Car Life>>510 Cruising

My buddy Mike is a bit of a Datsun 510 nerd.

He's built two and a half (I'll explain later) 510's over the past several years, and his most recent project is coming along quite well. Over the Memorial Day holiday weekend I met him in our hometown of Fresno,CA to check out the progress on his car and just like old high school days, drive around with no particular no place to go.

The reason I say his second and a half 510 project is because it is. His first was a KA24DE-powered two-door that he sold a few years ago. Next came another two-door, which was intended to be a cheaper, simpler project.

This time around he went with naturally aspirated SR20 power. Still cost effective, but with a bit more sporting character than the torquey KA.

After a slight mishap in that car, Mike decided to swap the running gear and suspension over to a fresh chassis. The old car was cut in half and scrapped, and 510 project 2.5 was born.

Like the previous cars, this was one was built completely in his garage. Mike says it's a strange feeling driving down the highway in something you pretty much built from scratch. Wait…did I tighten that bolt?

She's still very much a work in progress. Mike drove the car three hours
from his place in Sacramento with no tach, speedometer, temp gauge, or gas gauge. No instrumentation of any sort.

But he has the important stuff down, like that sweet deep cone (or is that corn?) Nardi steering wheel.

And the coolest mod ever, factory floormats stolen from his roommate's E39 BMW M5.

The real reason Mike endured three hours down the freeway with no creature comforts of any sort was to show off his new wheels – 15"x7" zero offset TE37's.

It's a modern timeless look – if that makes any sense…

Mike's expression in this picture just scratches the surface of how fun this car is to drive.

After we finished shooting some pictures, the little tin can was filled with gas and we headed out on the town.

Ah yes, Blackstone Avenue –  countless nights of our youth were spent driving aimlessly up and down this street. As we found, it still gets pretty full on weekend nights with a mix of everything from Hondas to lowriders and of course the signature bagged pickups of the Central Valley.

After that trip down memory lane we parted ways, with Mike heading back to SacTown and me back to LA. After finishing the 510 Mike is actually talking about selling it for something with a bit more comfort.

Other cars may be more comfortable, but will they be instant conversation starters wherever you go? Probably not.

I guess we'll see what happens with 510 number 2.5.

-Mike Garrett



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which innout is this? looks like my local one in the area code 510! haha


all in n outs look alike. haha


Bring that baby to Portugal and i will buy it, i love it.



I thought Blackstone didn't allow cruising anymore? Anyways none the less good to see other things come out of Fresno


Amazing car!


looks cool on those rims.. engine bay looks sweet too - No instrumentation you say?? in the UK, 'the Boys in Blue' would have a field day with you..


:O Beatifull!!!


nice lil track toy


is that the in n out in van nuys


old school



Don't even want to know the price on a classic beauty like this.

I need my self a Datsun to cruise in.


i think the sr20 fits it nicely


So cute. I want one!


Rad dime. That last picture is the best one. Great design. Love the white on white.


good to see some fresno love.

you should have done some more speed hunting while you were here though! Lots of nice rids in the valley that people actually drive around......


nice 510 pretty olskool car...keep it up..


This post brought a big smile to my face, everytime I see a clean simple 510 like this one it brings the memories flooding back... I love to see these cars on the road!


SR20VE head swap! GO FOR IT!


What a great, simple, clean, badass car!!!


Awesome car and looks so good on the volks, makes me think I had better call up my buddies form high school and plan a night out with nowhere to go, just like the old days! Nice choice on the n/a SR20, such a great setup for a 510.


love it. maybe i should sell my mk3 and pick up a 510! :D


510 always looks like a Lada to me... Cool car otherwise!!


Willing to trade a pair of testicles for this.. lols.. really beautiful car...


510 in the 559! In and Out in Riverpark mebbe? Wasn't the last 510 nicer?


Yo boi gots nice leg too. Where do he tan?


Great right up ~ makes me want to finish my 510 4door


Great right up ~ makes me want to finish my 510 4door