Weekend Edition – Two Imports from the 70s that are Worlds Apart… Which one would you have?

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Continuing on with our Hooniverse Weekend, and here are two different imports from the 1970s. One was very popular here in the States, with its bizarre styling, and simple mechanics. The other is uniquely rare, and in the wrong hands, they tend to break… a lot! One is from Japan, the other from Italy. So, which one would be the right one for you?

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Let’s start out with a 1974 Datsun B-210 Hatchpack Coupe with only 75,000 miles on the odometer. According to the listing:

1974 DATSUN B210 4 SPEED WITH AROUND 75,000 ORIGINAL MILES, IN GREAT CONDITION. FOUND THIS CAR THAT HAD BEEN IN GARAGE FOR 10 YEARS. I AM THE 2ND OWNER. JUST DID A FULL TUNE UP. NEW CARBURETOR, FRONT END ball joints,tie rods,bushings and front end alignment. SHOCKS AND STRUTS, BRAKES, WATER PUMP, RADIATOR, WATER LINES, BATTERY, STARTER, VOLT REGULATOR, REAR SHOCKS FOR BACK HATCH. I HAVE RECEIPTS TO PROVE THE WORK.

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INTERIOR IS IN GREAT SHAPE WITH NO TEARS BUT FRONT DRIVER SEAT COULD BE REPLACED OR NEW VYNAL. BACK SEAT IS IN GREAT CONDITION. PAINT IS GOOD BUT THE DRIVER DOOR HAD SOME WORK DONE AND DIDN’T MATCH THE PAINT. NOT THAT BAD THOUGH. I CAN HAVE THE DOOR PAINTED TO MATCH THE REST OF THE CAR IF NEW OWNER WANTS IT DONE. I HAVE GOT A QUOTE TO DO THE DOOR FOR $100.00 PLUS THE PAINT. TIRES ARE GOOD AND GLASS IS ALSO GOOD.

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RUNS GREAT AND IS PRETTY PEPPY. GETS AROUND 40 MPG OR MORE. GREAT CAR FOR AROUND TOWN BUT I FEEL IT WILL GO ANY WHERE WITH NO PROBLEMS. 5 SPEED WOULD BE NICE TO INSTALL IF YOU HAVE THE MEANS! YOU WILL NEED A FS5W63 5 SPEED TRANS, DRIVE SHAFT AND THE YOKE FROM A 79′- 82′ 210, TO DO A STRAIGHT SWAP. PLEASE COME AND TAKE IT FOR A TEST DRIVE. GREAT HEAD TURNER AND NO DISAPPOINTMENTS HERE! REMEMBER THIS IS A CLASSIC AND A USED VEHICLE. COMES WITH EXTRA TUNE UP PARTS. DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS GREAT LITTLE CALIFORNIA CAR!

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The Buy-it-Now price tag is $5,000, which seems a bit expensive for what it is, but what do I know? I can remember when these cars were everywhere, so why not take a look here: [sc:ebay itemid=”400539353013″ linktext=”1974 Datsun B-210 Coupe” ], and tell me what you think about this B-210.

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If the idea of a Datsun B-210 is rather boring, then why not go for this 1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta Sports Sedan with about 66,000 miles on the odometer. Not only do you get the soul wrenching verve of a true Alfa Romeo DOHC 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, but with it you get the soul sucking 3-Speed ZF Automatic Transmission.

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According to the listing:

In excellent unrestored condition, good paint and nice red cloth interior, Mini light wheels, Nardi wood steering wheel, Pirelli tires, Euro Bumpers, runs and drives well. Needs some detailing to be prefect. No rust, Needs a new wiper motor installed (An NOS wiper motor will be provided with the sale). (wiper motor is getting weak). Some rare factory tools and a Euro exhaust header are included with sale. This was an AC equipped car, it is missing the compressor and brackets. I recommend you contact me and come see and drive the car before bidding.

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An Update: I got a few minutes today and installed the wiper motor, it now has a hearty and strong three speeds, but it still doesn’t park, I can’t win. I suspect the problem is elsewhere. I will post some more pictures tonight, including the trunk interior, trunk floor, factory tools, work shop manual, owners manuals, tool kit, and the euro headers.

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More pictures were added this evening, I couldn’t get any under car pictures that were in focus, sorry, but as you see the trunk is not rusty, nor is the rest of the body, it is a rare beast, I can’t prove that the paint is original, but I believe it is, I can find no sign it was masked, nor any overspray. It also has it’s original owners manuals and most of the tool kit. The headers and factory tools were part of a unit of Alfetta parts that I bought on ebay after I acquired the car.

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Current high bid for this non-sporting Alfa Romea Twin Cam Alfetta is $3,500, with an unmet reserve. See the listing here: [sc:ebay itemid=”290953013675″ linktext=”1979 Alfa Romeo Alfetta Sports Sedan” ] and tell me what you would do with this particular Alfa.

