Precarious Price: 1970 Datsun Fairlady 1600 Roadster – Sold?

by | Dec 2021 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

January 14, 2022 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

In 1970 Datsun offered not one, but two sports cars in its U.S. dealerships.  While the company was busy launching their new inline-six powered 240 Fairlady Z two-door hatchback, Datsun’s 1600 Roadsters were in their final year of production. This silver over black 1970 Datsun SPL311 1600 Roadster was originally listed in December 2021 on Craigslist in Lyons, Illinois (Chicago) for one dollar. Obviously, the seller is not giving this 38K original mile survivor example away, so you’ll need to confirm with him what his asking price really is.

For perspective, using the #3 “Good” condition as a baseline, the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool indicates $13,300 is the benchmark while the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool more conservatively estimates only $9,250.  It’s quite likely the seller will be looking for a higher price and if he updates his listing we will revise this pricing guideline accordingly.

Datsun’s 1500 Sports was built through the spring of 1965 when it was supplanted by the upgraded 1600. Wearing clean styling that has been compared to that of the MGB and Fiat 1200 Cabriolet, this roadster featured a 1,595cc inline-four featuring a 9.0:1 compression, an aluminum cylinder head, and dual Hitachi HJB38W-3 carburetors built under license from SU; the results were 96 horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 103 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Braking was handled by front discs (with Dunlop Sumitomo twin-piston calipers) and rear drums behind 14 x 4-inch pressed-steel wheels.
 
The exclusive transmission for the $2,465 1600 roadster was a four-speed manual with synchromesh on all forward gears, a first for a Japanese car. The cam and lever steering system allowed a nippy 32-foot turning circle, while the front suspension’s coil springs, telescopic shocks, and anti-roll bar were complemented by parallel semi-elliptic springs and telescopic shocks.
 
Under the 1600’s folding vinyl top was a sporty interior that included carpeting, vinyl-upholstered bucket seats, a three-spoke steering wheel, full instrumentation, and a center console housing an all-transistor AM radio.
 
Regulated updates for 1967 included exchanging the shiny chrome trim on the gauges, windshield frame, and vent windows for black paint or a non-reflecting gray finish. A five-main-bearing engine block was adopted, and while the 1600’s power ratings remained constant, the engine was smoother. A dual master brake cylinder improved safety, cast-iron rear drums were exchanged for lighter Al-Fin units and the rear suspension gained a traction stabilizer bar.
 
Increased safety and comfort were the reasons behind 1968’s contoured, padded black vinyl dash fascia and the two-inch-taller windshield, which was integrated into the body and improved visibility and passenger comfort, earning those so equipped the nickname of “high windshield” models. Datsun continued to sell the roadsters through 1970, although they were quickly overshadowed by that year’s debut of the straight-six superstar, the 240Z.

The Retromod YouTube Channel provides a Datsun Roadster enthusiast’s perspective on why these cars are much more desirable than an MGB:

Based upon the pictures provided, the 1970 Datsun 1600 Roadster appears to be a completely original, low-mileage, survivor-quality example that you can enjoy as it or work on it detailing all winter to take it the next level for show car presentation. 

Here’s the seller’s description:

“UP FOR SALE IS MY 1970 FAIRLADY ROADSTER 1600 . IT IS A VERY SOLID WITH NO RUST CAR . THE UNDER SIDE IS ALL ORIGINAL SAME THING WITH THE TRUNK FLOOR . IT RUNS AND DRIVES VERY WELL
START ALL THE TIME .MATCHING NUMBER CAR .(ORIGINAL ENGINE ) BRAKES WORK GREAT . THE INTERIOR IS ORIGINAL AND LOOKS GREAT , THE TOP IS NEW . PAINT IS OKAY FOR DRIVER , CHROME IS NICE .

Show or go: what would you do with this 1970 Datsun 1600 Roadster?  Comment below and let us know!

3 Comments
  1. Ernest Valtri

    $1?… I’ll go .25 cents.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Wish I had found this site before the 1600 sold. I’d be driving it today.

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      We dedicate every Saturday to featuring only classic sports cars, so you can either sign up for our newsletter or just check every Saturday to learn whether we were able to spot another Fairlady Roadster for sale!

      Reply

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