Unrestored Driver: 1967 Datsun 1600 Roadster

This 1967 Datsun 1600 Roadster is an unrestored driver-quality example that runs and drives and has minimal issues for a car that hasn’t been treated to a Concours-grade restoration. It features the more powerful 1600-series engine and is actively used with a current Massachusetts inspection sticker. Despite its New England location, the seller affirms that rust issues are minimal and that the frame and floors are in great shape. The paint is subdued, but it’s actually a nice change of pace for the classic Datsun Roadster, which usually appears in red or black. Find it here on eBay with bids to $5,325 and no reserve.

The Datsun 1600 is also known as an SLP311 model, which denotes the larger engine size and left-hand-drive configuration. The Datsun looks sharp with nicely preserved chrome bumpers and over-riders, and the rarely seen OEM hubcaps on steel wheels. By now, most of these are riding on Panasports or cheap Panasports knock-offs. The Datsun also comes with its desirable factory hardtop. The seller notes that the car may need cooling system work soon, as it is said to run a little hot at times with the seller’s father contending it just needs its radiator flushed out. Hopefully, it is that simple, and not more complicated than a water pump or thermostat replacement.

The classic Roadster interior is in good shape, with no obvious damage to the seats or door panels caused by years of top-down driving and storage. The center stack and dash pad both look to be in excellent shape as well. The Datsun certainly gets thought of frequently in conversation about affordable vintage roadsters, but I’ve always felt they were overlooked in the marketplace. The interiors seem to hold up well over time, and the larger 1600 engine should provide sufficient grunt for a car of this size. In addition, there’s a great aftermarket for tune-up parts and suspension enhancements if you want your Roadster to be a corner carver. If I were in the market for a roadster, I’d walk right past the MGB and find myself a Datsun drop-top like this.

The seller doesn’t provide any info on the engine’s health or track record of maintenance. The engine bay itself looks highly original, but that doesn’t necessarily bode well for recent maintenance in the form of fresh hoses and belts. The radiator also looks somewhat ancient, and the plug wires don’t look particularly new. Still, it’s a running and driving car that may just need some basic cooling system work to be a good runner, but I’d still want to get in touch with the father to see what’s been done over his years of stewardship. If you’re in the Northeast and have been on the hunt for one, this could be a good option that won’t require shipping.

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Comments

  1. JCH841

    As a kid, my teacher’s state trooper husband took me for a “ride” in his Datsun roadster. Amazing car in capable hands.

    Like 5
  2. CliffS Member

    The 1600 was the smaller of the two engine choices, the other being the 2000. Unless they offered an even smaller option in other markets?

    Like 5
  3. Christopher Gush

    Some sorting required here….. Per the posted video, the engine is unfortunately not hitting on all cylinders and there is a exhaust manifold leak. Some of the gauges are not registering which will require some electrical sleuthing. Rear leaf spring sag indicates a hard life. The pre 67 Fairlady was more desireable with lower cut windshield. To make this a nice driver will require a big checkbook. The current $5K bid is at the top of its value given what we see when looking closely.

    Like 3
  4. Dave Peterson

    The 2000 with the five speed was the option most I saw at the time. You could upgrade the car in your garage – I know this from experience. A really unappreciated auto in my opinion.

    Like 2
  5. Junior Samples

    This is the low windshield model…’68 was the body change. The ’65 model had a 1500 engine and a positive ground system, as well as a rear jumps seat that sits cross ways…

    Like 4
  6. Troy

    I’m actually kinda surprised its selling that cheap. These were under rated little cars. 4+ hours left in the auction I need to start researching what a Uhaul auto transport will cost from there to my house+ hotels and fuel.

    Like 2
  7. bobhess bobhess Member

    Raced against a race prepared 2000 in the ’70s and we traded wins every other event. Made a great looking race car and looked good in street form. The 1600 was no slouch on the race track either. Nice car and glad to see one still in good condition.

    Like 1
  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Condition:Used
    Ended:Nov 14, 2021 , 7:00PM
    Winning bid:US $6,925.00[ 53 bids ] Man, 53 bids.

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