Fast Fairlady: 1968 Datsun 2000 Roadster – Expired Listing

Aug 2020 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

October 16th Update – The latest Craigslist ad for this rare Datsun expired over the past week, so with no fresh listing found we’re calling this one “Sold.”

September 18th Update – We just came across a fresh listing for this interesting and highly modified Datsun Sports 200 Roadster.  The private seller so far remains firm at his $29,00 asking price.

We believe there is a story under every hood and love coming across great stories of extremely long-term ownership.  Our latest is the 45-year ownership of this heavily modified 1968 Datsun 2000 Sports Roadster listed in August 2020 on Craigslist in Port Washington, New York with a detailed listing and an asking price of $29,900.   Validating this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool reveals this private seller has his 2000 priced between the #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $37,900 and the #3 “Good” estimate of $16,100.

The Datsun Sports (called Datsun Fairlady in the Japanese and Australian markets) was a series of roadsters produced by Nissan in the 1960s. The series was a predecessor to the Z-car in the Fairlady line and offered a competitor to the European sports cars of the period. The line began with the 1959 S211 and continued through 1970 with the SP311 and SR311 lines.

The first true Datsun sports car in this series was the 1963 SP310 “Fairlady 1500” model (right-hand drive), and the SPL310 (left-hand drive). This car was more commonly known as the Datsun 1500 here in America.  Nissan based the SP310 on a modified Bluebird 310 sedan platform instead of the truck platform of earlier models.

The introduction of the 1967 SR311 and SRL311 saw a major update. Produced from March 1967 – 1970, the SR311 used a two-liter (1,982 cc) U20 engine and offered a five-speed manual transmission, somewhat unexpected for a production car at the time. The first-year cars (known as “half-year” cars) are sought as there were fewer than 1,000 produced which are unencumbered with the 1968 model year emissions and safety changes. The in-line, four-cylinder U20 engine had a cast-iron block and aluminum alloy head. The new SOHC engine produced 133 horsepower.  Due to the 2.0 Liter engine, Japanese versions were regarded as expensive, specialized, sports cars due to the annual road tax obligation.

The Datsun 2000 was lauded as a bargain sports car. It was raced by John Morton, Bob Sharp, and others. Its sticker price was the lowest in its class, but it won its class in C Production (Mikuni-Solex carburetors) and D-Production (Hitachi-SU carburetors), in SCCA racing on a consistent basis even after production stopped.

For the 1968 model year, the entire line was updated with a new body featuring a taller integrated windshield with an integrated rear-view mirror, a padded dashboard with non-toggle switches, built-in headrests, and lifting door handles. This version was first shown at the 14th Tokyo Motor Show in October 1967 and was developed to meet the new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. In the US the engines were also fitted with new emissions controls, and the lesser 1600 continued as a companion model through the end of production.

The King Rose Archives currently has this commercial of a Datsun 1600 Roadster from the prior model year featured on YouTube:

The 45 year caretaker of this Fairlady has extensively modified it and his detailed description walks you though what you are getting into with this rare Datsun used as a daily driver up through 1985. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Same owner since 1975
1968 Datsun Sports 2000 Roadster Solex 44PHH-2 5-Speed Comp Setup
1600 frame/body/differential (VIN and chassis tag)
2000 U20 Solex engine/5-speed transmission/drive shaft (both VIN tags included)

“Extra Red” Dupont Imron urethane aircraft paint (1980)
94,522 miles (Correct as of August 2020)

U20 with twin Type Q Solex 44PHH-2 and B-Cam (swapped 1980)
Datsun Competition clutch, 4-into-1 tube headers (1978)
New Girling Clutch and Slave cylinders and flex line (2019)
1-3/4″ Exhaust to SuperTrapp stainless, disc-tunable muffler, discs, open and closed end plates (2019)
Cam chain tensioners replaced (1983, top shimmed 2010)
Valve springs replaced (1985)
TSI geared starter (2008)

Twin Solex 44PHH-2 ‘Old Style’ Carburetors, Short Stacks, 4x CBs filters
Carter 3PSI rotary inline electric fuel pump (2017)
Inertial electric fuel pump cut-off on high-G impact (2017)
Gary Boone electronic distributor with Solex advance plate (2012)
MSD Blaster coil (2012)
Magnecor 10mm spark and distributor wires (2019)

