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Mean Green Racer? 1972 Datsun 510

The Datsun 510 was the U.S. designation for the Datsun (aka Nissan) Bluebird that found its way to the U.S. shores in 1968. It was a subcompact sedan (also wagon) that was fielded through 1973. It did have success in the SCCA Trans Am series which the seller of this example says is a “mean green racer.” We don’t know if this car actually raced anywhere and little else is known about it. Residing in the underbrush of Wilsonville, Oregon, this Japanese import is available here on Facebook Marketplace for $12,500.

Let’s play along with the seller and assume this little car did see some track time in its past. The Datsun 510 was a popular car in various classes of SCCA amateur racing and won its class during 1971 and 1972 in the under 2500cc category. No online searches reveal any data indicating this specific auto is noted for or won anything, though in better days it does resemble some 510s in action on the track.

The 510 used a 1.6-liter inline-4 which was rated at 96 hp in stock trim. Most came with a 4-speed manual although the seller says this one has an automatic transmission. And it has a “chrome package” whatever that is. What it looks like is an old car that quit running, was parked in the woods, and Mother Nature slowly began to take it over. There are no interior or engine compartment photos, so what we see is a car that has been consumed by its surroundings. It is really a “Mean Green Racer” and does that warrant the asking price? What do you think?


  1. Cadmanls Member

    Oh my world, 12 hundred is too much for the way it’s being presented. Even if it had a racing pedegre it sure not showing in these photos. The hobby is dying and is being taken over by the profit margin.

    Like 21
  2. 8banger 8banger Member

    Holy Jeebus, MUCHO DINERO!

    Like 11
  3. RayT Member

    Yeah, these were really successful racers when equipped with automatic transmissions…. Some connection with Jim Hall, maybe?

    “Hold my beer!” has been replaced with “Made you look!”

    Have to give the would-be seller credit for trying, I guess.

    Like 9
    • CW

      Value MAY be in some trim pieces. Glass, lens covers, etc. Other than that, she’s done. An automatic to boot!

      Like 8
    • Jimbosidecar

      They used to be referred to as a poor man’s BMW. Now (at least with this listing) it would be the BMW’s richer cousin.

      Like 0
  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Yes, they were good race cars and still are as there are a few in both the SCCA production classes as well as Vintage events. Spent two years co-driving a bright orange 510 in SCCa’s ITC class and the lowest we ever finished was second and that was rare. Lots of fun out of a common street machine. This car is looks like all the fun is gone and not much left over.

    Like 7
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      At the asking price it gets the third “you’ve go to be kidding award” for August. While I’m here, take the “is” out of the last sentence above.

      Like 11
      • 8banger 8banger Member


        Like 4
      • Garry

        You have to pay a little extra for the battle camouflage!

        Like 3
  5. Chris Cornetto

    Really, what a joke. Dream on, I wouldn’t give this guy 50 bucks for this piece of scrap metal. As a matter of fact, one of these in simular condition passed through the local upull it about two months back and if these are sooooo hot, well not a piece went off it. Love this car hobby nowadays, every piece of garbage is a gold bar to many of these heehaws. Cruise the pick-a-part because they still drop in and the parts are priced in reality.

    Like 12
  6. Davey Boy

    Says it’s already sold. I certainly wouldn’t pay that much

    Like 2
  7. I_cant_drive_65

    125 hundreds for this is ridiculous. Whoever buys it deserves what they paid for it. Japanese steel is notorious for rusting fast from my experience too. All that said I love the 510! Just not this one.

    Like 11
  8. Rw

    God bless it….

    Like 2
  9. That AMC Guy

    I had a 510 ages ago and it was great. You’ll want to make sure your tetanus shot is up to date before poking around underneath this one.

    Like 7
  10. mike

    I wonder if he got $12.50 for it??

    Like 5
  11. Robert White

    Haven’t seen a 510 in years. Thanks for the
    memories, Russ. Methinks the seller is overtly
    optimistic and possibly imbibing the underbrush.


    Like 6
  12. Ten50boy

    If someone thinks that 510 deserves that price, then someone is hitting the pipe a little hard! Maybe they meant 12,500 pesos…. That’s about $750 American, which would be fair.

    Like 13
  13. TomP

    It’s a joke ad, like the $5000 potato chip and the $15000 piece of wheat toast… Lighten up people…

    Like 7
  14. John C.

    Gee, they bought a rust bucket and a pile of dead leaves for 12k, sounds like a good deal!

    Like 4
  15. Greg in Texas

    Pull it to my house, I’ll give you $625.00 if you’re ready to let go of it. It’ll sit around in my yard until someone drives by and offers me $900. I can’t pretend there’s no rust underneath. No, I really can’t. Meanwhile, if you’re selling some of that Oregon grown weed you’re holding out on, I’ll pay your asking price if you put about 100 pounds dried in the trunk.

    Like 2
  16. Bob

    Is it so hard to sweep the leaves off of the car so people can see what they are supposed to pay 12k for? The seller is just fishing for a sucker.

    Like 3
  17. Big C

    Weed is legal in Oregon, isn’t it? That would explain this.

    Like 4
  18. FrankD Member

    Would someone please give this guy a leaf blower? Sellers need to be pro-active in selling their cars.

    Like 3
  19. Jaye

    When the would be seller can’t be bothered……………….

    Like 2
  20. Kelly Breen

    My very first car was a 71 510. I loved it and it sure was quick but it disintegrated in a strong rain. MAYBE if the thing came from Arizona or something it might be worth a look, but I would bet the thing is terminally rotten.
    And I overpaid at a thousand bucks.

    Like 2
  21. Reese Member

    Racing towards non-existence…

    Like 3
  22. Mark

    Ain’t no flippin way….

    Like 1
  23. Carbuzzard Member

    Listing no longer exists. No doubt, but not because they sold it. A two-door 510 would be a fabulous find if solid in body. All the mechanical bits can be sourced by someone building a period-correct 510 hotrod or a restored with whatever hot modern engine they’re putting in them.

    No one restores them to stock because although they were nice enough drivers—the only car in its class with independent rear suspension—what they’ve been largely is either racer or rod I’ve seen well-done examples going for $35,000 plus.

    Alas, as others have mentioned, like everything else in this era (or worse), rust is a killer. I’ll bet that sweetheart has no inner fenders, floors or trunk floor left.

    Was there a mention of an engine? Anything that would have made it cool would be corroded solid.

    I have to stop. I had a ‘72 back in the day with the BRE Mulholland kit, fiberglass fenders and more, and it scummed to rust even though all else (well, not the vinyl upholstery) was in good condition. What a shame about this one.

    Like 4
    • Garry

      Did it have the independent rear suspension?
      This one and/or your’s?

      Like 1
      • Norman K Wrensch

        yes they did come come with IRS I have a 72 510

        Like 2
      • Kelly Breen

        The rear was independent. It handled well but I did push mine too hard one time and I would have to say that recovery was vicious. I was lucky to get away with it.
        I loved that car but they were terrible rust buckets.

        Like 2
  24. KH

    They left out only that it “ran when parked”.

    Like 0
  25. Marques Dean

    Once again,PT Barnum proved that he was right!!

    For the same $12,500 you could get a Nissan Versa that’s running and thrash that around!

    Like 0
  26. Greg Gustafson

    Sheesh, buy or borrow a leaf blower.

    Like 2
  27. Bub

    What do I think? I think this clown is living in Fantasyland if he thinks that he’s gonna get even CLOSE to $12,500 for this rusted outhouse. Keep California Dreaming buddy…..

    Like 1
  28. F. Paul Russell III

    Bring a gardener.

    Like 1

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