By on January 7, 2014

09 -1981 Datsun 510 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinSo 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.
07 -1981 Datsun 510 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThis 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.
03 -1981 Datsun 510 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinYes, this car is a cruel parody of the Gr-r-r-rooovy 510 of a decade earlier.
15 -1981 Datsun 510 Down On The Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinStill, 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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12 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1981 Datsun 510 Liftback...”

  • avatar

    These things rusted away decades ago in NY.

  • avatar

    I guess people can be sentimental about anything then.

  • avatar

    In many ways Klurissah had simply given up.

    “Mommy, I’m hungry. I don’t want to see Daddy. I want McDonalds.”
    Klurissah ignored her child’s plight, and cranked the volume on the Jensen receiver to silence her with boner jams.

    “You rocking my body, rock, rock the boat Aaliyah
    Don’t it sound familiar
    Cause it feels like I am looking up into space
    It’s just me and my babe
    And we feel so amazing
    Oho, all night, yeah”

    The Datsun shook and rattled over the potholes. The two children hopped around and fought for supremacy in the back seat. “Get your F$%$*ing a$% back in your seatbelts! You’re gonna git me another ticket!” A filthy freight train lethargically cruised by on the left, demolition crews worked on the right. It was a collection of sights and sounds that consolidated into a depressing visual, especially when they pulled off of Smith Road, and the razor wire came into view. She thought briefly about pitching the Datsun left instead of right, the crossing gate had not completely come down yet. Could her story be believed? ‘Rissuh sighed, and rejected the idea.

    The 510 pulled into a vacant parking spot outside the county jail. The kids, Clarence and Disney sprang from the aft doors like greyhounds, and began racing around the parking lot. “Come on!!!”, Klurissah shouted. Little Clarence adjusted his random ballistic trajectory, and sped past towards the entrance in his coat that was two sizes too big. “Mommy, is it Halloween yet?”, Disney asked. The question was ignored completely by the vacant ‘Rissah.

    “Disney, sit yo ass down!”, Klurissah bellowed from the concrete table. Her man in orange sat on the other side, convicted of intent to distribute several bales of marijuana. Public enemy number one. “How am I doing? How you think I’m doing? Reggie ain’t got dat money you said. All I got is dis ratty Datsun and food stamp.” After ten minutes of comfortable silence, this ended the visitation.

    The kids zoomed back out to the car. Klurissah’s mass climbed into the ripped burlap seat, and the suspension let out a groan of dispair. Fuel vapors penetrated the cowl vent, and filled the inside of the car. This was not unusual. What was unusual, was the long cranking sequence, combined with the muffled “thump-thump” of lackluster combustion. “Comeon DAYM!” The children were oddly silent, their focus captured by the malady. The ten year old battery was down to it’s last electron. The little car cranked over a final revolution, and came alive. ‘Rissah was emotionless and statuesque, as with most things, over her good fortune.

    “McDonalds.”, Disney yelled.
    Klurissah pointed the square-headlamped prow due North. The little old car shook down to it’s bones while crossing the rough trestle. Unfortunately for ‘Rissah, there was not a train in sight. The Datsun coughed and sputtered under I-70. Micky D’s was in sight, but the 510 wasn’t gonna make it. The car’s life essence left, and it came to a halt, double-parked at a LaQuinta Inn.

    “Mine’s got tomato on it.”, Clarence complained. Klurissah opened the burger to verify the complaint. “Eat it.”, she told her son. She slammed the sandwich onto his plastic tray, which exploded into it’s components. The little boy, disgusted, prodded away the tom with one finger. He then reassembled the sandwich and began to eat it. “Mommy, are you gonna fix the car?”, Disney asked. ‘Rissah only scowled, not wanting to even think about it.

    Bellies full, the trio made way towards the bus stop. The heads of the children in tow looked back towards the LaQuinta parking lot, perplexed.
    “Mommy, what about the car?”

    • 0 avatar

      Still got it.

    • 0 avatar

      Let ME Tell you a story.

      A 35 year old guy, A car lover from an early age, Who’s only really decent vehicle he ever owned was a 2003 Mitsubishi Galant he bought with 11,000 miles in 2004, Totaled said Galant after nine years and over 250,000 miles of driving, does a google search for the ’98 Taurus he just begrudgingly bought because the insurance company gave him almost nothing for his faithful, high mileage steed. He comes upon a TTAC article in his google search, explores the site some, Finds a Crabspirits story in a Down on the junkyard article, and goes back and reads every post in the series, and instantly becomes an addict of the entire site.

      Thank YOU, sir, and Mr. Martin, for the hours spent in pure contentment, reading up on old faithful steeds that others said goodbye to, and the fabulous stories that accompany them.


      • 0 avatar

        You’re welcome.
        In case you missed any…

      • 0 avatar

        Sorry to hear about your Galant. Your new Taurus can be a good car, easily good for 200,000+ miles if it’s been reasonably well cared for an your diligent about maintenance. I’m a fan of the breed, having owned a ’90, ’93 and now a ’95 Sable. People forget they were very decent cars for their time, they just tended to be in the hands of less able (both mentally and $$$) owners than the Hondas and Toyotas of the same era.

        • 0 avatar

          BINGO! So many cars out there that suffered from cheap owners, cheap service and cheap parts that otherwise are good cars and could have had a better rep.

          I always thought this would be a great reason for a brand to have affordable and quality service departments – to protect their brand’s reputation!

          • 0 avatar

            The upside of this is Joe ;

            Shopping for vehicles at the Junkyard always yields nice older vehicles that were never abused not even touched , they were just neglected to death ~ even high end rides suffer this fate .

            I almost always buy as scrap as I know anything used will need work and I like lifting the hood and not seeing the damage so many get from ham fisted morons .


  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

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

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