Datsun 510, what am I getting myself into?

I have the opportunity to get this Datsun, with a clean title for < $1000... Just wanted to reach out to my fellow Oppos to see if I’m insane for doing it. Here’s why.


  • Body is in good condition (other than the fender), the rust seen is surface only to my eyes and touch. No holes anywhere I could see.
  • Comes with transmission
  • Comes with Block
  • Wiring seems to be all there
  • Glass and trim seems very good. Doors are from a donor car (seller wanted to restore, but has too many projects), and glass is good there too.
  • Got a good look of the underbody and no rust that I can see at all, barely any surface spots. Didn’t get to snag pics.


  • Obviously you see the front fender damage.
  • No Key
  • Missing a wheel (would have to source one)
  • Head was sold (L16 Engine), so no head
  • comes with fender, but it’s damaged (would source a replacement)

My goal for this would be to take my time with it, work out the body situation, and get a cool backroads cruiser, maybe even auto X. Definitely not a DD. Definitely, not a full restoration. I have the space, and am handy with wrench. I don’t do body work usually, so is this thing toasted? how would I go about repairing that? Basically want to ask you guys, what would you do? My expectations are set knowing that this would take a lot of work, but I that’s what I expect for less than 1k.

Owning a 510 has always been a dream of mine. This one is 4 miles away, and at the right starting price for me to build on.

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