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.
Here in the UK our F10s are cursed with having a mere 988cc to pull them along (unless you own the “big block” 1171cc coupe). Why Datsun decided that Europe only needed an A10 when the US got A14s I cannot begin to imagine. Maybe smog gear on US spec cars require the extra capacity to make up for the power loss?
My daily work horse is an F10 wagon (because nobody will steal it), which I decided was just way too slow, especially when loaded up with engines (no, I’m not joking), so I decided to fit an A12 for a bit more go. But what I really wanted was an A14. The only source for a proper front wheel drive A14 was an N10 Cherry coupe (sold as a 310 in the US), which aren’t exactly common, so I figured I’d try a RWD engine from a B310 Sunny (that’s a 210 in the US).Continue reading RWD A14 into FWD F10
A friend of mine recently told me of an E10 model Datsun Cherry estate he’d spotted abandoned in the corner of a car sales yard. I went to investigate and it appears to be in fairly good condition and certainly worth saving. So far efforts to find the owner have drawn a blank, unfortunately. E10 estates are pretty rare now, so it would be nice to save this one...