So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

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dbrick
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So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by dbrick » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:31 pm

A post on another topic made me think...How did we end up here? What made you pick a Datsun?


My story, short version.
1984..Saw an ad in the local paper "Datsun 1600 convertible $900.00" Never heard of or saw one before. bought it, got it fixed, drove it for 2 years as a daily driver, then traded it in for $1800.00 for a 1985 Subaru Brat.
2004 or 2005? I was on Ebay, looking for something unrelated, somehow click on an ad for something, at the bottom it says "Ask me about my 69 Datsun 2000 for sale". After being laid off for about 9 months, I quit the Electricians union and they somehow screwed up and vested my pension, about $5000.00. Momma didn't raise no fool, so I took the money and ran. My Wife said I should buy something fun. :roll: Email, few phone calls, and I'm at Mark Dent's house with a trailer, first roadster I'd seen since 1986 when I traded mine in. 366 days later, it drives out of the garage for the first time.
2011 Got the current Roadster, 66/69 2000. (averages to 67.5, so it's a half year) Flew to St. Louis, met Bob2, drove it 1100 miles home.
2012 10 roadsters and a distributor business later, Mark is one of my best friends and I'm flying out to Solvang in a month!!

What a long strange trip it's been.
Last edited by dbrick on Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dave Brisco

Take my advice, I'm not using it"

66 2000 The Bobster
64 1500 in pieces for sale
Potter 15 The Lakester
1962 Thompson Sea Lancer, possible money pit
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fixitman04
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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by fixitman04 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:53 pm

my car found me... i pulled it from a burning barn while working on the vol fire squad. was the barn owners sons car... packed away mid resto.. son died... dad forgot about the car...

i showed interest and he gave it to me....
67.5 srl-311-00407 u20
desperately looking for a 67.5 body that is rust free... id settle for any low window tub

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fj20spl311
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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by fj20spl311 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:18 pm

In 1968, I was was tuning/balancing the Webers on my 56 Alfa Sprint and one of my neighbors from the apartment walks up and asks if I know anything about Solexes. I told him no, but I would give them a shot. He had just installed Solexes on his "New" 2000. He drove the car over and I was able to straighten out many of the "errors" and improve the running. That was the start of a long friendship and many joy filled hours of "blowing" through Friday night Rallye check points at 100MPH (A very big NO NO). Why do they always put them around blind corners....

Fast forward

In 1993 I was looking for something a little more fun to replace my Geo tracker. I saw a Datsun 2000 in the local paper for several weeks on end....I decided to go take a look and it had a solex motor and Comp suspension, factory roll bar, Libras....So I bought her for $2300 and the sad part passed on a truck load of spares for an additional $500 that included a new head and solex set-up....The guy I bought it from had bought it from his neighbor who worked at a Nissan dealer.....

After 7 years I bought a second one....
Phil
67.5 SRL311-00148 Blue (FJ cruiser VOODOO Blue)
67.5 SPL311 FJ20E teal SDS EFI
69 SRL311 SOLD
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DanR
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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by DanR » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:43 pm

Although it was only a year ago, I don't exactly remember how I stumbled upon Roadsters. But I was two years into having no car payments, having extra cash I wanted a project car and was looking at '56 Ford pickups. Somehow I stumbled upon an ad on Craigslist for a high windshield 1600 with a swapped U20 in NJ. I had no idea what the car actually was as the ad never stated the proper title of the vehicle and had never heard of or seen one. It was in rough shape and hacked together, and luckily the seller never got back to me. After finding the Fords a bit too pricey, I started learning about Roadsters and found a nice, and cheaper, '66 in the southwest. Oddly enough this year I found out my parents were rather fond of Datsuns and owned quite a few, and my mother actually owned an MGB and my father a Spitfire. Weirrrd.

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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by Poobah » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:50 pm

I'm just crazy!!! I must have too much money!!! Or, Maybe I'm just trying too jump start the economy!!!
Really though. I used to drive by one on the way to work. I tried and tried to buy it and was always told no. I watched as it wasted away and finally one day it was gone. The owner passed and the kids sent it to the junk yard. That was almost 18 years ago. I found another last year and I bought it. The PO had commited suicide and had cut big holes for speakers everywhere. Now its my problem and I'm working on her.


