HomeCar CultureCommentaryAgainst All Odds: The BRE Datsun 510 Story

Against All Odds: The BRE Datsun 510 Story

Peter Brock, John Morton, Datsun... Need we say more?


Say three names in one sentence: Brock, Morton, Datsun, and pretty much any roomful of car enthusiasts will pause.

In the 2.5-liter class of the SCCA’s ferocious Trans-Am series, the game was “Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday.” While the pony cars had their war, the Two-Five Challenge produced some of the most closely contested, entertaining racing fans had seen.

In a David vs. Goliath undertaking, with Peter Brock at the helm and John Morton behind the wheel, Datsun took the fight to the Alfa Romeo GTV of Horst Kwech, the BMW 2002s, and many other small sedans of the day.

This video is a document by Datsun of the 1971 Championship season. Awesome period footage!

Tom Stahler
Tom Stahler
Tom Stahler is the Managing Editor of the ClassicCars.com Journal. Tom has a lifelong love of cars and motor racing – beginning with the 1968 USRRC race at Road America, in a stroller, at eight months of age. His words, photos and broadcasts can can be found on a myriad of media. He has won the Motor Press Guild’s Dean Batchelor Award and a Gold Medal in the International Automotive Media Awards.


  1. Yes indeed, The Datsun 510 in its Day, dominated the SCCA racing tracks all over back in the early 1970’s Originally it was just produced by
    Datsun as a little econo Box daily driver . But underneath it had an advanced fully independent suspension . rack & pinion steering and other goodies that Datsun was way ahead of it time . Of course the early ’70’s 240Z also dominated the SCCA back in the 1970’s .
    But BRE was the custom race car builder who turned the little Econo-Box into a Beast on the SCCA Racetracks across America and in Japan and Europe . The 510 could even out run BMW’s 2002 which was its closest rival back in those days . Its nice that your magazine reminds us of those days and those kind of cars from yesteryear . One of the Best Cars I ever owned was a 1976 Datsun 710 , easy maintenance , the car was great on the highway . It had a Bullet proof, Overhead cam 2800 cc 4 Cylinder; but it ran like a 240 6 cylinder I had it for 15 years .

    I currently own a Datsun 1983 280 ZX 5spd . I am going to hold onto this car as all the z cars especially the one from the 1970’s and early ’80’s are becoming very valuable on the Collector market .
    If I find a Datsun 510 or 710 I will definitely try to grab it not as a track car ; but something I can have a little fun with on the weekends .
    I also own a BMW 2002 , she is plain Jane ; but I know what I can do to it with some $$$ . Alas , I think I will just leave her All Original .
    Thanks for your very interesting articles . Ed Callender , Car Enthusiast

  2. Thanks for the comment Ed. I too had a 1982 280Z, back in the 90s. Was a fabulous car with one big Caveat that was not necessarily its fault: I lived in Chicago and it was my daily. Need I say more? The poor thing rusted into the ground. As a 22-year-old trying to jumpstart his career, I was pretty helpless. Was sad to see and still miss that car…


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