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Title: Datsun 1600 Update
submitted by: Richard from Gippsland, VIC
Hi, I sent an article on this model to you some years ago. I have now finished restoring my car, so I thought you may be interested in the update photo. Richard.
Hi Richard; Wow, quite a change, and we love the colour selection, and combined with the minilites it makes the Datsun appear far more agressive. We have always preferred (and advised people) to be subtle with changes, it seems you have hit the sweet spot - congratulations! Ed.
Title: Datsun 1600
submitted by: Richard from Gippsland, VIC
When I searched the gallery
and could not find a reference to the classic
Datsun 1600, I was shocked!
Datsun 1600's won the East Africa Safari Rally,
one of the world's toughest motor sport events.
In the United States the famous No. 46 “Brock
Racing Enterprises” Datsun 1600 won the
under 2.5 litre "Transam" Series in
a cliffhanger final race beating the best of Europe,
including both BMW and Alfa Romeo. It was after
these races that the legend of the Datsun 1600
was born and thousands of car lovers today still
look in reverence at these unimposing but potent
Japanese "sports sedans".
In Australia, Datsun 1600s were very successfully
rallied by almost everybody in the 1970's through
to the late 1990's, over 20 years of dominance!
Geoff Portman and Ross Runnells were the rally
team that cemented the legend in Australia. Here
seen in the 1978 Repco Alpine Rally in their famous
IFK 250, powered by the also legendary Les Collins
built, Datrally "grunter" engine. It
took specialized 4wd turbocharged forest racers
to put Datsun 1600's out of contention at the
top the sport.
At club rally level you still see Datsun 1600's
in the high placings. I rallied my first Datsun
1600 in 1976 and it ran reliably for 8 years from
club level to Victorian Championship events. Then,
my 6 year old son was a keen follower of the Datsun
1600's progress during the Alpine Rally's of the
early '1980's - he now owns 3 of them. Both he
and his wife have a 1600 for their road cars,
and they own a "project car" - second
Datsun 1600's have become collector items as many
were destroyed in competition or driven until
they "dropped" - and this often took
30 years! Australian built cars have bodies more
prone to rust. Japanese imports were better rust proofed. The earliest models 1967/8 were fully
imported and are preferred, unless you find a
later import, like mine. Younger Datsun 1600 enthusiasts
are now fitting high performance Nissan turbo
engines, as the basic bodies are strong and there
is 30 years knowledge of readily available upgrades
to handle the increased performance.
I rejoined the Datsun 1600 ownership in 1999,
by purchasing a very rare 1971 Datsun 1600SSS.
Built for the Japanese market, very few were sold
in Australia from 1970 as they weren't fitted
with the mandatory (in Australia) collapsible steering column. Only very few exist here. The
Datsun 1600 "SSS" has a higher performance
engine, different trim and better instrumentation.
Mine was imported from New Guinea by an expat.
Australian and lived in inland NSW for the next
25 years, doing only 93000 miles in that time.
I purchased the car in 1997 and kept it in original
condition, whilst gradually collecting all the
required "performance bits" to bolt
on upgrade, running gear, suspension and brakes.
The original parts are all restored and kept to
maintain the originality.
Recently I dismantled the car and repainted the
shell and all the "hang on" panels.
Its a new body again! I am really looking forward
to getting into my "new" Datsun 1600
SSS, with improved performance, handling and comforts
(air, cruse, electronics). I plan to do a lot
of driving, including regular competition - it
wont be left in the shed. After the Datsun 1600
SSS moves out of the workshop, my son's "Project
Datsun 1600" will get its body refurbishment
prior to a turbo engine transplant - he's into
Title: Sunbirds Rock
1977 Sunbird LX
submitted by: Doug
Hey Sunbird Haters,
I thought I would show you mine so
hopefully you can put it on your site and stop
paying out on me for having a sh*t car... there
are before and after photos and, as you will see,
'for a Sunbird' it is a very hot car... it looks
good and goes good...
The first two photos are from when I first bought
it about 3 years ago .. since then I have totally
stripped it, respray, painted the entire engine
bay, fitted extractors, 15x7 performance mags,
new carpet, pioneer mp3, sub amp, splits, sunroof,
2'' exhaust , new grille, new chrome bumpers and
alot of tidying up... you cannott honestly say
that this is a sh*t sunbrid coz I have not had
one bad comment about it.. everyone likes it including
me and it does have some power after been ported
and polished and extractors also a $800 double
throat webber carby...it has some go...
All there is left to do is fit an alarm and lower
it.... Post this on your site, and show that not
all Sunbirds are pieces of sh*t (although a lot
of them are - especially the uc models). I hope
you agree from the photos attached that my Sunbird
isn't in bad nick and you see now why I hate people
paying out Sunbirds.... coz mine is sick ...again
Title: Tims Benz
Mercedes 350SL R107 1971
submitted by: Tim from Pascoe Vale, VIC
Dear Unique Cars and Parts Readers,
Well, I guess I should own up and say this
is not actually my car, rather my Dad's - but I
am hopeful he will throw me the keys when I turn
18. The car was purchased from a friend, and was
originally white having been imported from the UK
in the late 70's. With only 70,000 miles on the
clock, she was in pretty good shape mechanically,
but the Australian sun and 25 years of indifference
toward regular maintenance had taken its toll.
Further, the car had at some point been re-sprayed,
and while the paint job looked great from a distance,
closer inspection revealed small parts flaking off
and overspray, particularly around the engine bay.
After my dad made the decision to rebuild her, he
set about obtaining the parts from Germany. It is
surprising just how many parts for a 1971 Merc are
still available ex Germany, and his belief that
he may need to source parts from the USA proved
Indeed, he was able to obtain the most
obscure parts for the car - actually I think he
went a little overboard. For example, he purchased
the little rubber gromets that make the fuel filler
cap close quietly, even the tire inflation sticker
for the inside of the fuel filler cap! When he had obtained all the parts required for
the resto, he removed all chrome work and sent
the car to the shop for a body off respray. Bumper
bars were re-chromed, the engine was re-built
including bead-blasting, the interior re-upholstered
- even a new dashboard and instrument cluster
assembly was installed.
The results speak form
themselves. I think the car looks sensational,
although I wish the Melbourne weather was a little
better suited to convertible driving. On a few
occasions my Dad has threatened to sell the Merc,
but I have so far been able to convince him that
the only reason we should ever get rid of it is
to buy a Porsche. Dad usually mumbles in agreement,
then walks off shaking his head.
I have really enjoyed looking at all the car
information contained on this site, particularly
the 380SL car brochure contained in the PDF section
of the site. Thanks for providing such a great
site, I hope this story is worthy of publication.