Arna – The True Story

The strange and unloved offspring of Nissan and Alfa Romeo have a special place in my car collection. Currently I have five examples… two Nissan badged and three Alfa. There are maybe another four left in the UK that I know of. I’ve harboured a strong interest in these cars for many years and have tried to save what is left from extinction, but few others feel the same way, and that is largely thanks to the motoring press. Thankfully, Matteo Licata has saved me a job by publishing a book detailing the Arna story and putting the story straight in many areas…

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Testing to the Max

The weather has been glorious since the Covid-19 lockdown began here, so I have been making the most of it by working outside on my property. Naturally, this means the cars haven’t received much attention, especially as there are no car events to go to and all but essential travel restricted. I have made a little bit of progress on the Fellow Max though.

Currently, from what I am told, the DVLA have a massive backlog of paperwork to deal with, so I think it’s unlikely I’ll be able to get the Max registered before the end of summer. Despite that disappointment, I have pressed on with making it roadworthy.

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Choose a Cherry

Generally, road tests and write ups on 1970s Datsuns are quite complimentary about their subjects, but not always. Car Mechanics magazine seemed less than impressed with the F10 model, Datsun 100A FII estate, when they tried it out in this short test from December 1977. To be fair, a lot of what they say is quite true. F10 estates have very little sound damping and thus are horribly noisy. The seats really are truly dreadful and the controls are indeed a bit of a mess and yet… I’ve owned two estates in the past and to this day rate them as one of the most fun Datsuns I’ve driven. The go-kart handling of the estate, thanks to its rudimentary leaf spring rear axle, makes it awesome fun, especially when equipped with a little more go than the stock A10 engine can provide (I highly recommend an A14 conversion!) It’s also a useful load carrier which was unerringly reliable. Even with all of its many failings, I wish I still owned an F10 estate.