Shredded Soft Top: 1964 Datsun Fairlady 1500 Roadster – SOLD!

by | Jun 2023 | Classifinds, Sports Car Saturday

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June 10, 2023, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “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.

Contrary to popular belief among younger enthusiasts, the 240Z Fairlady was not Datsun’s first foray into sports car production.  That honor goes to the Fairlady 1500 Roadster launched for the 1964 model year. Manufactured between 1964 and 1970, the Datsun Fairlady roadster received numerous powertrain and convenience upgrades during its relatively short lifespan. Sadly, poor-quality steel and a lack of proper rust-proofing conspired over the years to make Datsun’s first sports car a rare sight in modern times.

An exception to that appears to be this power blue 1964 Datsun Fairlady 1500 Roadster for sale that we spotted in May 2023 on Craigslist in Portland, Oregon. Despite having only 47K original miles, this Fairlady received a repaint at some point as well as an engine swap to a bigger 1600cc unit in the 1970s.  Reported to be a project car needing brake work before tackling roads again, this 1964 Datsun Fairlady 1500 Roadster for sale makes an excellent restoration or vintage racing candidate.

Last offered for $9,000, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is well below the five-year rolling average of this guide’s summary for first-generation Fairladys produced between 1963 and 1965.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you evaluate the price of the Datsun featured here:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $4,800 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $9,750.

The 1964 Datsun 1500 Fairlady Roadster is a classic Japanese sports car manufactured by Nissan under the Datsun brand. It is part of the first generation of the Fairlady Roadster series, which was introduced in 1963 and continued until 1970. The 1500 Fairlady Roadster is known for its sleek design, excellent performance, and its contribution to establishing Datsun/Nissan as a reputable player in the sports car market.

The exterior of the 1964 Datsun 1500 Fairlady Roadster showcases a timeless and elegant design. It features smooth, flowing lines that give it a sporty and aerodynamic appearance. The car has a low, curvaceous hood, rounded fenders, and a sloping rear end. The front end is characterized by a chrome grille with vertical slats flanked by round headlights and integrated turn signals. The car is relatively compact, emphasizing its nimble and agile nature.

The Fairlady Roadster comes equipped with a convertible top, allowing drivers to enjoy open-air motoring. The soft-top roof can be easily folded down, providing a thrilling and immersive driving experience. Additionally, the car features a removable hardtop option, offering greater versatility and protection in inclement weather conditions.

Inside the 1500 Fairlady Roadster, the focus is on simplicity and functionality. The cabin accommodates two occupants and features supportive bucket seats. The dashboard is uncluttered, with clear and easy-to-read gauges and controls. The interior materials reflect the era, typically consisting of vinyl upholstery and chrome accents. While not luxurious, the interior exudes a sense of purpose and driver-centric design.

A 1.5-liter inline-four engine powers the 1964 Datsun 1500 Fairlady Roadster. It generates around 85 horsepower, which, in combination with the car’s lightweight construction, delivers a lively and engaging driving experience. The engine is paired with a manual transmission, typically a four-speed, allowing drivers to exploit the car’s powerband fully. The Fairlady Roadster boasts rear-wheel drive and a well-balanced chassis, providing excellent handling and responsiveness.

For its time, the 1500 Fairlady Roadster offered several noteworthy features. It boasted independent suspension, ensuring a comfortable ride and enhanced handling dynamics. Disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear provided reliable stopping power. Additionally, the car featured a sturdy frame, contributing to its structural rigidity and safety.

The Datsun 1500 Fairlady Roadster played a significant role in establishing Datsun/Nissan as a reputable sports car manufacturer. It gained popularity among driving enthusiasts for its attractive design, spirited performance, and affordability. The Fairlady Roadster series, including the 1500 model, helped pave the way for subsequent Datsun/Nissan sports cars, such as the iconic Z-car series.

Overall, the 1964 Datsun 1500 Fairlady Roadster embodies the spirit of a classic sports car. With its sleek design, engaging performance, and open-top driving experience, it remains a sought-after collector’s car and a symbol of Datsun/Nissan’s early success in the sports car market.

The Suncoast Aerials YouTube Channel features this modern-day video providing drone footage of a similar 1964 Datsun Fairlady 1500:

This pastel blue 1964 Datsun Fairlady 1500 Roadster for sale appears to be a nice candidate to either enjoy as-is after some initial sorting or as a solid base for a restoration. While the original numbers-matching 1500cc engine was swapped out long ago for a more powerful 1600 cc unit, it probably won’t be missed. At a minimum, after fixing the brakes, plan on replacing the shredded soft top as insurance against unplanned inclement weather during a drive.

If you are serious about buying this Fairlady Roadster, you can start the conversation using the contact instructions provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please remember to mention you saw their vintage Datsun featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“I have this 1964 Datsun Roadster Fairlady I purchased last year from a family friend of the original owner.

Starts/ runs / drove last year before I put it in my barn in the winter. Just brought it out, and the driver’s side rear brake is dragging pretty badly, so you can not drive it home. Starts instantly and runs great, though.

I do not need to sell this, but I am putting it out there as these early Japanese cars are becoming quite collectible in the last few years. Perhaps one of you will recognize the opportunity here and hit me up and buy the car for what I am asking. If I don’t get any takers at my asking price, I’ll be putting new rear brakes on the car and a new soft top and … keeping it? Selling it for more? Not exactly sure what I’ll do with it, but it is quite a cool car.

No real rust to speak of. Repainted once in its lifetime, in the original pastel blue. The soft top is shredded, but all hardware is there to buy another vinyl/ canvas top and fit it to the existing frame. I bought a new tonneau cover (included in the sale), but it requires the buyer to snap in the snaps to the canvas so you can secure it to the body… and I don’t know how to do this.

Some spare parts are included in the sale!

New tires!

Original radio in there, but there is a hidden off-board amplifier wired up to a 3.5mm RCA jack so you can plug in your phone / mp3 player / etc and flip a switch and have tunes through new 6×9 ” speakers installed in the rear deck.

Everything seems to work except for the temp gauge and tachometer.

Showing 47,000 miles, which I was told were original, but no way of knowing this.

The original 1500 engine was swapped out for this 1600 in the 1970s. Driven very little and always parked in a garage.

Let me know what questions you may have….. Send your phone number so I can call you, thank you

Things I would be interested in trading for :

Concrete work, irrigation system, FMC motorhome, Airstream, SAAB 900 classic, Porsche 928, Westfalia project, Newell RV, Bathroom semi-remodel/ bathtub install, Carpentry work, Asphalt/ gravel driveway, tractor with backhoe, Gen 1 Toyota 4Runner in original condition, FJ40 Landcruiser, Land Rover Discovery 1, and Range Rover Classics.

Show or go: What would you do with this 1964 Datsun Fairlady 1500 Roadster for sale?  Please comment below and let us know!

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