1972 Datsun 1800GL SSS Coupe - Reader Ride

By: Andrew McIntosh

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Andrew McIntosh's '72 Datsun 1800GL SSS coupe KP510


I wasn't looking for a Datsun 1600, but when I found this on Gumtree South Africa, I got a bit excited. We were expecting a baby, so I was trying to get another classic past the wife, reasoning that we’d need something that fitted a baby seat.

The coupes are cheaper on the Dark Continent than they are in Japan, but they’re quite different. It’s a bit austere compared to the JDM ‘Bluebird’ version, but rather than tizzy it up, I’ve come to appreciate the differences like the crazy paisley GL grille badge, plain seat materials and South African-mandated white reflectors up front.

Datsun -1800gl -dashOnce it landed here in about 2012, I realised that it still needed a fair bit of work before rego. For a start, the engine mount bolts had been replaced by zippy ties! I also had to rebuild the seat frames and sort out the indicators, wipers and fan motor.

It’s got a bit of bog on it, so I’m keen to get Paul Henshaw from Custom and Classic Cars to have a squiz sometime in the future. For the time being, I’ve just tidied the grille, tail light surrounds and badges, which has really brought it up.

Datsun -1800gl -engine -bayIt runs the same L18 motor as some Japanese versions, with twin Hitachi carburettors. I’ve also installed a dogleg 5-speed and deleted some of the towering, South African-spec ride height!

I’ve got a few other Datsuns, but this is the only 510. I really love Teruo Uchino’s work on the Coupe shape; it’s just ‘right’.

 

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