to someone wanting a good driver 1600, or it soon will be because these are appreciating.

    OTOH, there are lots of this car’s competitor in the form of all those MGBs out there.

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    • Ken

      The pic of the VIN plate is hilariously bad.

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  4. Fjames

    Not just one “bonnet emblem” but individual letters D-A-T-S-U-N. The stainless side trim is missing and the seam on the quarter panels, normally covered by the side trim, has been filled in. Side emblems are missing from the front fenders as are the holes where they mount to and the holes where the side trim attaches on front fenders and doors. Welded in or gooped? Going with gooped. The most obvious is the overspray on the id tag. Chrome trim is missing from the hood scoop. Jack hole plugs are missing on the rocker panels, both sides. Grill is bent and has been painted. The rear bumper however is original. For one year only, 1968, there was an indent for the plate light. The little things add up very quickly. As for parts being cheap. Better sit down. Particularly if the brakes or front end needs attention. Where’s the soft top and frame. How is the underside? Body on frame construction has it’s own set of problem areas where they rust bad in salty climates. If this is a life long dry desert car then frame and floor rot may not be an issue. But still no mention in the ad. Price on this one is Crazy. Then again parts cars are going in the range of $1000 to $2000 now.

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  5. cory

    The datsun is infinitely better than any of its British rivals. Better engine, better build quality etc. This particular car looks like a pretty good deal, and right in line with the market. I prefer the 1600 over the 2000 for simplicity and parts availability. Which sadly is the real bummer with these cars. I know of at least 2 rock solid suppliers for MG parts, but there are no sources for replacement parts for these cars. To restore a datsun you are stuck with used parts or at the mercy of those who were smart enough to hoard parts. But, they are definitely on the upswing in value.

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  6. skloon

    You guys are all wrong, it does have original paint, it is just covered up by a special Maaco protective spray- wash it with some lacquer thinner and you will find it

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  7. Jeff Staff

    Are you guys saying he has committed the mortal sin known as “Resale Red”?

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  8. Sam Conway

    I am blown away by how much people either love or hate thee cars and also how negative people are towards restoring them.

    The parts are out there you just need to look for them, but I guess if you have to search in a country that doesn’t speak English and isn’t America then its all to hard and the parts must not exist then.

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  9. Keruth

    Was sold on EB last week for $5600, looks like , ARE the same pict’s. Hell, it’s the same write up!
    I’d like one in my garage to go with the LBC and Italian.

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