One In… One Out.

Gone are the days where I just acquired cars endlessly without giving much thought as to what I was going to do with them. When I reached to point of owning fifty cars at the same time, cold hard reality hit me and I realised I was a little out of my depth. These days, I try to maintain something like a sensible balance and a reasonably sized stable of cars, meaning that often, when a new car arrives, something else usually goes to make way. So with the arrival yesterday of the early N12 Cherry I bought at the beginning of the year, it was time to wave goodbye to the KB110 Datsun 1200 coupe project I have been storing in the shed.

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Where are they now?

I’m posing this question in order to maybe shed a little light on the whereabouts of a couple of unusual Japanese spec Nissan hardtop coupes, which appeared in the UK nearly ten years ago, only to disappear again, seemingly without trace. These cars were at one time in the Datsun Owners Club and one of them even appeared at a car show, but little has been seen or heard of them since. If you know anything about the whereabouts of any of these cars, or even if you own one of them, I’d be very happy to hear from you!

First up is this extremely rare C230 Laurel two door hardtop. These were never sold in the UK and this particular one was pictured in the Datsun Owners Club magazine back in 1999. At the time it belonged to John Gorman of Cleveland and was rumoured to have been a Hong Kong police courtesy car before being imported to the UK in 1981. A quick search on the DLVA’s website reveals that the road tax last expired at the end of May 2003 and it’s not market as exported, so where is it now?

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Back to business

Having taken a nice long break over the Christmas holiday, it’s time to get back on with things and what better way to celebrate the new year that by acquiring another Datsun. I originally considered buying this N12, with a view to using it to repair my Cherry Europe GTi but after viewing it, it seems a shame to pull it apart. This Cherry is one of the earliest sold here, having been registered in April 1983, and as such has “Datsun” badging, rubbing strips high on the body sides and the early style interior with funky single spoke steering wheel. It’s also a GL model so comes with a 5 speed transmission as standard.

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Retro Roadster

Retro styled cars are becoming popular with motor manufacturers, so I began to wonder which Datsun could be modified to look ‘new’ with subtle changes, much like the Rover group achieved with the MG R-V8 back in 1992. In fact, considering the manner in which the RV8 was done, how about doing the same with a Fairlady Roadster? I did this somewhat hasty edit to give an idea of what could be done. At first glance it doesn’t look too much different to the original, but that’s the idea. The changes are comprehensive though…

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