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Potential Bargain! 1969 Datsun 2000

There’s just something about a small car with great handling, even with a modest amount of horsepower. This 1969 Datsun 2000 is very much one of those cars with modest horsepower that is still fun to drive. This little project is on Craigslist for an equally-modest asking price of $3,950! It can be found in Fredonia, Wisconsin, about a half-hour north of Milwaukee. If someone nabs it up, here is the archived CL listing.

I was recently in Chicago for a few days and I hopped on to the local Craigslist to see if anything interesting jumped out at me and this was one car that really stood out. And, then I saw the price and I almost jumped out of my skin! Less than $4,000 for this car in this great condition?! I have always wanted one of these Datsun roadsters, known as the Fairlady in Japan and Australian markets. The name Fairlady most likely wouldn’t have worked in the US car market, especially in the 1960s when a lot of drivers were either driving or dreaming of driving the multi-hundred horsepower cars burning up the streets at the time.

By 1967, these roadsters had evolved into really good, dependable, competitive sports cars in the same vein as the MGB. And, just to quash a long-standing rumor: no, Nissan did not copy the MGB, in fact the Fairlady was first to the market by several months. And, by this generation with the 2.0L engine – the 2000 series – the Datsun was arguably a much better car than the MGB had evolved, or devolved, into. The body on this car looks fantastic to me. The gaps look great and I don’t see any rust on the body, unless it’s been fixed, but the owner says that it’s original.

When the 1600 series evolved into the 2000 with a bigger engine, it also added a padded dash and a taller windshield among other features. There was a period in 1967 where a person could get the 2000 roadster with the lower windshield and that’s the one that most collectors, and enthusiasts, want. Heck, I’ll take anything, I’m not fussy. This one would work nicely for me, but it does need work. If you look at the photos you’ll see a bit of rust underneath and a lot of details that need work. The seller mentions that the “car starts, runs, and drives and is all original with no modifications.” But, the top has been replaced in the last five years.

This really looks like a bargain to me. If this car looks as good in person as it does in the photos, it seems like a person could turn it into a rolling restoration project – just drive it and fix it up as you have the extra time and money, if there is such a thing as having either extra time or money. This is a 135 hp 2.0L inline-four and they were quite an update from the Datsun 1600 which had 90 hp. Hagerty lists a #4 fair car as being valued at $8,500! If that’s the case, one of us needs to jump on this car and I don’t mean tomorrow! Well, since it’s 11:32 pm as I write this on Thanksgiving night, maybe it would be better to wait until tomorrow. Have any of you owned a Datsun roadster, either a 1600 or 2000, or a Fairlady? What do you think about the price being half of the Hagerty fair value?

Comments

  1. Jeremy holmes

    Looks like a bargain to me. Wish I was closer or had the time to make the trip. I would clean it up and take care of the mechanicals then just drive it.

  2. Mountainwoodie

    If only it was in Freedonia, California

  3. Ken Kittleson

    Had a white ’69 2000 roadster when I was 19 in ’72, incredibly fun car, had an overdrive 5th gear that you didn’t shift into until 70 mph, and then it would run up to 140 mph. Traded it in on a new ’73 Datsun pickup so I could haul my chopped Honda in the bed. Yeesh.

  4. stillrunners LAWRENCE Member

    When did the FairLadys become the 2000…..nice little car there – worth the money if it’s not rusty …..

  5. Nova Scotian

    Needs battery tie down. Otherwise, very nice, looks to be all good.

  6. On and On On and On Member

    Future big time collectible for sure.

  7. irocrobb

    It sure looks like a bargain to me if the body is as good as looks in pics.I have not saw one on the roads in many years.

  8. John Ruth

    Had a 1600 in high school and wanted a 2000 since then.

  9. Robert G Thomas

    See these pretty often in SoCal.

  10. Ryan

    I have loved these ever since I discovered them. This is a fantastic price for an example that’s not covered in rust. I may pass the area when driving back to NJ from CA in a few weeks….

  11. Brian

    Yep, they’re around here in CA. Never for this cheap though! That price is crazy! Bet it’ll be fine tomorrow!

  12. LarryK

    I like these cars a lot having had a 1600 that was converted into a full spec G Production SCCA road race car. But I often doubt the Hagerty valuation figures. I saw one for $8,500.00 that was in very, very nice condition. Regardless, yeah this could be a fun project with a low price of entry for sure. About 10 years ago, I never found parts to be super difficult to get.

  13. Alasrair

    Had a 1600 .It was a factory misfit with the overdrive tranny. Was a blast to drive and won me a lot of beer racing it ,

  14. Loco Mikado

    I have always liked these little Datsun roadsters.In the early 70’s a roomates girlfriend had a 1600 after totaling her Duster 340 six pack(talk about going from one extreme to another) and another friend of mine had a 2000. Another friend had an MGB-GT and I always thought the Datsuns were way better cars.

  15. Michael Schreiber

    I have 3 Datsun roadster this one is nice east coast cars get lots of rust lower rockers full restored with paint 30k for the DIY otherwise 💰just a easy to work on durable reliable car I had my 1st car for 40 years paid $800 is now restored #2 driver 👌 67.5 2000 can run 50k good investment over time LM just really into these cars

  16. John Baum

    I bought a new 2000 in early 1969 when I was still young and able to enjoy it. It was able to cruise along at 70 mph in 5th gear at under 2,000 rpms. A hoot to drive but subject to rust, especially the rocker panels. Dash manufactured of urethane foam which, in a hot environment, is subject to splitting and may prove nearly impossible to replace

  17. Jeffrey Knight

    How do I find this car 424 5671230
    Jeff

  18. chris coyle

    Traded my triumph GT6 for a red fairlady 2000 in 1983 while living in surfers paradise Australia.What a car it was.Used to love pulling up next to MG’S and gassing it leaving them in my rearview.Ahead of their time for sure.This looks like a bargain to me.

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