The Datsun & Nissan Heritage Museum You’ve Never Heard Of
Welcome To Nowhere

Bothaville, a tiny farming community in South Africa’s Free State is the last place you’d expect to find something like this.

With maize farms, pothole-riddled single roads, and a population of around 50,000 people, you’d never guess this place is home to the one of the biggest, if not the biggest, privately owned Datsun and Nissan museums in the world.

But it is.

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Pulling up to the museum, after dodging craters – I mean potholes – for what felt like the longest time, you’re greeted by a nondescript brick building, with a few out of place palm trees, old wooden window frames, and a big wooden scissor door. Anyone driving by wouldn’t even give it a second look.

But on opening up the creaky front door, you’re bombarded by a Japanese overload of awesomeness, and a very friendly guy that goes by the name of Freek De Kock, the owner of this rather large collection.

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Freek has been a car lover since childhood. His Datsun and Nissan obsession started when he used to drive around in Nissan 1400 bakkies, which is what small trucks are called over here. He began with a few older model Datsuns, but it expanded pretty soon when he started tracking down various models hidden in all corners of South Africa.

Today, Freek probably has between 150 and 200 cars.

The Skyline’s The Limit
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This wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t start out with all the Skylines in the warehouse – and there are a few.

Freek has a four-door Skyline 2000GT-R which is pretty mint, but his real prized possession is his completely original Skyline 2000GT-R KPGC10 coupe, with only 59,251km (36,816mi) on the clock – the only one of its kind in South Africa.

He also recently found a 1972 Kenmeri KPGC110 Skyline GT-R, of which only a few were ever made. Don’t judge it for how it looks now though, because it’s currently being restored to 100% original condition. Freek has found a motor for the car, which he’s busy with, and he already has the full interior. Just wheels need to be found to return it to its former glory.

There’s a silver R32 GT-R with BBS wheels in pretty stock condition, as well as two R33 GT-Rs, one of which is pretty heavily modified with a Top Secret wide-body kit and other upgrades. There’s also a R34 Skyline GT-R, plus an R35 GT-R, both in different silver hues.

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No Datsun/Nissan museum would be complete without some Z cars, and Freek’s collection has plenty of those, too. There are 240Zs in different conditions, ranging from restored to barn finds and even one that’s been worked quite a bit.

It’s staggering how much the S30 has increased in value over the past while, and Freek has already said that he wouldn’t sell any of them no matter what the offer was.

When it comes to the 280ZX, he probably has more than 10 of them in total. There’s also two different versions of the Z31 300ZX , as well as two Z32 300ZXs, one being a rare convertible model. The Z collection wraps up with late-model cars, two 350Zs and a single 370Z.

Wait There’s More
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Paying attention to some other gems, there’s a rare 1600 SSS coupe as well as a whole host of other models including the Datsun 1000, 1600 Roadsters, a 160Y GX coupe, a 1200 GX, Laurel, Pulsar, and a stunning 140Z coupe.

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One car that’s really cool and I had never even heard of before is the Nissan Figaro from 1991, which is based on the first generation Micra and looks super retro. It’s also the first time I’ve seen a Nissan EXA.

Another one of Freek’s extra-special cars is a Fairlady 1500 Roadster with a single transverse rear seat. It’s quite an odd design to be honest.

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In a separate hall you’ll find a whole bunch of trucks from different generations; Patrols, Sunnys, 620s and a lonely 720. The 620s and 720s are quite popular to modify, but all these will be staying stock for as long as they’re here.

Treasure Hunting
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All of the restoration work is handled in-house by Freek and his team. Because Nissan doesn’t have an extensive heritage parts program at the moment, finding all the required bits and pieces is one of the most difficult aspects of the restoration process.

So, while Freek does his best to hunt down whichever parts he can find, he also overcomes this issue by manufacturing many parts by himself, including trim and rubbers.

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Moving to another part of the property, I was led into a massive open warehouse filled – and I mean filled – with cars. Most are being used as parts donors, but others will some day be restored. The rest are yet to have their fate decided.

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Freek has built up an amazing collection for himself and for interested parties to enjoy as well. While it’s not an official or public museum, Freek does allow really passionate people, car clubs and other groups to come and have a look, and revel in all the glorious Japanese metal.

Stefan Kotzé
Instagram: stefankotzephoto

Cutting Room Floor
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Naveed Yousufzai



Thanks dude!


Amazing collection, thank you for covering this, and keep it up! Your articles are a breath of fresh air here on Speedhunters. I'm really glad, we now get to read quality stories from this part of the world. The South African car scene, has always been in a bit of a blind spot for me.


It's pretty amazing indeed! Glad you like it! Was quite a drive to get to it, but it was so worth it.

There's really a lot of amazing hidden and unique car related things this side of the world

Jon i brattland

How do we Get There?


Just Wow! Truly amazing and stunned that such an impressive collection exists. Outside of Nissan itself, doubt it could be matched.


Yeah it's really such an awesome find!


Definite Lotto win garage there. Although I do have to correct you on the Figaro it was based on the 2nd generation K11 Micra, the 1st generation was the K10.


The Figaro‘s base is the first gen Micra K10.


