Can’t Restore It: 1969 Datsun 2000


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These days, it seems like everyone hawking a car on eBay or craigslist wants it be a restoration candidate, or goes on and on about how valuable it will be once finished. Well, the seller of this very original 1969 Datsun 2000 roadster here on craigslist is a breath of fresh air, since he advocates for never restoring this untouched specimen and simply preserving it for the long-term. It’s in Alabama (despite appearing on the Dallas craigslist) and the asking price is $12,000.


According to the seller, this was a lady-owned vehicle for 45 years. It was bought new in Louisiana and the original selling dealer’s moniker is still attached to the rear panel. The car features original interior materials and has never been restored, and must have been kept in a dry location since there’s not a speck of corrosive rust anywhere (aside from just road rash blemishes). The seller removed the carpets and you can see the floors are impressively solid.


The engine features its original dual side drafts carbs and is numbers matching. The car runs and drives out well, and the seller has also tackled some preventative maintenance. This list includes a new timing chain tensioner, fuel tank and lines cleaned/flushed, a brake job, a new master cylinder and clutch slave cylinder, and assorted belts and hoses. Included in the sale are the original factory hardtop and tonneau cover, and even the paint is said to still be original (and a rare shade known as “Sora Blue.”)


I agree with the seller that this Datsun is far too authentic and un-messed with to ever be restored. These old roadsters are susceptible to rust, so preserving its vulnerable body panels is a priority for the next owner. It does raise a question, though: would you rather be a caretaker for a preserved specimen like this or have one that you can just drive and not worry about treating it like a museum piece?

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  1. Greg T

    You have been hoodwinked. The paint around the commission plate is peeling that reveals a different color blue. There is body filler cracking on the right side behind the rear bumper. Looks like a luggage rack had been on the trunk at some point and repaired by a ten year old. Front valance has rust spots peaking through by the headlights. A great driver to fix as you drive it. Body off restoration? Probably not!

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  2. Doyler

    “Restoring” this would be vandalism.

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  3. Brian

    Right rear bumperette has been hit hard. I would do a good driver repaint and then drive. I would love to have one of these.

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  4. Ken

    Still remember the white one I had in ’72 when I was 19, couldn’t shift into overdrive 5th gear until about 70 mph, and then it would easily run up to 140 mph, which I did regularly. Glad I survived, hope the car did, I traded it on on a new Datsun pickup in ’73, no speed dangers there!

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    • grant

      I had a ’73 pickup that I bought with a side draft Weber and a header on it, and I suspect a hotter cam. It was scary :-)

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  5. DolphinMember

    It does look like it has been hit on the right half of the rear bumper, with some deforming of metal and some filler, followed by surface rust. There are also small traces of blue paint on the VIN plate. You would need to look closer in a lot more places to know whether the paint is mainly original.

    The VIN checks out as a 1970 build, and it’s one of the last 800 cars. It has some things going for it, like the original 1-owner paperwork, and it looks almost rust free. You would need to look at the underside to be sure since there are no photos. The floors look good, which is rare for any Japanese car from 1970 in No America. The Sora Blue is a correct color for the car. No mileage stated.

    These are rising in value and I don’t think the $12K / offer asking is out of line even if it isn’t perfect. A lot of the Datsun Roadsters and Z cars from back then are pretty bad now if they haven’t been restored, so the fact that you could actually use this one as-is is a big plus. It will gain value as time passes, and it could always be restored down the road if someone wants to.

    If things in the collector car world keep going like they have been in the last 20 years, someone who likes vintage Japanese sportscars will probably regret passing up this car in a few years. We hear that kind of regret on BF all the time.

    It looks like there could be a black plastic tray under the battery, which is the first thing the new owner should check for. If not, acid will eat through the metal sooner than you might think.

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  6. Bill

    Drive it since at the end of the day, the value isn’t going to increase significantly if it just sits.

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  7. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskeyMember

    I worked for a big Datsun/BMW dealer from 1975 to 1979. Every once in a while I would need to substitute as a service advisor, and one of the things we needed to do is confirm the vehicle number plate on the repair order, as Datsun required us to provide the VIN to order ANY parts. I remember these cars having paint on the edges of the chassis plate, even ones that were mint, low mileage original cars. Some [especially the black painted cars], had paint that covered the chassis plate almost 100%. So I don’t believe this car has had a detailed repaint in the engine compartment, I think it was simply poor masking by the factory.

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  8. Terry

    I emailed the seller about the paint. He believes the only panels repainted are the hood and the area in the rear where the damage is(was).

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