Steve

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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by notoptoy » Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:50 pm

So it was 1991 or 92, I was visiting my sister in the SF Bay area (Martinez) and she has this awesome car with her husband. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen, and it was in VERY good condition - about a year off of a frame off -Restomod. Roll-bar, Enkei's, some funky mirrors - but dead sexy white 67.5 1600. I went for a spirited ride - and was hooked. Told her then that she could never sell it to anyone but me.

About a year later she said if you want it, it's yours (For $3200 a FORTUNE back then). I drove it from CA to North Carolina via San Diego and the Southern Route - that was an adventure told elsewhere. It later followed me to Madison WI, and then back to NC. I did not have any idea what I had, it took me about 4 years to figure out that the 67.5 part was significant, and a few more to find the forum here. Needless to say, I'm hooked!
"When all else fails, force prevails!" Ummm, we're gonna need a bigger hammer here.

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65 Impala Convertible
2017 C43 AMG

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garth
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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by garth » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:14 pm

My reason for buying a roadster and story are similar. I had a 68 2000 at 18 for a couple of years and had a blast with it. I got a roadster just to be different from my friends who all drove big muscle cars. Eventually I sold it to go back school. Fast forward 30 years and I am looking for a "project" to help me transition into retirement. I saw a 1600 parked in a garage 10 houses down the street and I was hooked. Searched the internet and bought a tired 68 with a decent U20 Solex drive train. Two hours after the transporter dropped the roadster off in front of the house, the curious owner of the 1600 is introducing himself. Darryl Smith and I have been good friends ever since. Five years and a few dollars later the restoration is nearly complete. ETOR is June. Reason for buying a roadster 30 years later? Same reason as the first purchase, to be different and to enjoy the vehicle and its community experience.

Next month will be my first visit to Solvang.
Garth
_________
68' 2000

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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by Tacomaboy 1 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:36 pm

There cool as all heck,and unless ya know somebody that has one..ya dont see them.

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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by SLOroadster » Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:51 am

A friend of mine brought his dads car up from LA to San Louis Obispo where we were going to school. I had never seen one before. At the time I had no drivers license, I was however really fast on a bicycle. I was getting burned out with the bike racing thing and needed a new venue for my interest. We went bombing around in this Solexed 2L... until it sucked a stud and a nut out of the velocity stack, and into the #2 cylinder. Obviously it made a horrible sound. We then tore it down and discovered there were more issues than just the nut and stud embedded in the top of the #2 piston.

I started looking around and found my car sitting in someones driveway. It was pretty beat up and a little rusty. It did however have the comp oil pan on it. It had a scar from a timing chain failure, but it didn't leak. I did my homework as best I could mostly on the first, second and 3rd version of the forum here. This was back in 2002. I bought the car for $650 even though it didn't run, hadn't moved in years, and the front end had been rearranged by a Volvo 240. It took 7 people to push the car out of the driveway and onto the trailer. The brakes were shot, the cam was done, and it had 2 broken valve springs. My learning curve looked more like a vertical line. After quite a few false starts, I figured out the easy and the hard ways to do things. I'm still learning this one.
10 years later, I still have the same car, and I don't plan on parting with it.

Will
Sorry, I find modern engine swaps revolting. Keep your G, R, or U series in your Roadster!

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dbrick
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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by dbrick » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:31 am

Will disproves the theory, you CAN have just one.

Dave Brisco

Take my advice, I'm not using it"

66 2000 The Bobster
64 1500 in pieces for sale
Potter 15 The Lakester
1962 Thompson Sea Lancer, possible money pit
08 Expedition EL, STUPID huge but comfy

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jrusso07
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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by jrusso07 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:47 am

1979, I'm 20 years old and wanting a Datsun 240Z. A co worker has a 72 Z, a 2000 roadster and a 1600 roadster. He tells stories about the cars and now I want a 2000 roadster. I go out to check out these cars and they are all sitting outside, up to the rockers in mud, rusting away...only the Z could be saved, so I bought it for $200 drove it home and fixed it up. Drove it for almost 10 years as a daily driver.

Got the roadster bug again after a stint with British bikes (Nortons), Ford Capri's from Germany (2000 and 2600cc), and a Triumph GT6. It was in the late 90s...bid on one on eBay and got a message from Mr. Mark Dent telling me it was a mish-mash of years bolted together (what did I know, not much!). I retracted my bid but Mark pointed me to 2 roadster owners on the east coast that were selling. I bought my first from Gettysburg PA, 2nd owner car, was a SPL with a U20 swap. still driving her today (Colleen).

