In 1965, the Datsun 1500 roadster got a redesign and an additional 100 cc, which made for a beautiful roadster that did battle with MGs and Triumphs on the road and on the track. These roadsters are becoming more and more cherished collectibles, and many in track trim are still raced on the historic circuit.
The Pick of the Day is a pretty metallic-blue 1968 Datsun 1600 Fairlady roadster advertised for sale on ClassicCars.com by a dealer in Marina Del Rey, California. It’s an affordable classic for the growing interest in classic cars from the land of the rising sun.
It has had a “recent refresh consisting of brakes, fuel system, clutch and transmission service all within the last 3k miles,” notes the dealer. “Other work included valve-cover replacement, rebuilt carburetors with Z Therapy kit, new exhaust header and flex pipe, new radiator and hoses, electronic distributor, voltage regulator and gear-reduction starter.”
Our own Larry Edsall said in a prior story about the model, that the name “Fairlady” actually came from the popularity of the Broadway musical “My Fair Lady.” Prior sedans were referred to as “Bluebirds.”
Powered by an inline 1.6-liter 4 cylinder making 96 horsepower, connected to a four-speed synchromesh manual transmission makes it an easy car to drive that would be perfect for lovely Sunday drives on twisty roads. But it is not for everyone. It is a small car, but for larger framed people, like a friend of mine who races one, it proves to be just roomy enough.
The dealer mentions, that the car is “very strong mechanically and a blast to drive. Lovely paint with a few marks and nicks but no apparent damage. A few nice exterior upgrades include Hella driving lights, roll bar and Talbot style mirrors.”
The interior looks very clean. The black vinyl looks almost new with slight wear and the manual top is functional and decent. The dealer comments, it has “beautiful interior and carpets. The top is in good condition aside from a few marks. A very nice example with good service and repair records and also comes with a service manual.”
Mileage shown on the car is either 8,618 or 108,618, which we figure the latter. But no matter. For a very reasonable $16,500 asking price, this precursor to the legendary 240Z won’t last long. I even considered it.