Wagon Wednesday: Safari Gold Datsun 510


Some of you may have seen this 510 listed for sale about a month ago.  Well, the buyer was unable to follow through with the purchase.  (For the record, he was not a typical deadbeat bidder; he just came across some unforeseen circumstances.)  So, it’s up for sale again and the reserve is already met. 


When an ebay aution completes, but the buyer doesn’t or can’t pay, ebay requires the seller and the buyer to mutually cancel the transaction in order for the seller to not be charged the final-sale-value based fee.  It is only after the transaction has been cancelled officially that the seller can actually re-list the item.  Finally, after a month, this 510 is back on the automotive version of Match.com, plying its wares in search that special someone. 

This Datsun checks all the right boxes.  It has no rust, original paint in a 70s-tastic shade of yellow, it’s a wagon, and it’s a 4 speed.  Also, word on the street is that it’s current owner is pretty amazing.  I have it on good authority that he “World’s Most Interesting Man” once peed himself at the mere mention of him.


This car (click here for the ad) spent most of its life in dry Las Vegas.  It still sports a Nellis Air Force Base sticker on the front bumper. 

510s have a devout following these days.  The little race car that could started it all.  All decked out in Simoniz livery, the #46 510 won its class in the Trans Am series back in 1972. Some of that success was thanks to the 510’s independent rear suspension.  Unfortunately, the wagon variant had a solid rear axle in order to cope with the rigors of life as a utility vehicle.  


This gold wagon is a little dinged and scratched, but, if it were mine – which it is for a few more days – I wouldn’t change a thing about the exterior.  Well, I would change the wheels, but the body and paint I would leave alone.  The great thing about original paint cars is that they don’t have to be perfect.  Show up at a show or a run and everyone will love it for its originality and character.

Lada Selecta640

This image is of a Lada, but it serves as what would be my vision of how the 510 was to look if I’d ever finished it.  Of course, with the ’70s yellow instead of the orange.  (And maybe without the roll-back vinyl roof.)


Hopefully, it will get a loving new owner who will make it even nicer and drive the wheels off of it.


Scott Ith is an Associate Editor with Hooniverse.com, but he also contributes to his own site NeedThatCar.com.  Head over there for more hooniganism.

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17 responses to “Wagon Wednesday: Safari Gold Datsun 510”

  1. dukeisduke Avatar

    How hard is it to convert a 510 wagon to IRS? Is it possible?

    1. Van_Sarockin Avatar

      Everything is possible. It'd be a job.

  2. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    That Lada appears to be carrying an immensely weighty invisible family.
    You are, thus far, to be awarded heartily for keeping the 510 refreshingly unscenedickedaboutwith.
    But I assume the clock is ticking…..

  3. MVEilenstein Avatar

    The copious use of crime scene tape in the background is concerning . . .

    1. JayP2112 Avatar

      I see pumpkins. I -hope- it is Halloween.

    2. needthatcar Avatar

      Pay no attention to the man behin the curtain.

      1. MVEilenstein Avatar

        It's the man in the curtain, wrapped in duct tape, that worries me. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

        1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
          C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

          Meh, Nevada. Not uncommon.

    3. longrooffan Avatar

      While this 510 is extremely desirable, I remember a certain Mrs. Reynolds of my youth owned a red one and well…that's all…
      but what about that '53 steelie longroof alongside that crime scene tape?
      Scott…you got some splaining to do….

      1. MVEilenstein Avatar

        Were it not for the newer wheels on the 510, I would have thought this picture was from the 80's, with that Dodge/Isuzu in the driveway, too. That's not a bad thing.

    4. njhoon Avatar

      He did say the previous winner "came across some unforeseen circumstances".

      1. MVEilenstein Avatar

        It's all making sense now. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  4. Stef Avatar

    The 510 is cute in a Japanese toy kind of way, but what caught my eye is the two tone red/white Chevy Nova long roof. Now that has merit! The rice burner… ahh, what's the old saying? Gotta find the right ass for that seat.

  5. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    This is the 510 I know and love. Simple, good spirit, hard worker. Like the stray from the pound that becomes your best friend.

  6. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
    C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

    Oddly enough, I spotted not one, but two 510 wagons, both a more faded shade of this yellow…they might have been tan, originally…in a good friend's Oregon neighborhood ten days ago. Both appeared to be daily drivers, too.
    Neither were for sale.
    The 510, 'specially the wagon, has a place in my heart, as it's the first vehicle I remember wrenching on, in a useful fashion. I was 6 years old, or so, and my hands were the only ones small enough to work on the clutch master cylinder retrofitted to what had been an automatic transmission-equipped '70 or '71.
    Made it a 4-speed, and all was right in the world.

  7. Lex Avatar

    A year too late! I'd have jumped into that bidding; i still would, but my current needs include exposure to salt and i just could not do that to this fine specimen. On the other hand, i think i've found a way underpriced e30 325iX with a little bit of rust and a brand new, spare differential (including viscous coupling) thrown in for good measure.