Junkyard Find: 1981 Datsun 510 Liftback

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1981 datsun 510 liftback

So there’s the “real” Datsun 510, which was sold from the 1968 through 1973 model years and is the one everyone means when they talk about the now-incredibly-valuable BMW 2002 competitor… and then there’s the A10 Nissan Violet, which was sold in the United States with 510 badging from 1977 through 1981. These cars are extremely rare, but I found one in Oakland in 2012 and now I’ve found another in Denver.

This is the 1952cc Z20 engine, which was sort of a halfway evolutionary step between the good old L engines and the modern-ish KA engines. 88 horsepower, and it says a lot about 1981 that this wasn’t too bad for the era.

Yes, this car is a cruel parody of the Gr-r-r-rooovy 510 of a decade earlier.

Still, a very rare Junkyard Find.

Nobody loves a good race more than Datsun!

The slightly earlier version, sold as a Nissan Stanza in Japan, was full of romance.

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  • SixDucks SixDucks on Jan 07, 2014

    Those 510's were somewhat common in Southern California from '77 to about '79. Seems most were light metallic green 2 door hatchbacks for some reason. They faded from the scene rather quickly.

  • ShoogyBee ShoogyBee on Jan 07, 2014

    Heh, my dad's neighbor had one just like this in the early 80s, same color even.

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