1970 Datsun 510 Wagon: California Clean

1970 Datsun 510 Wagon

Beige. Admit it, most of you would equate beige with bland. But if you’ve ever driven a Datsun 510, you know they aren’t bland at all. More like a Japanese BMW 2002! This creampuff wagon is located in Atascadero, California, and was found by prolific finder Robert R here on craigslist for $7,800. This one surprised me by still having the original 510 wheel covers; almost all 510’s you see for sale now have some sort of aftermarket wheels installed. The seller states that the car has been under cover in a garage for many years. I could only find one major deviation from stock; it looks like a downdraft Weber carburetor has been installed. However, the fly in the ointment for me is the automatic transmission, but I know that doesn’t bother everyone. If you owned it, would you swap it to a manual? What else would you do?


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  1. RayT Member

    Based on experience — I drove a very similar all-original 510 wagon (even had an automatic) not too many years ago — I would leave this for a Datsun fanatic, preferably one who had enough cars to keep this off the road. Not so much driving fun (certainly not up to the sedan in that respect) and it would take more than a Weber carb. to change that.

    This is neither a fun romper like the sedans or an exercise in wackiness like the B210 “Honeybee” or the F-10. Good as always to see one kept original and cared-for, though.

  2. Carl B.

    I had a pretty original 72 510 S/W. I thought it was great fun to drive. The biggest advantage for my use – was the fact that the rear seat laid down perfectly flat – so by best friend could stand on all 4 legs back there. That and the fact that the rear windows rolled down.. LOL

    I would have kept it – except for limited space to park it. Most of the time I wish I had found some way to keep it. It was a 4spd.. and $4500.00 back then – amazing to see how the 510’s have doubled or tripled in value these past couple years.

    I think the seller may have to keep it for a while to get his Firm price – the color and A/T hurt it quite a bit. You never know.. might be someone out there that will pay that price today..

  3. Jim

    I too have slogged a 510 wagon with Auto around and it was not, shall we say, spirited… or fun. It was a cheap reliable point A to point B car that would haul a lot of crap.

  4. Dolphin Member

    Back when the Datsun 510 and the comparable Toyota became known as great reliable, inexpensive cars they were so scarce and hard to get that people would put their names on dealer’s waiting lists for them. Buy used? Good luck, and better get there in less than 10 minutes after the ad appeared. I had a friend who bought a new wagon just like this one after waiting most of a year for it.

    The sedans really took off as great, inexpensive alternatives to a BMW 2002 once BRE and some of the other tuner/racers began having success with them in the sedan classes. I remember once at the Westwood track when a prepared 510 came blasting down the back straight a couple hundred feet ahead of the next car after half a lap of racing. I’ll bet that sold a few, if you could find one for sale.

    I had two 510 2-doors and they were great reliable cars but the suspensions were tuned for family use. You needed to get shorter springs, stiffer shocks, and wide wheels & tires and then they would handle, and BRE had them for you. I also had to do that to my first 240Z back in the day and it helped in exactly the same way. The 240Z had 1.5 times a 510 engine with way better carbs.

    This wagon is a well preserved California blue plate car but he will need to find a nostalgic buyer who can’t do without a 510 wagon with slushbox. If it was a nice 2-door with 4-speed it would probably be gone in a day or two.

    • Robert R. Member

      Jamie thanks for post and the kind comment. I just doing my part to help save some metal and fill some people’s dreams.

  5. Will

    My older brother bought a new BRE 510 in 1973. I will never forget him saying he wished he had waited 2 months till the new 74 mustang II came out. I hope he realized he made the right choice. He used it up driving between Detroit and Columbus Ohio for a few years.

  6. Tim

    My first car was a 70′ Datsun 510. Great reliable fun car- traded it for a Fiat 124 coupe

  7. jim s

    i drove one of these with a stick back when it was new. i liked the car a lot but the solid rear axle used in the wagon made it handle different then the sedans. i do not know what it would take to switch to a manual. if the price is firm it is going to a collector who will return the car to stock. nice find.

  8. nemosfate

    I wish I could get this. I have 2 520’s currently. Never had a 510, yet.

  9. Jon

    The Datsun is not a 1970, it is a 1969, I had one that I restored. The 70’s have square side marker lights.

  10. RickyM

    Love this – even with beige !

  11. Mark E

    There’s no doubt it’s worth the asking price but I don’t get the popularity of wagons. Is it baby boomer nostalgia or what? Anyway I hope a Datsun fanatic gets this and cherishes it. As for me there are many other cars I’d rather have at this price point.

    • nemosfate

      Idk I’m 32 and love the Datsun and small import wagons.

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