Datsun 1600 SSS

510sss00

So, finally my French Datsun 1600 SSS is home and I can finally take a close look to see just how much work I have taken on. The answer is… rather a lot! The rear quarters and boot floor are particularly poor, as are the sills, and the interior is in terrible shape, although remarkably the dash top isn’t split! Fortunately, I have plenty of parts stashed away including lots of new panels, original carpet and seats. A European 510 SSS is a very rare car and so it’s going to be worth every effort to restore it. Thankfully all the important SSS parts are there and serviceable. Literally the only SSS part that needs replacement is the gear knob. Click through to take a look at the car as it currently stands…

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La cinq-cent dix: Part 3

510SSS_sss

Time for the next installment of my continental adventure. In part 2 I made it all the way to Polisot and bought a 510 SSS. Now, at 3am in the morning, I had recovered from a day and a half without sleep and hit the Autoroute again. This time headed west towards the Vendée, more specifically an area right on the edge of the Vendée and Deux-Sèvres, a bit south of Pouzauges where an old friend of mine lives. Only about about a 440km drive…

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La cinq-cent dix: Part 2

510SSS_flag

…And so continuing from yesterday’s post, I arrived in France! As I needed to be chez M. Martin as soon as possible, I elected to travel via péage (toll road) which adds a bit to the cost but simplifies navigation a little. The penalty for travel this way is that there is not much to see but I did take a few snaps along the way…

Continue reading La cinq-cent dix: Part 2

La cinq-cent dix: Part 1

Exactly one week ago, whilst sat in front of my computer enjoying a lovely cup of tea, I thought I’d have a casual browse of the marvelous French classified ad website, Leboncoin. There’s always interesting cars for sale on Leboncoin, even the occasional Datsun, although those are usually limited to models which are often not terribly desirable to me. However this time  an audible ‘mon dieu!‘ was uttered when the first thing I saw was this…

510SSS_leboncoin

Now, I have been fiddling around with Datsuns for a pretty long time, and this has to be the first time I have ever seen a European spec Datsun 1600 SSS for sale. The legendary 510 SSS. I can’t imagine that many were sold in Europe at all! For me this model is the Holy Grail of 510’s (even more so than a Coupe), and one which I had never honestly expected to see let, alone have the opportunity to acquire. I had to buy it!…

I have been trying to learn a bit of French for the last year, but I’m a very long way from being able to communicate, as I’m still very much at beginner level. Regardless, this really had to be done, so using what little I had learned, along with some Google translate assistance, I fired off an email asking the seller if he had a Carte Gris (the French registration document), if it was more or less complete and whether he could email me some more pictures. I did make a point of stating that French wasn’t my first language (although I’m sure he could have figured that out!) but avoided trying to communicate in English as feel that’s a bit rude.

Continue reading La cinq-cent dix: Part 1