Car Feature>> Trs Group 4 Nissan Bluebird Sss

When I first moved to Southern California about 10 years ago, I remember flipping out with excitement when I first laid eyes on this old teal and white Datsun 510. The first time I saw it was either at an event at Pomona Fairplex or at the Los Angeles Grand Prix; I don't remember exactly. I remember seeing the car for the first time, and excitedly blurting out expletives, because I had never seen such a cool historic Japanese race car with my own eyes. I was walking with my good friend, Herbrock One from Cipher Garage, and he told me he was friends with the owner, Gwan from a race shop called TRS Group 4 in Culver City, CA. The first thing I said to Gwan after meeting him, was "damn, I lovvve your 510!!! It's helllllla cool!" with my typical Bay Area lingo. Gwan just laughed and said, "actually it's a Nissan Bluebird. It's kind of like the Japanese version of the 510." Wow.

This was my first experience seeing an actual Bluebird in person, and Gwan seemed to have a whole fleet of them. Some were Bluebirds, some were 510s, and he even had other different makes of 1970s rear wheel drive cars hanging around his shop. I had never seen anything like this before, and although I was (and still am) a hardcore fan of old school Toyotas, I also loved the Datsun 510s that I would see in my hometown of the SF Bay Area – from watching well known 510s at autocross events (Pinky from Duel at DeAnza) to seeing them out at the illegal street races (my old friends Jan Trondsen with his orange 510 and Danny Youngs, with his super clean white 510 with 15 inch Panas).

Back to the car in the photos, this is Gwan's 1971 Nissan Bluebird Coupe Sports model. From what I've been told, the dash is a bit different than other Bluebird models, apparently it's been stripped down a bit. I won't pretend to know much about 510s, so this feature is more of a "big up" to this cool old car I've admired for over 10 years. Apparently, Gwan imported two of these Bluebirds from Yokohama Japan, over 20 years ago! Now that's being a JDM OG! One was a race car (which hit a curb and rolled (aka: got wrecked) several years back at the Tecate Grand Prix in Mexico) and one was a street car. After the original race car was wrecked, Gwan decided to take the parts and convert his "street Bluebird" to a race car as well.

This car isn't just a show car to parade at JCCS. It has actual racing history with logbook and tech stickers from its days of driving at the Los Angeles Grand Prix, VARA events at Willow Springs, Palm Springs street races, and even Tustin Thunder. (long time ago!)

Here's Gwan pulling some crusty old tech forms out of the car. I noticed the matching painted rollcage inside the car, which Gwan says was purchased from a shop named Kameari in Yokohama. (I've been there – very cool shop if you have old Japanese cars! Expensive as hell though.)

Check out the long sweeping taillights, don't they look cool? This is one of the distinguishing factors that separate a Bluebird from a 510. In case you couldn't read the badges, ya know.

Super clean engine bay! So glad it doesn't have an SR20DET, Gwan's car is period correct and fresh to death. Even though the polished aluminum on the valve cover is a bit oxidized, the heart of this Bluebird is a built-up L16 engine – complete with pistons, rods, cams, and alot more internals that were sourced from Gwan's friend, the owner of a shop called Refresh 60 in Yokohama. I just love that name! So dope. See those camber plates? They aren't Cusco… they were actually part of the super rare, Japan-only Nismo circuit racing suspension setup that was purposely designed for the Bluebird. Try finding that for sale on the forums.

When I asked him on the phone, Gwan couldn't remember if the carbs were Mikuni 44s or a larger size… but here's a close up of them anyway, with the bar-type throttle linkage, which always looks cool.

Gwan tells me his Bluebird also has a close ratio transmission, and an upgraded 4.3:1 final drive gear ratio – the car normally comes with either a 3.9 or 3.7 according to Gwan. See the red 510 above the Bluebird? I think it's so cool that he has both cars in his garage… and who can spot the car behind the Bluebird? Anyone know what that is? (AWESOME collection this guy has!)

Yeahhhh… SSS.

Super rare 13×6 inch Mag Road wheels with Yokohama A008R tires! We were laughing when we looked at the old Yokohama slicks – haven't seen those tires on the racetrck in quite a while! BTW, I reeeeeealllllllllly dig the Refresh 60 stickers on this car! Sooooooo damn cool!

See the rear roofline of the Bluebird? It's different than the 510; the Bluebird has a longer, more slanted, sweeping rear pillar, whereas the 510 is more upright.

Oh man, I love the logo. Love this car!