Fast forward to 2005 or so, Watkins Glen Vintage Car Festival and a bunch of east coast owners are renting a large, weird designed house on Seneca lake, thanks to the thoughtfulness of Mr. Dent again. Participating are Mark, Dave & Linda Briscoe, Sid Raper, Alan ? Dave and Pat Freed and myself and my girlfriend. I tell these guys I am thinking of a roadster for my girlfriend, and wham, they pull one off the Internet...I buy it and restore it...girlfriend gets to drive it...sometimes. I still have her. Silver 1970 SRL311. Still have the girlfriend too.

I bought my third roadster on my own in 2010, as the sickness is now terminal. Still working on her, suspension and engine rebuilt (Solex set up), body is sanded down to metal, ready for some minor body repairs and paint this spring. Interior and chrome and lights all rebuilt. Hope to drive her to the Glen this year...

So, thanks to Cliff Buck (co worker in 1979) Mark Dent, Dave Briscoe, Sid and others, I am a hopelessly terminal lover of Datsuns.

There's a another 240Z and a 510 in the story line but they are not roadsters!
Joe

1969 SRL311 - Solex
1970 SPL311 - U20 mod
1970 SRL311
1971 PL510 L18-SSS
1972 HS30

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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by mattywood » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:10 am

I’d owned minis in my youth but was looking for a mid life crisis car and remember a vision near my home as a young man (1982) of some three lense tail lights on a white fairlady. I read about the 150hp motor years later.

I spent an age trying to decide on a car, mini or sporty and finally bit the bullet. Found it online. I was in Melbourne for work and raced out of town after work and bought my 69 2000. At times it frustrates the crap out of me. A lack of $$ to finish it off with a rebuilt U20. I’ve thought of selling. Had fights with my wife about the car. But for as much frustration I get at times this is much less than how much fun I have driving it. I can’t sell it. Viva la difference!

PS: Still looking for a mini to restore.
Matt
69 2000 with 171hp
65 Morris Mini Deluxe under resto
2007 WRX

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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by FairladySPL » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:48 am

Late 1960s, growing up in a Navy town, Virginia Beach, the parents of a kid down the street had a white 311 that would drive past our house occasionally. I think the old man was military and may have brought it back after a deployment. Curiously, it was the mom who drove it all the time. I have no recollection of ever seeing him.

In high school I got an Austin-Healey, which was a lot of fun, but I would need a reliable car to commute to college. That would be a Ford Capri. (hey Joe -- it was a '71 2000, with factory sunroof) It was then that I missed the convertible, and set about doing research into that little white Datsun I used to see.

Initially found a newspaper ad for a 69 2000, all I had to do was pay the repair bill and it was mine. Turns out the car was STILL in the shop, a mechanic's lein, with a jumped timing chain and "many problems" as a result. Not only couldn't I test drive it, but the circumstances were questionable.

By now it was late 1975. Over Christmas break, another classified ad in the newspaper, this time a white 1600. First time I would ever drive one. It was friggen cold out, my first recollection. But it started and ran well. Made the deal, drove it home, and THAT's the one that's on the 311s calendar this year (and more recently, on a website).

Been through about a dozen since then, both flavors, all high windshield, trading up for better examples each time. Settled on the current one about 20 years ago and living happily ever after.
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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by datsun65 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:55 am

In 1990 was going to school in Berkeley, CA and saw a ragged high windshield white/red 2000 sitting parked on the street for days at a time. I thought it was such a cool, unique car, and perfect size (and coolness) for the crazy city driving in Berkeley. However, the car wasn't for sale. I saw the owner driving the car once through town and I was totally hooked.

I eventully found a 1970 1600 for sale that had a rebuilt drivetrain, but needed everything else. I convinced myself that since it was a Datsun, it would be easy to find parts!!!! Little did I know. Spent the summer restoring the little 1600, then found out the Covered Garage Spot i planned on parking my restored car in the Fall had been given away, and I had nowhere to park my car. I decided it would be better to sell her off than have the car get thrashed parking on the streets in Berekely. Sold the car to an actor who had just received a bonus after a gig in the movie 'Child's Play'.

20 years later, I found the car for sale after it had been crashed into a southern california freeway offramp. Poor car looked so beat.

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Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Post by Garm » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:08 am

Post subject: Re: So, Why did you buy a Roadster?

Because my Spitfire sucked.
1969 Roadster 1600-ish #26244 "Spike"
---------------------------------
OS GIKEN LSD $1720
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