14″ SPAL electric puller fan (2012) replacing belt-driven 7-blade fan
Adjustable electronic fan thermostat – set at 180 On/160 Off (2012)
Manual electrical fan cut-out switch (2012)
Stewart Warner mechanical backup water temperature gauge (2012)
New resistive thermo-sender (2020)

FS5C71A 5-Speed transmission
5-Speed drive shaft and transmission mount
3.90 differential (original to 1600; retained for lower overall gearing)
Short shifter with NASA Huntsville custom machined aluminum gear selector knob
Datsun Comp aluminum shift bushings (Delrin and OEM rubber bushings included)

23mm Datsun Comp front sway/anti-roll Bar (2019)
Super Comp front springs ~1-3/4″ lower front ride height (2019)
Replaced front A-arms (2019) and ball joints (2015)
KYB GR-2 shocks F/R (2019)
Re-aligned/re-toed to accommodate lowered front stance (2019)

Alfin aluminum finned rear brake drums
Upgraded 13/16″ rear wheel cylinders (2018)
Rebuilt Tokico Brake Dual Master Cylinder (1983)
Porterfield R-4S carbon/kevlar brake F/pads R/shoes (2019, 2014)
Stainless steel braided Teflon brake flex hoses F/R (2019)
Brakes bled and freshened in 2019 Master cylinder brake brace included, not installed (no cracks, not needed)

BRE front ‘Spook’ air dam/spoiler with custom aluminum under-tray (2005)
7″ LED headlamps (2018; halogen sealed beams also included)
White front marker/turn lens covers, Amber LED front marker/turn lamps (2018)
Red LED market/turn/stop lamps (2018)
White LED reverse lamp installed (new trans switch)
Red LED third/CHMSL brake light (rear trim hoop mount; removable)
White LED console lamp (2018)
Dash indicator lamps are all original incandescent and operate as designed

Odyssey PC680 sealed battery in aluminum lay-down frame (2015)
Battery cut-out switch (rotary mechanical, 1996)
Battery condition LED ‘tell-tale’ with inline battery conditioner connector (2015)

Original Mitsubishi alternator relocated to passenger-side (2018)
Solid state voltage regulator (2018)

Formuling France 14″ steering wheel, Datsun logo horn button (horn works)
Autopower roll bar (1980)
Simpson 3″ cam lock belts/harnesses — 6-point Driver, 4-point Passenger (2012)
H3R Aviation Halon fire extinguisher (2018)

Shelby 7×14″ 10-spoke cast aluminum alloy wheels (1980)
Bridgestone Potenza RE71 tires 195/55×14 F, 205/60×14 R
BFGoodrich G78-14 space saver spare on steel wheel

Light, “B” Brake Safety System, Fan switches all work
Hand Choke and Hand Throttle work
Vents work
Oil Pressure, Tachometer, Speedometer, Temperature, Fuel gauges work
Adjustable solid state instrument power supply/voltage regulator
Electrical clock, cabin fan, wipers work
Console light and lock both work
Washer reservoir/motor and bracket included (works, not installed)
Original Toshiba radio/antenna installed (status UNK — no speaker Installed)
Heater box removed; while levers and cables remain, intact
Drivers door check requires re-attachment

1979 vintage soft top with rear stay bar and three latches (fits over roll bar; rear window panel is browned-out)
Original no-headrest tonneau cover with rear stay bar (can be fit around seat headrests and roll bar)
California custom car cover

Significant amount of historical documentation included
Owners Manual
Factory Service Manuals, Brochures
Bob Sharp Preparation Manual
1970s/80s Vendor Catalogs
Some service records

Car was a daily driver 1968-1985
2-liter drive train except differential transferred in 1980
Imron aircraft urethane trim-off repaint 1980
Valve springs replaced in 1985, stored 1985-1996
Solexes rebuilt and braking system freshened 1996
Small patches of spidering in the paint at top, left of trunk and rear haunch
Small patch of remediated rust above fuel tank near access panel
Titled in NY as a 1969 Datsun 1600 Convertible, registered and inspected in NY (2020/2021)
Occasional driver on NY Historic plates since 1996 (mostly ‘installation laps’ to prove upgrades)
Redline Engine and Gear Oils used exclusively

Do you have a Datsun Roadster story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

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