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42 responses to “Weekend Edition – Two Imports from the 70s that are Worlds Apart… Which one would you have?”

  1. Devin Avatar

    That is a serious fasten belts warning light.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      Pants falling down was a major cause of injuries back then.

    2. Ate Up With Motor Avatar

      1974 was the year of the infamous seat belt/ignition interlock, if I'm not mistaken. The feds mandated that new cars could not start unless all the belts were fastened (which was especially obnoxious if you had no passengers or if the switch malfunctioned).

      1. dukeisduke Avatar

        True, all 1974 models, and early 1975 models, before the idea was scrapped. A cousin of mine had a new '74 Delta 88, with the interlock, and he quickly figured out which connector to unplug, disabling it.

        1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar

          My '73 Coupe deVille had a pressure sensor in the passenger's seat, which tripped at about 15 lbs. (when new).
          I carried stuff in the passenger's seat daily, on my commute, and the briefcase had the FASTEN SEAT BELT buzzer wailing away.
          Didn't take long to disconnect it.

      2. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        Well, you wouldn't want your gallon of milk being injured in a crash, would you?

        1. Devin Avatar

          After a gallon of milk burst in my parents' then new F150 and it took weeks to get the smell out, you most certainly do not.

    3. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar

      Funny, that's the first thing I thought of, the GIANT "FASTEN SEAT BELTS" light, when I saw the lead picture.
      My mom had one, new, in '76. That, and the funky dash vents.
      The only positive thing I can say is, that engine bay looks like it might fit an LS1, if you're creative with a large hammer.

  2. Batshitbox Avatar

    The Datsun has a bottle opener keychain, and the Alfa has a screwdriver keychain.
    Be prepared.
    <img src="http://cloudfront.zorotools.com/product/full/5MW45_AS01.JPG&quot; width="300/">

    1. facelvega Avatar

      Kudos to BSB for having possibly the best eyes of us all, and for making the most apt and pithy observation about these two cars that anyone could make.

  3. JayP2112 Avatar

    Wolfrace vs Panasport.

  4. mac350 Avatar

    My head says Datsun but my heart says Alfa. My wallet says "Get real, you already have 2 cars and 3 motorcycles and you can barely afford the insurance for those."

    1. mac350 Avatar

      Oh yeah, the Datsun is a nice consumable product and the Alfa is a work of art – check out the beautiful motor, the steering wheel, and the wheels.

      1. facelvega Avatar

        Really? To my eye the Alfetta is another in the line of weak in-house Alfa sedans, inaugurated when they passed on Giugiaro's design for the 1750 and it ended up as the Mazda Luce, a much more attractive car than the Alfa it should have been. The Alfetta sedan, in turn, looks like a cheap knockoff of an E12 BMW, which it pretty much was.
        The clean and handsome fastback design of the B210, on the other hand, actually preceded Giugiaro's GT/GTV body for the Alfetta (but not, say, the fastback Audi 100 coupe S, both below for comparison). The GT would have been a better comparison here, though of course it would trounce the little Datsun. But up against the standard Alfetta with a slushbox, I'll take the Datsun all day long. Of course I also own a (different) Datsun, so I may be biased.
        <img src="http://www.cuorealfista.com/Public/data/starfighter/2011512232944_AlfettaGT-USA.jpg"&gt;
        <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c2/Audi_100_Coupe_BW_1.JPG&quot; width="500">

        1. mac350 Avatar

          No disrespect intended, Facel, but the B210 shows up on Edmunds 100 Ugliest Cars of All Time. As I recall there are no Alfas on the list – I'm just sayin'. I like the early Datsuns just fine- but If I had to choose between the two it would have to be the Alfa – slush box and all. Of course there isn't an Alfa mechanic in 500 miles of where I live so it would probably wind up as a static display in my front yard. The B210 is starting to sound more like the pratical choice.

          1. facelvega Avatar

            It's funny how few dedicated Alfa mechanics there are left these days, as you'd think it would be about the most steady employment in cardom. I guess nobody can afford to pay another person to keep old Alfas running, and it's all shadetree now.

            1. mac350 Avatar

              I should have studied Italian instead of French and wrenched on Italian cars instead of French cars – my first car was a 4CV and I've had a love/hate relationship with French automobiles ever since. Italian cars seduce you while French cars dare you to hate them. Now there are some Italian cars left in my neck of the woods and nary a French vehicle in sight.

          2. Devin Avatar

            I don't think I agree with the Edmunds list. That B210 isn't even among the ugliest Nissan products of all time, let alone the entire industry.

            1. mac350 Avatar

              I don't agree with most of the picks on the Edmunds list How dare they say that my favorite French cars are ugly. I will agree with them about the 98 Fiat Multipla, but I have to admit I've never seen one in person. I'm with you that there are a lot of cars way more ugly than the B210. I'm just saying that I like the looks of the Alfa more.
              Some people say that this is the ugliest Datsun ever made, but I've seen uglier.
              <img src="http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2010/01/CC-50-066-800.jpg&quot; width="600">

              1. Devin Avatar

                The F10 does have that confused owl front end though, I could see a case being made for it being the ugliest.
                I don't object to saying you prefer the Alfa – though I think I'd personally pick a different Alfa – just using the kind of awful Edmunds list as an argument as to why.

