BF Exclusive: 1967 Datsun 1600 Roadster

1967 Datsun 1600 Roadster

We absolutely love saving classics and while we have an appreciation for collecting cars, what we really love is keeping cars on the road. Well, reader Jim B has been a long time fan of the Datsun Fairlady Roadster and a few years back he finally bought one. He used it for a while, but then let it sit for a while. He got it back on the road about a year ago and started using again, but recently he hasn’t been using as much as it deserves. Rather than see it get parked again, he has decided to sell it. He knows there are a lot of passionate Datsun fans here and even more people who drive their classics here at Barn Finds, so he knew this was the place to list it for sale! We’re honored to be featuring his Datsun and at just $3,500 it’s a bargain for a driving Fairlady! From Jim B – Well, I’m finally ready to do it – sell my Datsun. I’ve owned it since 1998, and we’ve been through some amazing adventures together, but it’s time for it to go to a new home where it will be driven more often and enjoyed more than I can provide for it at this time. 

1967 Datsun 1600 Front

Here’s my car’s story: In 1998 I got the Datsun bug, having always wanted one since first grade, when my teacher Miss Hairgrove (her real name!) drove a red, probably ’68 plastic dash 1600 or 2000 (I was 6, and the valuable difference was lost on me at the time – but not now!). I’ve owned Austin–Healeys and much more, so the Datsun was an affordable alternative. I found mine through the old Recycler, in Chino Hills (about 40 miles east of where I was living at the time, in Santa Monica). The owner was using it as a daily driver to his job at the refinery in Carson – if you know SoCal, you know that’s no small commute in a 1600! I bought it right then and there, and have enjoyed it ever since.

Datsun 1600

I did a bad thing and let it sit for about 4 years but resurrected it a year ago and got all sorts of things done, including rebuilt Hitachi SU carbs; cleaned out gas tank; all new hydraulics (brake and clutch master cylinders are new); new brakes; recored radiator (I believe it’s a 3-row now); new Optima battery; full tune-up with new plugs, wires, cap, etc.; and I put in a slightly redone interior with new carpet, door panels and seats which are very comfy.

I’ve been enjoying it since, but I’m not driving it as much as I would like to, and that’s just not right. Datsuns are made to be driven.

Datsun 1600 Roadster Interior

The pluses: it’s an original black plate California car with a 1967 plate (beginning with T), not a DMV re-plated one like many are today;in other words, it’s a true California car that has lived its entire life here. It’s the last of the flat-dash Datsun roadsters; it’s the low-windshield car (they went to high windshield and plastic dashes in 1968); the car starts right up and is a blast to drive; it handles well and has minimal rattling (not bad for a 48 year old vehicle); it still has its original jack and possibly spare which holds air); the fuel and temp gauges work fine (the two most important); the blinkers work fine; all headlights and taillights work properly; ventilation controls work perfectly; it includes a porthole hardtop (which I never use), and even a car cover, though it’s torn slightly from use. And the new interior is very comfortable and terrific for open cockpit driving. I also have two extra doors I got from a Datsun roadster mailing list person; they are in tough shape but they do have glass.

1967 Datsun 1600 Engine

The minuses: the car is elderly and at some point in the future, could use an engine/transmission rebuild. While the car starts up great and runs solidly, it is a bit tired when compared to a newly rebuilt 1600. The choke cables are too short and thus no longer connected, but again, with some pumping, it starts right up (I have a replacement choke assembly but have never installed it). The rear end leaks a bit of oil, as does the block, but not badly (small amounts over time). Not all of the interior was done; the dash pad and rear area of the cockpit are still old. The speedo and tach do not work, nor does the original Toshiba AM radio. The car took a slight front-end (probably a pole) at some point prior to my ownership, and you can see where the bumper was straightened and the hood bondo’d. But nothing major. Also, the rear wheel well flares have been inexplicably removed by a previous owner. Who the hell knows what was going on in their mind! There is minor topical rust on the hood and a couple other spots, but nothing that a bit of sandpaper wouldn’t take care of.

