Motor Trend Magazine from March 1973 with a feature on Pete Brock’s Datsun 510.. a hot street version of the legendary BRE 2.5 Trans-Am winning 510. So awesome was this car, that Revell immortalised it in a plastic model kit. The original Brockbuster still exists too, having been restored by Troy Ermish Racing back in 2019. You can read all about it at

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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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.

Tomei TS Sunny

The popular Tomei powered Maruzen Technica Sunny coupe (KB110) on the cover of Japanese Autosport magazine from November 1974. Tomei built a perfect replica of this car, which appears at various events in Japan such as the Nismo Festival. The Tomei built, oversized A12 OHV engine in this car is only 1303cc, but puts out an astonishing 164ps at 8000rpm!


Oddball Intake

I spotted this in an issue of an old Finnish technical magazine called Tekniikan Maailma from 1976. This setup was installed on a Datsun 1200 (B110) being used for some kind of fuel test. Clearly this intake manifold is designed specifically for using a pair of twin choke side-draught carbs on a left hand drive model, angling them forward to clear the brake master cylinder. I don’t recall seeing one like this before but it’s an interesting solution to the problem of clearance on left hand drive cars!


Trans Am Truckin’

A decade can make such a difference. In 1988, you would most likely have dropped your Datsun 620 pickup as low as possible, maybe fitted some billet rims, a Ratical roof conversion and gone for a pastel ‘cal look’ paint job. A decade earlier and it might have had the rear end jacked up sky high, some fat slot mags wrapped in white lettered ‘General Grabbers’ and a cab full of shag pile and buttoned draylon. Maybe a little metalflake too? Then again, you might have gone for the then contemporary IMSA look, much like this truck featured in Truckin’ magazine in June 1978.  While to our modern eyes, this might look a visitor from the time that taste forgot, I kind of miss the days where totally wild customs ruled and people were unafraid to build something really crazy. Just look at this thing… apart from those huge IMSA arches, there’s suicide doors, a hefty roof chop and best of all, custom painted graphics in three shades of brown. Brown!  Who these days would build a race car inspired pickup with brown stripes!? Click though for more of a look…

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Nissan Planète Automobile

Nissan Planète Automobile is an amazing new publication from French publisher E-T-A-I and something I would regards as an essential purchase for any diehard Datsun fan. The author, Bernard Vermeylen, has covered a colossal amount of ground in this history of the marque, from the company’s early days at the beginning of the 20th century, right through to last year’s Nissan IDX concept. The book is absolutely packed with pictures, both in colour as well as black and white, and it’s by far the most comprehensive book I have seen, covering some really obscure models. Unusually, it also has a ‘world view’ as well, rather than placing emphasis on the authors home market as is often the case with books like this.

Of course, being from a French publisher the entire book est écrit en français , but don’t let that put you off if you can’t understand French… it’s a beautiful book to flick though purely for the pictures. Or look at it the way I do… it’s a great opportunity to learn or improve your French!

So far I have only seen this book for sale online via French websites, but I doubt it’d be difficult to get hold of. It’s not particularly cheap at 49€ but in my opinion it’s well worth the price. I’d just like to add a huge thank you to my Dutch friend and total Datsun nut Iwan for sending me my copy!

Click through for a brief peek inside Nissan  Planète Automobile and the details (ISBN# etc)…

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Well, sort of… This months Retro Cars Magazine has six whole pages devoted to the rusty, oily goings on here at Ratdat Acres. And the Acty sneaks into a picture in the RRG report too! Plus there’s a 2.3 litre Reliant Kitten, a 320bhp Impreza WRX STi powered Brat and a W108 Merc with a 4.9 V8. It’s a great issue all round, so go and buy it if you don’t subscribe already! The mag is on the up! Big gratitude to the legend that is Bryn Musselwhite for hauling his ass out here to the middle of nowhere, on a pretty grim day, to take some very professional pics and for doing a nice write up. Thanks man!