  5. Modeleccentric Avatar

    Had an Alfetta sedan very much like that. Never had a B210….and I really don't miss Marelli Electrics…..

  6. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    The Datsun is tolerable, but it sure wasn't a 510. The Alfa might be the least desirable example of that generation. Buy the Alfa.

    1. Alff Avatar

      Beauty is in the eye. I think the sedan is far more attractive than the coupe … and a good bit rarer.

  7. Mr Smee Avatar

    When I was 16 my Mom got B210 hatch with automatic. So, I basically learned to drive on one of these underachievers. We drove it from Edmonton to Vancouver and in the mountains it would only do 35mph flat out going up long hills. So slow it was dangerous. Also had a habit of getting flat tires. Got so I could change a tire in under 5min.

  8. Alff Avatar

    The Sport Sedan is a rare treat that will someday be extremely collectible. Unfortunately the slushbox kills it for me.

  9. dukeisduke Avatar

    I took my behind-the-wheel part of driver's ed in a '78 B-210 4-door with automatic, then later learned to drive a stick in a girlfriend's '77 hatchback with 5-speed. So, I have a soft spot for them. Ridiculously easy to work on.
    What would it take to convert the Alfetta to a 5-speed?

    1. Jim Brennan Avatar

      Any Alfa expert want to reply to this? Wasn't the transmission installed at the rear for 50/50 weight distribution?
      Yes I don't know enough about Alfas, so I'll turn in my Hoon Badge ASAP…

    2. sporty88au Avatar

      You had the same thought as I did about the Alfa. They have a rear-mounted transaxle, so swapping the transmission would probably not be significantly more difficult than swapping the differential in a conventional rear-wheel-drive car with independent rear suspension – the main concerns would probably relate to installing the manual shift linkage and the third pedal (I can't imagine that they would have different floor pans for the manual and auto, but I can very easily visualize that they might have different pedal boxes and brackets).
      I also have a soft spot for the Datsun. Nearly 20 years ago, my younger brother had the sedan version (over here it was known as the 120Y) as his first car – his was white, and was in comparable condition to this one. I agree with you about them being easy to service. His ended its days when another car ran a stop sign and T-boned him level with the engine compartment. The hit was hard enough to tear the passenger side front frame rail out of the car and push the front of the engine about 6 inches toward the drivers side. Luckily for him and his wife, who was riding shotgun and was about 3 or 4 months pregnant with their first child at the time, the passenger compartment remained intact and they walked away without a scratch.
      In spite of my sentimental attachment to the Datsun, my inner hoon screams at me to go for the Alfa, then start trawling Ebay for a manual parts car.

  10. Lysenko Avatar

    The Alfa won't encourage fantasies about suspension modifications and ridiculous engine swaps nearly as well as the Datsun

  11. marmer Avatar

    I had a friend in HS who Hooned the wheels off a stickshift B-210. But that's all I have to contribute, except that it was reasonably rewarding if you drove it like you stole it.

  12. wunno sev Avatar

    CAPITAL LETTERS MAKE ME WANT THE DATSUN

    1. nanoop Avatar

      N O T M E: N O T E N O U G H S P A C E S.

  13. dukeisduke Avatar

    What's with the insulated hose running over the cam covers from the air box to the exhaust manifold? That doesn't give me a good feeling, like the infamous thermal reactors used on '70s BMWs.

    1. scoudude Avatar

      That is heated air intake as used on many vehicles with a carb. Helps keep the fuel vaporized to improve cold driveablity and prevents carb icing when operated in conditions of high humidity and temps in the mid 30's. That hose isn't insulated it's just paper and foil the standard construction. A thermal reactor is a chamber in the exhaust.

      1. dukeisduke Avatar

        Oh, okay. I'm familiar with the heated air intake with the exhaust manifold stove and the hose, just never seen one routed across the engine like that.

  14. dukeisduke Avatar

    Too bad the B-210 doesn't have factory a/c. The a/c in the ones I drove worked pretty decent, even down here in Texas.

  15. CEMaine Avatar

    I had a B210. What a POS.
    It got towed in a snow storm.
    I threw the keys in a snow bank

  16. zen_monkey Avatar

    My older brother got a B210 new. I think it ended up totaled within a year. Whew, thanks, clumsy brother.

  17. lilpoindexter Avatar

    Can I get both?

  18. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar

    The Alfa's rear 3/4 photo looks disturbingly like the Cimmarron from another story, today.

    1. mac350 Avatar

      I wouldn't give GM that much credit to have the sense to copy the Alfa for the Cimarron/Cavalier. But you have a very good eye – the Cimarron does look disturbingly like the Alfa from several different angles.

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