Super Spark Sunday

It’s somewhat of a tradition for me, while the everyone else is watching the Super Bowl I like to take a drive. It’s like starring in The Omega Man – no one on the streets, no traffic, and usually, no mutants.

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Scraps in the mist


Wow! It has been over a year since I brought home the Frankenroadster – a 1967.5 Datsun 1600 with the body from a 2000 and an H20 engine from a forklift.

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Lying to the man behind the counter

Sometimes it is just easier to lie. Especially when you are wrenchin’ on something unusual – a Wartburg, an ancient Datsun or any car that has had an engine swap.

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Fairlady?

An illustration for a "SR20" badge.

I’m not sure if it’s because of Grand Turismo, or animé, manga or just the fact that Japanese classic cars may finally be getting some respect, but everyone seems to know the roadster as a Fairlady. As in, “Oh, a ’67 Datsun roadster, do you mean a Fairlady?” from the guy at the Knecht auto parts. Could have knocked me over with a feather.

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The knee bone’s connected to the leg bone

Mike - AKA Exit64 - gets busy on the intake

Well we all know how this one goes: you start out checking the air in the tires and before you know it, there is a new set of Panasports wrapped in fresh rubber on the project car. “While-you’re-at-it-itis”. My friend Jeff calls it “shipwright’s disease”. It starts with a burned out bulb, which leads to a new light socket, that leads to new wiring, which means a new ceiling, and so on.

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Underhood bling – or “man jewelry”

You might need sunglasses for this post! There’s nothing quite as sexy to a car guy as a set of big, honking, ….. side-draft carbs. And a set that has been completely gone through and refurbished – every piece checked, all hardware re-plated, all new gaskets and the correct jets installed – is a work of art. “Man jewelery” as my friend Mike likes to say. And if they have been polished by hand and machine for untold hours – serious underhood bling.

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Wake Up Call

My daughter bounces out of bed somewhere between 5:45 and 6:15 AM with a “Daddy, I wake up!”. On the other end of the baby monitor, I usually just roll over and hope she’ll go back to sleep. The new project car, “Scraps” is also in need of a wake up call. It has not run in over a year, and it was making some strange noises at that time.

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Meet the Frankenroadster

On Wednesday, December 22, 2010 my friend Exit64 (also known as “Mike”) dropped off my new “interim” car – a ’67.5 1600. This car came from San Jose and looks like it was someone’s auto-x toy – there were time slips in the door pocket! As well as competition front springs and a comp front sway bar (we’ll see about the rear springs).

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Farewell Zippy

Just before Christmas the new owner of my ’69 2000 came to pick it up. Maddie posed next to the car for me.

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Albatross!

SRL311-00139 photo from May 1997

Meet SRL311-00139. Yes, 1967-1/2 Datsun 2000 number 139 – for those that aren’t familiar – the holy grail of Datsun roadsters. For half a year and about 700 cars, Nissan made a mash-up of the early and late roadsters. The low windshield of the early cars. The dual-circuit brake master, U20 engine and 5-speed from the later cars. And a few bits here and there that are specific to the half-year cars. Rare and highly desirable.

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