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Welcome to Chilliwack Datsun, 1970!

Hooniverse August 23, 2010 Nostalgia 32 Comments

Here’s something that might shock you: that clapped-out, half-primered 240Z wasting space in your neighbor’s backyard? It was once a gleaming, brand-new car, displayed center stage in some showroom floor, window sticker proudly proclaiming its myriad features, just waiting for an expectant family or hotshot jock to drive his new baby off the lot. And until Professor Farnsworth takes us forward in time to kill Eleanor Roosevelt Hitler and drop you off at Schaumburg Datsun for their 310 Bonanza!, then we simply have to make do with these archive photos of Chilliwack Datsun, British Columbia, circa 1970.

These photos are courtesy of Ratsun forum member Walperstyle, who dug these photos from his father’s archives. They reveal a car company who used its active racing prowess to market cheap hatchbacks, confident young men in bell bottoms, homebuilt dune buggies, race-prepped Datsun 510s being unloaded from trailers, leggy blondes in go-go boots, a dually Mini Cooper tow truck in a Union Jack paintjob, even a brass band.

Imagine pulling up to the lot in your Biscayne and taking a cursory look at the Bluebirds, Sunnys and Fairladysfunny little furrin’ cars, you’d have to be crazy or sumthin’ to buy one’ah these!

A search for what Chilliwack Datsun has become revealed nothing, and likewise these fine cars have all been ground back into the earth from whence they cameand the blonde girl could conceivably be your mother. But unless they’re the last Datsun dealership in the world, like some sort of Twilight-Zone time warp, then it’s a look into an era where FWD was a selling point and “race on Sunday, sell on Monday” actually meant a thing or two.

Pics from the 70s – Ratsun Forums

  • tonyola

    More like 1973 or 1974 instead of 1970. I see a couple of B210 hatchbacks and a 610 sedan in the pictures. Neither was around in 1970. And what sort of dealer puts a "landau" vinyl roof on a Datsun sedan?

    • zaddikim

      Dude. It was the 1970's?

      Chilliwack is a farming community. A fair amount of them, despite being Mennonite or Dutch Reform, see nice profit margins in growing 'sticky green'.

      ergo…landau roofs on Japanese commuter cars.

  • zaddikim


    Upwards of a year ago, I lived right by that place. As in a two minute walk. The KFC is still there too, with Dave's Roadhouse music between the KFC and the Datsun dealer that no longer is. It's now Campus Auto, selling previously enjoyed motor conveyances.

    They have a small but varied collection of cars and (sigh) SUV's, but every once in a while, something would stand out – Mercedes 450SL, Range Rover, Porsche 911 Targa…

    There was a BMW 5-series wagon there that caught my eye (nice dark green!), but I sniffed upon seeing that it was a slushbox.

    Too picky?

    • zaddikim

      The showroom of Campus Auto, by the way, now has an Indian, a circle track racer (big-ass wing and staggered tires and all) and some other car that changes at random intervals. The shop and storage/parking area out back has a continuously variable collection of Detroit Iron ( Really nice old Bonneville 'vert a while back, beautiful white paint job) and the odd Euro job.

    • E34 or E39? I like both but I'm just curious.

      • zaddikim

        E34. Can't remember the exact model (it was ~18+ months ago), but it was going for about 5G (CDN, natch). Interior was mint, even had the cellphone in the console between the front seats. Sadly, me no had dollars for nice car, and I wanted to get away from automagics.

  • ahhhhh. Look at that. Cars with character and lines.

    • zaddikim

      Yes indeed. Now it has genero-boxen filling the lot across from the Tim Hortons.

      /has a sad

      • Maymar

        +1 for boxen.

        Even if according to the I before E rule, you'll always be wrong, no matter what you say.

        • zaddikim

          I was married once.

          I'm kinda used to being wrong.

  • Plecostomus

    Oh, I want the hood ornament in that first picture.

    White girls looks so hot in the 70's. I was born about 25 years too late for this. Oh well, at least I'm 25 now!

    • zaddikim

      25? Pshhh, you're still a pup.

  • So, if Nissan were to go back to the old Datsun name today, and try to re-align slightly from their blue-rinse bating image, would it work or not? In these days of JDM Fanboi-ism, does the old name mean enough to enough people to be relevant? How about a Datsun 350Z?

    Datsun Skyline has a certain ring to it, no?

  • bzr
    • Oh, that asshole had it coming!

      Thanks for the lulz bzr.

  • Number_Six

    Cool pictures but they leave me with more questions than answers. Here's some music from that era by Chilliwack, who happen to be from…Chilliwack.

    [youtube 899wcTQ6IDA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=899wcTQ6IDA youtube]

    • zaddikim

      Fun Fact – Chilliwack (The Band) was initially financed through Bill Henderson's familial connections at Henderson Funeral Home.

      So dead people finance rock.

  • Always neat to see nice, like new (or in this case, actually new) cars that are usually found beat to death, rusting away or in some other sad state.

    Also: The trophy girl can wack my chilli anytime.


    • Alff

      I'm sure many of us were thinking it. Thanks for taking the bullet.

      • Think of me as the Hooniversal bodyguard.

        (Cue pre-nose candy Whitney Houston)

  • Dr Jomamachubby

    Ooooh, looky, looky! A correctly used "myriad"! *golf clap*

  • Is it just me, or does anyone else find the "peeping" Colonel Sanders funny?

    • Equal parts Pedobear and Wilson from "Home Improvement."

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  • Phil Mante

    I live very close to that dealership, it’s now “Campus Auto sales” and it’s still a car dealership. To it’s left is a tim hortons, and colonel sanders is still there after many years. The inside of that KFC probably was the same when that picture was taken, too.