-Antonio Alvendia



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the car behind the Bluebird is am Alfa Romeo GTA probably a 69 or 70


yeah probably a alfa romeo or a rare red bmw 2002 ti


the car behind is Alfa Romeo Giulia 1600 (it is not the Sprint GTA edition from what i can see). It is made from '65 to '69th


My bad, Neil, it is Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA (still not Sprint, but this was added by me)


Definitely Alfa. I love 510s/Bluebirds!



you guys should collect different shops from japan stickers

and raffle them off on here


you guys should go to 326 power


Awesome, you guys know your stuff! It IS an Alfa! I love it. Isn't it cool that Gwan has not only 510s, but also the arch rival of the 510 - the Alfa? COOOL!!!! Mini Cooper too! He has all the cool SCCA 2.5 Trans Am cars!

Cam: glad you mentioned this, I started my collection in 1999. Pretty big collection! Right now they're all in drawers, but I'm about to strategically place them on my new rolling toolboxes I just got. bad ass! =)


Sick! I wish the wheel fitment was better and the car a little lower, but hey, it's a road racing car. Can't really complain as long as they do their job. It'd be amazing to drive one of these.


Its an Alfa Romero GTA, the arch nemesis of the 510 in the old Trans Am 2.5 Challenge series from the 70's.

Watch "Against All Odds" for Trans Am 2.4 Challenge goodness.


was this car ever featured in sport compact car mag?


ohhh TIGHT! against all odds is online now?! hellllllllllllllllyeah!!! now i dont need to wear out my old VHS tape of it! what a great and useful comment, Umai Kakudo. If I could give you a prize for best comment of the day, I would. Unfortunately, they don't let me give anything out except flyers and the occasional Speedhunters sticker. damn!


Unfortunately, it is not the highest quality video capture. The audio is good but the video is pixelated and not very good . . . (at least when I view it). The thing I remember most is how good the BRE tuned L16's sounded.

Antonio - if you have the VHS you should do a high res rip of it for us!

If you want to see an even better vintage racing Bluebird track down Jim Froula's Bluebird coupe.

I have experienced in in person and it is in immaculate show car condition with a Rebello L16 yet he races it hard at west coast vintage races. Jim actually would not bring it out for viewing at a local Datsun meet full of ratty 510's until he detailed the UNDERCARRAGE that was dirty from the previous weekends race. The funny thing is you'd never see under the car since it has a 1.5" ride height!

There is nothing better than a well done car that is tracked hard.


I thought that Jim Froula's car actually came from Gwan originally?

Lots of video on youtube of this car racing,... It's quite a car.


Good looking out, and these pictures made my morning!

I was visiting LA and HAD to see TRS but they were closed to the public that day. Gwan was there however, and did not hesitate to let me in and drool...very awesometown.

Great to see you Wednesday night Antonio!



period correct car, uber rare wheels, racing history, what else can you ask for...thanks for posting it up!!!


Umai Kakudo: thanks for the links man!!!!!!!! Jim Froula's Bluebird looks like an awesome example of a mint Bluebird race car, but I don't necessarily think it's "better" IMHO. While Jim's Bluebird looks to be an incredible quality build, I'm personally more drawn to the visual style of the TRS Bluebird, since it looks more like "vintage japan" to me, ya know? Either way, much respect to Jim Froula and his car, and I'd LOVE to shoot that car sometime if I'm ever in the area! VERY, VERY high end example of what a vintage Japanese race car should be like! Nice!!!


o my god!!! its Gwan, TRS group 4...I used to work there, well, not work there, but helped out there alot...hey Antonio, do you have Gwan's Email address?...I havent talk to him in ages...


Antonio - I hear what you are saying. I guess I only meant 'better' in terms of restoration condition. Jim's car has some body mods with lots of shaved items to make it cleaner looking and is not exactly JDM in that respect but more race prepped in its ethos.

As long as we are throwing out amazing Bluebirds one of my all time favorites is the OS Giken TC16 revival.


yeah jan, super kewinkydink seeing you in little tokyo right after i shot the bluebird! BTW, i have some GAB front shocks for a 510, new in box! i wanna get rid of them, holla at me if you know someone interested!

hmmmm.... what would it take for me to get you to do one of those super fresh art center style drawings of my TE27????? link this to Danny! and we should all get together and roll our matching orange vintage Japanese cars around LA! hey do you know Eric with the 1973 orange Civic??? i wanna get in touch with him too! we should all cruise out together man!


jim's car came from Gwan's garage. he purchased the car and towed it along with a sprint race car ....

i help him loaded up on to the trailer......


uh, the #39 and the #97 are the same car ... figure that one out amongst yaselfs ...


I learned something very funny about this so called "Bluebird". Its a fake...just a very good one.


Does anyone know where Gwan is? I bought of his rising sun datsun 510s and would love to get a hold of him to purchase another 510! If anyone knows him please poass along my name and info! Thank you much! Xavier Fumat