I found the info about the Figaro on Wikipedia, so could definitely be wrong. Like i said never even knew it existed. Quite a cool little thing


Figaro. An old g/f had one. I can say its quite small inside. Not very roomy for a date night cruise if you know what i mean. haha.


stand corrected, after speaking to a friend who works for Nissan confirmed it. Now I feel like an idiot. I was always under the impression the Pao was based on the K10 and the Figaro was based on the K11.


It's cool man. it's such an unknown car so I don't think many people know too much about it


Thank you for this! for me the 70s Datsun's are nostalgic (I had it as a toy car) but also beautiful sports styling still to this day!


Glad you like it. Those were the glory days, when cars were actually designed beautifully and not just copy paste designs like what's going on these days


If someone would like to import a car from South Africa, who should I contact?


I don't think there's a specific person, all depends who you're wanting to buy the car from


Do you have a 1983 280 zx what is price?


Super cool!


Hi you have parts for sale datsun 1200 b110


I was really impressed by the museum owner manufacturing some of the parts himself. He's a very talented guy! I'm wondering if he has a 280ZXR? I assume not, since it was a homologation special built to legalize a wing and air dam in this country. I assume his collection is based on models imported into South Africa.


Yeah he basically started doing that out of necessity. I don't think he has, but he has so many 280s so he might just. His collection isn't just based on models imported here as we never got any Skyline models here, except for the R31s, for exampled. Also never got S14s and S15s


Do people call him Datsun Freek???


Hahaha that's good one actually


Stefan, as a fellow Mozambican and car enthusiast I thank you for posting things like this on Speedhunters, it's been a long time since i'm hyped for an article like this and I had no idea there were cult classics like these in SA. I was surprised to see something as cool as this. Keep it up buddy :-)


Thanks so much man, really appreciate the kind words!


Wow....amazing collection of Datsuns, Would love to visit and see all those cars... I too started my driving in a Datsun1200... Amazing cars for they time & still are to me & many more 1 see...


Holy moly! Man I saw the pictures of those GT-R's and Z's or Fairlady's or whatever you call them, and I had a look in my undies, and I legit creamed myself bro! I got legit white stuff down there man! Now that place is a true hidden gem, I never knew South Africa had such amazing places! Thanks a lot for sharing this with us Stefan, now I'm gonna go clean up myself!

Nicholas Nuccio

Sometimes ones life is pointed out to be very insignificant by comparison.

Richard berryman

Great collection.. I love my Nissan's.. in Sussex UK driving a R35.. a 89 swb 300zx and currently restoring an 82 280zx 2+2... what an adventure it is finding parts for that one !!

Jay Soh Tsu Chung

OK, so the cars are not for sale, but are those scale models for sale? XD


That is not even a drop in the bucket of what he has. Those are specifically Nissan and Datsuns but he had scale models of almost everything you can think of. A few hundred cars at least.


Awesome, awesome, truly awesome! Regards and appreciation from Kenya


Can I get the 140Z in scale? Or even the basic 120Y coupe? (not B110).


Wow, what an AMAZING find! Totally blew me away to see nearly every significant Nissan vehicle displayed plus some amazing oldies I've never seen or heard of, and to top it off a couple of Z32's!
Thanks for sharing!!!


it's amazing i've only ever seen a 300zx z32 once and here they are in the same province i live in wow


Wow. Totally awesome collection Oom Freek has. I will definitely take a trip from Cape town to go view. He has got all the Datsun but I failed to see any 260c/Cedric Datsuns referring to the 230 coupe model we have in south Africa. I did however see a bonnet and front bumper, wonder of Oom Freek will sell it to me lol as I am always looking for parts for my 260c that I am restoring.


Unreal! I would kak myself if I saw a Kenmeri or Hakosuka cruising down the street in the Free State. Passionate is an understatement




An amazing place, without question. I'd love to take a wander through it however, I'd want to take a closer look at the C110, as from photos available it looks like a replica from here.


Whoever had it before didn't love it too much, and those blue globes in the headlights along with the temporary wheels really makes it look shitty, but don't worry, it's definitely the real deal!


I'd love to see the chassis stamp if you took a snap of that and the data plate. Other than the flares, none of the exterior is GT-R and there's a stack of tribute GT-Rs (I know, I have one) I'm not saying it's not just that I'm dubious. I recall about 10 years back when an Australian chap tried to say he had a GT-R to sell and investigations proved it to be a doctored chassis number. So it does happen. Maybe if it isn't it was something messed with by the PO.


WOW!!! What an amazing collection! Really surprised to see all those in South Africa. Especially the kpgc110. I wonder if he found them all in country or did he have to import some himself


It's pretty amazing indeed. I think most if not all of them local, except the 2000 GT-R which he imported.

Alan van bergen

He has recently bought the 1969 skyline KPGC10 four door which once belonged to my dad EL van bergen.My dad got it from Japan in 1969. My father was involved with Datsun motor sport rallying from 1963.


He recently bought a 1969 four door skyline KPGC 10 which once belonged to EL VAN BERGEN who did rallying with Datsuns from 1963.My father imported it from Japan in 1969

Haider Bilgrami

No words, just sigh...........


That is an awesome collection! Any way we can contact him? Email?


this is super cool, and so many rare cars too...
those GTR's .... drool
would never have expected to find these (fairlady and hako) in SA of all places


Anyone know if this guy has an Instagram? I'd love to see his collection more regularly and more in depth


Wow what a great place! Such a Dream. Would Love to Work there