In all, the car is super super solid, and you can feel it when you drive it.

1967 Datsun 1600 Tag

For years, Datsun roadsters were the ugly ducklings of the collector car world, with paltry asking prices and not much resale value. Today, they’re escalating slightly (rollers going for $1500-2000 and pretty beat examples for $3-4K, but I’m not trying to cash in on this trend. I simply want the car to go to a good home, which is why I’m asking Barn Finds to publish my listing and not putting it on Craigslist. I believe the right new owner is out there amongst BF’s many readers, waiting for a car just like this. I’m asking $3500 but MOSTLY I want it to go to the right person. Please email me at with inquiries. The car is located in Rancho Cucamonga, California, which is about a mile from the California Speedway at Fontana.

Datsun 1600 Roadster

I want to thank Jim for sharing his Datsun with us and I truly hope someone here will give it a new home! These little roadsters are a blast to drive and this one looks like it’s about ready to be used on a daily basis. The fact that Jim already has some of the needed parts to make it a great driver is a nice plus! Just from the few conversations I’ve had with him, you can tell he really has enjoyed owning this car and wants to see it go to someone who will use it as much as it deserves! So who here would like to give Jim’s Datsun a place to call home?


  1. Dolphin Member

    Jim, I think this is exactly the way anyone who reads BF wants to buy a car. It’s clear, detailed, and lists the +s and –s without any hard sell. I hope you get a buyer who will give you your price because I think the car is worth it, especially for a black plate CA car.

    I hope that your wish for it to go to the right person makes that right person step up. I’ve been trying to decide whether I’m that right person but right now I don’t think I am since I’m in the middle of 2 restorations, one being an early first year Datsun 240Z that needs to be put back to original and back on the road. Best of luck with your sale.

    Like 0
    • Jim B

      Thanks, Dolphin!

      i have spoken to some truly amazing people as part of this process – and am trying to finalize a deal hopefully today with one of them.

      the barn finds community is somewhat transparent to us readers – we see the occasional comment from people here and there – but the interaction with people during the course of something like a car sale is really what the hobby is all about. Just listening to people’s interests, aspirations and love of the car has made me not only wisftful about selling it, but also tremendously hopeful for the car’s future, as well.

      it will definitely be going to a good home.

      thanks for the kind comments about the write-up. four years at berkeley gave me at least one skill LOL.


      Like 1
  2. Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

    Jim — if I were in the market I wouldn’t look any further. Agreed with Dolphin above that the write up is first class! I hope you find a buyer — pretty darn sure they’ll be happy when you’re done. Good Luck!

    Like 0
  3. Chris A.

    This Datsun is exactly the year and condition I’m looking for. But getting it from CA to PA just isn’t possible. The low windshield model is much more attractive than the later cars. Yeah, this needs some bodywork TLC and detailed work like the choke and the instruments, but your price reflects those issues. Best “I’m selling it now” listing I’ve seen in ages with the plus and minus points. You shouldn’t have any problem getting your price and then some. Thanks for listing it here.

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  4. Jim B

    Thank you, Chris!

    I have had a number of transcontinental inquiries, but for the car price, I’m not sure if it makes sense. It is essentially rust free, though, with only a couple topical rust spots on the hood, etc.

    To drive this car is to get a feel for how truly solid it is. The only rattles come from the window regulators (of course).

    Thank you for taking the time to check out the listing, and for commenting.

    – Jim

    Like 0
  5. cory

    best of luck. i would love to have it, but with a 1600 in the garage and a 2000 and a 510 in the drive all needing attention, i think i should pass. cannot wait to get mine back on the road.

    Like 0
  6. Ben

    Spoke to Jim today. Apparently this sweet little ride is gone. Good fortune to the new owner! (Case closed.)

    Like 0

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