The World Needs More Wagons
In The Shadows

It’s a simple fact of life – you can never have too many wagons.

Before I get into the in-depth, behind the scenes coverage from last weekend at Formula Drift with James Deane and Piotr Więcek, I have something small that I want to share. Arriving into the car park at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington, it was typically quiet. The gates don’t open to the public for another couple of hours after we usually arrive, so this wasn’t entirely unexpected.

2017 FD06 Datsun 510 Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-1

Lurking in the shadow of a Toyota Tacoma, I completely missed this slammed Datsun 510 wagon until I went to retrieve my Pelican case from the boot (sorry, trunk) of my rental car (a Nissan Altima, it was awful).

2017 FD06 Datsun 510 Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-12

I might have imagined it, but I think I saw the same car hanging out in another parking lot beside a shopping mall that I was staying near on my first night in Seattle. It could well have been the jet lag though, which has become a permanent part of my life this year.

2017 FD06 Datsun 510 Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-8
2017 FD06 Datsun 510 Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-14

I’d love to give you the full details on this car, but the truth is that I never found the owner, so you’ll just have to appreciate it for what it is. The alternative was to not post it all, so I guess something is better than nothing and maybe, if we’re lucky, the owner might fill us in, in the comments below.

2017 FD06 Datsun 510 Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-13

There’s not much here that I don’t love; the patina is perfect, as is the wheel choice. The crude arch flaring at the rear might upset some, but I think it’s perfect on a car like this.

2017 FD06 Datsun 510 Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-19

The interior followed suit with well worn seats and a cracked dash, a wood-rimmed Nardi wheel providing the perfect contrast.

2017 FD06 Datsun 510 Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-15

I feel it’s pretty much pointless to continue warbling on, so I’ll leave some more images below and get cracking with the main reason I was in Seattle in the first place.

I can’t help but laugh at the contrast in size between these two; we’ve come a long (and some might say wrong) way…

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Cutting Room Floor
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FYI, that's a Tundra, not a Tacoma. But I agree! There needs to be more long roofs in this world. I certainly miss mine. I hope the owner chimes in on this cool Datsun.


It's a 2012 Tundra. I used to work on these daily as a service tech for Toyota for a few years.


yeah i was confused why he said tacoma when there was a tundra in the pic lol but still cool stuff


They're all oversized trucks to me XD


Looks like the damn thing could fit in the truck bed.





Michael Homeijer

it's crazy how much of a stigma wagons have in the U.S. now, even though not to long ago every family loaded up in one for a roadtrip...its funny how public opinion can change


Oh yeah, my childhood memories are full of sitting in the rear-facing third row of my mom's Pontiac as the family drove back and forth between the old home in California to the grandparents in South Dakota nearly every summer.

I'm hoping to buy a wagon of my own (4th gen Accord) by this winter. It will be built to slay the canyons here in Colorado!

Matthew Dockery

Somewhere along the lines someone convinced everyone it was safer to be 6 feet off the ground. And thus the SUV craze was born, which decimated the wagon population here in the states. The sad thing is that a good wagon has as much if not more interior cargo space than most SUVs and definitely more than any crossover. And they look better, and get better mileage, and drive like cars...

Matthew Dockery

Goon Squad Pride!

Also, fun fact. This car has had an independent rear suspension swapped into it. The 510 wagons were made with solid axles and leaf spring rear suspension, and never got the trailing A arms that made the 510 sedan such a potent handling machine right out of the box.

The rear camber is a dead giveaway. It goes to show that this car has had a LOT of work done to it, and isn't just being mistreated (as I'm sure some of you out there are thinking). BTW I only know of four wagons in the United States with a completed swap. Like the AE86 community in Britain Mr. Butters did a piece on earlier this week, the 510 community in the US -- especially in the Pacific Northwest, is very tight knit.


I love how much knowledge is in the comments section here. Thank you for the information!


