1968 Datsun Roadster with Nissan SR20 engine and 5-speed gearbox
Price: - Item location: Spearfish, South Dakota, United States
- Condition: Used
- Make: Datsun
- Model: Other
- Type: Convertible
- Trim: 2-door convertible. SR20 and 5-speed.
- Year: 1968
- Mileage: 42,007
- VIN: SPL31117600
- Color: Brown
- Engine size: Nissan SR20
- Number of cylinders: 4
- Transmission: Manual
- Drive type: RWD
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1968 Datsun Other1968 Datsun Roadster with Nissan SR20 engine and 5-speed gearbox
This is the story, o far, f SPL311-17600. A 1968 Datsun Roadster. I narrated a video for YouTube that covers what's written below and offers more images. https://youtu.be/vS-068zJ6JE
I grew up with Datsuns, azdas and Toyotas and dreamt of owning a Roadster. In 2014 I was finally in a position to buy one.
I scoured eBay, raigslist and the Roadster forum. I found a car interstate that looked perfect. The ad said the hard and dirty work was done. It had been media blasted and rust-proofed. What remained was painting, he interior and a soft-top, nd some gearbox repairs. It was just what I wanted. I could apply the finishing touches and choose the colors.
I organized a transporter and it was on it’s way.
When the car arrived I pulled it into the garage and set about going through the parts. I sought the repair for the gearbox.
One night I borrowed some issues of Hot Rod magazine from the local library. There was an article titled, Best Bang For Your Buck: 15 Secrets Every Great Car Has, nd How You Can Get Them For (Almost) Free.”
“Performance engine, verdrive transmission, orsepower, aint job, iller wheels, ide tires, istinct look, oud exhaust, ockpit interior, ace connection, omething shiny, omething custom made, ir-grabbing induction system, omething that looks fast, tance.”
The Roadster had many of these. Racing heritage, win carburetors, ftermarket wheels and tires, pgraded suspension.
The gearbox repair was proving to be a nightmare.
I pulled the engine and looked at the car more closely. There were problems, ut I didn’t think they were insurmountable. I envisioned what it could be.
I began looking at some modified roadsters. The Sake Rocket, he Spriso Motorsport cars and a beautiful yellow Roadster had a big impact on me.
My previous car was a Datsun 510 with FJ20 turbo, altech ECU, -speed gearbox, 6” wheels, issan GTR front brakes, acing seat, arness and roll cage.
I created a spreadsheet and plugged in some numbers. “It won’t cost too much more to make this car really sing”, thought.
I am fortunate to live near Ruth Engineering - The Hot Rod Shop - in Spearfish, outh Dakota. The foreman, hris, s talented and understanding. I bought a Nissan SR20 engine and 5-speed gearbox, nd supplied Ruth Engineering with the car and a print-out of Spriso’s conversion how-to.
My Roadster was soon in pieces and the metal work began. It got Spriso's engine, lternator and gearbox mounts. Plus a Subaru Justy alternator. Chris and I agreed that Spriso’s workmanship was classy; there was no reason to start from scratch.
Getting a talented shop to do the work meant it was done very well, ut it exceeded my modest budget.
At the end of the first year the work stopped. I retrieved the rolling chassis, ith engine and gearbox installed, nd put it back in my garage. The Roadster’s body remained at the shop while I saved some more.
Many months later I returned the rolling chassis to the Hot Rod Shop and work started again.
A couple of weeks later Chris called and said to come over. The body was back on the chassis and everything fit. The body, owever, as a no-go. My initial inspection, hat suggested any problems weren’t insurmountable, as inadequate. The sills beneath the doors had been repaired with tin and pop rivets. The car had taken a hit in the front. New bodywork had been grafted on with pop-rivets. There were holes drilled everywhere. The hood was bent. One of the braces surrounding the engine bay had been repaired with a lot of fiberglass. A second brace was missing altogether.
Chris said it would be dangerous to drive the car with the current body. I was not allowed to. End of story.
The bottom half was great. All that was left was to remove and detail the engine and suspension, nd powder coat the chassis. The top half had to be replaced.
My to-do list, hich originally included a cooling system, uel system, rake lines, n ECU, iring harness and sparse interior, ow included a new body.
I began to seek a body for my now SR20-powered Roadster. Given the work outstanding, t would be better if it included an interior, hrome side strips and soft top.
That was before I was married, ad a child and have a wife heading back to college. Now I’m getting rid of it all. This includes the car as it stands: The body bolted to the chassis ready to roll away. The SR20 and 5-speed installed. Plus a matching numbers 1600cc engine that will probably never fit again. Two sets of carburetors. An aluminum radiator. And a whole heap of spares, ncluding gauges, nobs, ights, umpers, adges and hardware and clips for the soft top.
Please watch the video for more, f you haven't already.
The auction winner must pay me a $500 deposit within 48 hours and the balance within 14 days or I will re-list the vehicle. The winner is responsible for pick-up and/or shipping. Should you be interstate, will meet your chosen transport company and help them load the car.
Pleasedon'thesitate to ask questions if you have some. I don't know the car's entire history but will do my utmost toanswer them.On Nov-29-15 at 10:57:36 PST, eller added the following information:
I wanted to clarify what you get if you win the auction since I have been asked a couple of times.
- Datsun Roadster SPL311-17600 with Nissan SR20 engine and 5-speed gearbox installed. The body is on the chassis, nd the engine installed, s shown in the first picture.
- There is not a second body. I never got one.
- The SR20 engine includes the Subaru Justy alternator. I have a second, pare alternator (simply because it was cheap). I also have a new distributor cap and spark plug leads, ew water pump and new front and rear main seals. None of these are installed.
- The engine was compression tested prior to purchase and checked out okay.
- The interior includes what you can see in the video: Dashboard, ery worn seats, ome seat belts and the rollover bar. I have the centre console but it's awful. There are other interior panels too, hich one of theprior owners intended to use as templates. They are all unusable.
- Outside trim except for the side strips. This includes some badges, lthough I am not sure what is correct for this model and year.
- Front and rear bumpers. I bought a second-hand front bumper nicer than the one that came with the car.
- Mesh wheels with near new tires - as seen on the car.
- Front and rear KYB shocks.
- All of the spares shown inthe video: The original 1600cc engine, luminum radiator, wo sets of carburetors, lternator, tarter and the master and slave cylinders pulled to fit and install the new engine.