Snow-Bound Sun Lover: 1967 Datsun 1600 Roadster

What a forlorn looking sight. This Datsun 1600 Roadster is made for enjoying fun in the sun, and to see it sitting in the snow feels wrong. These are pretty looking cars, and they are fun to drive, especially with the top down on a sunny day. If you want to grab hold of a project car that offers that sort of enjoyment, this little Datsun is located in Ogden, Utah, and is listed for sale here on eBay.

Thanks to the limited supply of photos and the abundance of snow, it’s a bit hard to gauge the overall condition of the Roadster. The general overall appearance is quite encouraging, and while there is some rust visible, there is still cause to be positive. We can really only see one side of the car, but the rocker looks solid. There is an obvious repair in the bottom of the fender, and a rust spot further up the same panel. There is one decent shot of the interior, and while the floors look a bit crusty, they don’t appear to be rotted. The one note of caution that I will sound regards just how weather-proof the car appears to be, or not be if you prefer. There is snow visible inside the car, so if snow can get in, so can rainwater. This is a car that will require some pretty careful examination to determine whether it is a viable candidate for restoration.

Under the hood is the 1,596cc 4-cylinder engine, which is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. This engine produces 96hp and was capable of propelling the car to a top speed of 103mph. The engine doesn’t run, but it does turn freely. The owner says that it hasn’t been run in years. On the positive side, these are not a complicated engine, so even a rebuild (if required) should be pretty straightforward. Of course, whether or not this is a consideration is going to entirely depend on whether the body is solid enough for restoration.

The interior of the Roadster is virtually complete, but as with the rest of the car, it will require restoration. The factory radio is missing, but thankfully, the rest of the dash is complete and unmodified. The floor console and desirable factory wheel are present, but both will need some restoration work.

I so want to take the easy way out here and to say that this Datsun represents an easy restoration job that someone just needs to buy and get stuck into. However, I can’t do that, and this is simply because it is such an unknown quantity. Even if the car is structurally solid, there is still a lot of restoration work required before this car shines again. The other thing that could impact the viability of restoration is the value. There are any number of nice examples of the 1600 Roadster on the market at present for under $20,000. That means that for this one to be financially viable, the sale price is going to need to be fairly low. The owner has set the opening bid at $1,900 in a No Reserve auction. If it could be bought for around that sort of price, then it might just be viable.

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  1. Beatnik Bedouin

    Looking at the photos on the eBay ad, I suspect this car is going to have rust issues and any potential buyer really needs to take a close look before handing over their cash.

    Great li’l cars and a lot of fun to drive.

  2. Tom Justice

    I second everything Beatnik said. I own a 1600 and it is a blast to drive. It scoots down the road just fine with those horses. The 1600 could have used the five speed that went in the 2000 but one will bolt right to the 1600 engine and that is a common mod for these cars. Hope someone will save this one. They are going up in value so it might be worth a shot if not too rusty.

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