IIRC thats Jeff (Icehouse) from old "69 wagon of doom" theres a thread under that name you can see the rear suspension build. I havent seen that car in years haha.

Matthew Dockery

Well, it helps that I have one... I'm little biased in the knowledge base that way.

Matthew Dockery

Also, it's a '68 or '69 which is very rare year for the wagons.


Good eye, it is a 68!


Owner is Aaron leavitt


Aaron Leavitt is the owner.


Looks like its got an SR20 under the hood too!


na Sr soon but for now the S14 Ka does ok!


Scrape on Datsun, scrape on.


Owner's Instagram is "Sidewayshatch" I saw it at the Driven show in Vancouver, it is a super cool car!


Thank you Sir!


Although I'm not the owner of this 510 wagon, I can tell you as a 510 wagon owner, I love every inch of these Datsun's. Practical in every way other than the thin metal which rusts away if you drive it in the winters here in Maryland. Every time I consider selling, I hesitate and draw back for fear that I'll never get it back.


Hey Paddy! I emailed you a little bit about the car, Thank you for the awesome write up! Too bad we Couldn't meet in person!


330 headlights?


Yes sir!

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

That's an interesting tailgate spoiler. LOL!


Factory Option Datsun dust/bug guard lol


I definitely agree that the world needs more wagons. I really love these old datsuns and this one is a pretty cool example, guy needs some Mexican blanket in there!


Looking back through the pictures I realized it already has a Mexican blanket lmao


You know, before long we're going to be saying the same thing about mini vans. They are slowly getting larger and more complicated, rivaling full-size and 15-passenger vans. I would love to see someone take a Ford Aerostar, Toyota Previa, or early model Honda Odyssey and slam it to the ground with time-attack aero, air suspension, and some negative offset. Just for the LOLs.


Been done. That 1000hp Honda got featured on speehunters.


Some guys from the Honda plant in Kentucky actually built a Pikes Peak Hill Climb "car" out of a more recent Honda Odyssey.


I have a static dropped mazda5 mini van and the kids and I love it I need to take the time to snap a few pics of it to share:P




Yes, more wagons. Yes, the Altima is dreadful.

Basith Penna-Hakkim

I have to say wagons are pretty cool really good for performance and also family friendly. This Datsun looks sick tho! You should check out other station wagons like Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX Wagon and Volvo V70R. Car enthusiasts need wagons these days!


Wagons for the win


The world needs more of these badass japanese oldschool tuned wagons. Not wagons in general :) Roads are full of Mondeo and Passat wagons, and they're not the best thing ever on wheels :)(


The owner, Aaron (@sidewayshatch on IG) has been in touch to add some more detail...

- Shiftknob tiki head made of Interstate 5 asphalt and horse hair
- S14 Ka24de engine.
- HKS mushroom filter
- VW rabbit radiator
- Q45 power steering resivoir
- Wilwood brake proportioning valve
- S13 intank fuel pump
- Sedan rear independent suspension.
- VW rabbit KYB front strut inserts
- Subaru wrx wagon rear coilover springs on the front
- T3 tension rods and top hats
- Bump steer spacers.
- 180sx s13 power steering rack and pinion
- S12 tie rods
- Driftworks offset rack spacers and e brake line
- K-sport hydro e-brake
- Shortened steering knuckles
- 13x7 plus 12 SSR mark 2 front
- 13x7 -25 Crager on rear
- '72 Nissan Cedric headlights
- Bluebird Estate taillights
- 2 door Acura Integra sideskirts


While I'm not a big fan of Japanese cars (grew up with the German variety) I have to commend Paddys article for the long roof love.
I also give the owner of said 510 wagon mad props...that car scratches my wagon itch something feirce!

MPistol HVBullets

hilarious juxtaposition

a wagon parked next to what America will buy THOUSANDS of


Wagons over SUV/Crossovers any day!


my old wags, miss ya bud.