1967.5 Datsun 1600 Roadster SPL311 -- vintage 2-seater convertible

Price: - Item location: Imperial Beach, California, United States
  • Make: Datsun
  • Model: SPL311
  • Type: Convertible
  • Trim: 2-door convertible
  • Year: 1967
  • Mileage: 84,675
  • VIN: SPL311-11857
  • Color: Off-White
  • Engine size: 1600cc
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Black
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1967 Datsun SPL311 2-door convertible

At auction is my 1967.5 Datsun 1600 roadster (known as “Fairlady” in Japan). I have owned and cared for this car for more than 20 years.

Note that I do mean 1967.5 and not 1967 or 1968 -- you will find that there are a few differences if you research the various model years. Unfortunately the eBay tool did not allow me to enter the half year and the listing title is auto-generated...

When I bought the car in Arizona in 1995, it was very complete and in good mechanical shape but the paint was faded, the windshield had started to delaminate on the driver’s side and the interior was shabby. Other than a tune-up, it needed nothing to be enjoyed immediately and this is what I did for a few years.

In 2002, I decided to improve the appearance of the vehicle and at the same time I had the main systems checked out and anything in need of replacement was replaced. The car was repainted, given a new windshield, a new soft top (kept the original frame but powder-coated it) and the interior was reconditioned. You can read the details of what was done at the end of the description below.

Since then, I have done very little to the car other than basic maintenance and it has been used very gently, usually on week-ends for driving around locally or for relatively short day trips (typically <200 miles). The car has been in Arizona and California for the past 22 years, always kept garaged and always used in good weather (usually with the top down).

I love this little car but I have acquired other toys and it is not getting the regular exercise that it deserves anymore. So it is time to find it a good home with a new owner who will continue caring for it and will enjoy it.

The car is registered in CA through June 2017 and I just got the registration renewal which should be taken care of by the time a new owner takes possession. There is no warranty and the car is sold “as is”.

Our reserve is lower than the Buy-It-Now price. A $500 deposit is due within 2 days of close of auction (immediately via Paypal for Buy It Now) with payment in full within 7 days. Payment in full is due before pick-up.

Please read below for additional details and take a look at the pictures attached to the listing.

The original user’s manual will come with the car (very hard to find). It misses a couple of pages and I purchased a modern reprint that will also come with the car.

I will also include with the car a brand-new boot cover for the soft top (to cover the top when it is in folded position); this is a $250 value. However, I never got around to installing it and you will likely need the help of a professional upholsterer to do this right (need to install all the fasteners in the right place).

As I said above, the car is very complete including some bits and pieces that are usually missing and can be hard to find. For example it has the original antenna with the original little key to unlock it, it has the original radio (not currently working and I have not sorted out why but it used to work so it may only be some electrical gremlin), it has the map light under the dash on the passenger side, it has the back-up light, it has the plugs for the holes on the side of the car where you insert the jack lo lift it, it has the original jack, it has the ash-tray cover with the knob. Many of these items can be very hard to replace and altogether cost hundreds. The car will come with two sets of keys.

The car is not perfect which means the new owner will still have a few projects to tackle over time to make it perfect:

  • I already mentioned the original radio if you care to hunt down the problem
  • The passenger door drops a bit when you open it and will need some adjustment. Unrelated problem: the interior handle of the same door needs some adjustment to properly unlatch the door (need to remove the door trim to access the hardware inside the door) -- the door does open without any problem from the exterior. The driver door operates perfectly.
  • When the windows were reinstalled back in 2002, at the time that I had the car restored, the felt in the window channels was replaced and windows have been hard to crank up and down ever since. I am not sure if an adjustment is possible or not or if it will simply loosen over time with more frequent use. Usually I use the car with the top and windows down or the top and windows up so I rarely have to crank up or down. When I do, I help the glass with one hand in order to reduce the torque on the crank. If you find this annoying then it is a project. Else, do like me.
  • The fuel gauge currently does not work properly. The needle no longer goes up all the way when the tank is full as it used to. Probably need to replace the fuel sending unit.
  • The door locks were not working when I bought the car and since they are practically useless on this kind of vehicle I never tried to replace them. I actually think that it is best with an older convertible to keep it unlocked and use other anti-theft measures. If some thief wants in the car, he can do it easily through the soft top or by pulling hard on the side window to reach the lock pull and he will end-up damaging the car in the process – so might as well leave the doors unlocked. I use a club on the steering wheel wherever I park and I also had an ignition kill switch installed in a hidden location. So, keep your valuables with you or in the trunk and rely on a club and the kill switch as I did – but if you really care to fix them, the locks are another possible project.

The car is currently garaged in Imperial Beach and I would prefer a local pick-up in either Imperial Beach or Coronado. If you cannot pick-up in person, then you are responsible to arrange for pick-up and shipment at your cost by a company of your choice.

The car is in good shape (somewhere between “good” and “excellent” per descriptions of the Hagerty classic car insurance web site) but it is 50 years old and has not been used as a daily driver. While it will willingly insert itself in modern freeway traffic and cruise easily with the flow, I have never in all my years of owning it, taken it on a long trip driving for hours at freeway speeds. Therefore I cannot recommend that you just pick it up and drive any distance. If you purchase the vehicle and are not “reasonably” local to the San Diego area, it is probably wise to plan on trailering it home or have it transported. If you are local, by all means, come get it and drive it home!

The car runs very well and the SU carbs are well balanced. After you have purchased the vehicle, should you decide to go over the vehicle in detail or take it to a mechanic and in the process end-up touching the carbs, do make sure that you know what you are doing and/or the mechanic you use is qualified to tune and balancea pair ofSU carbs... Fair warning, not many mechanics in the US have the experience to do that. If you don't have a Datsun specialist in your area, your best bet is to take the car to a shop that caters to small British roadsters such as MG's.

One last thing, I do have a hard top for the car that I intend to list on eBay separately. I had it re-upholstered at the same time as I did the partial restoration in 2002. I have never used that top or even tried to put it on the car but I bought it with the car and the previous owner used it on the car. It has been sitting in a crate that was built for it when I moved from AZ to CA years ago. If you want it, along with the car, let me know and I will sell it to you for an extra $450 (shipping if required would have to be arranged and paid for separately); this is a very fair price. I opened the crate recently to take pix that I can share on demand.As I said it is already crated and could be picked-up and shipped by a transporter of your choice (crate is 58”x55”x23”). Or you can pick it up yourself, crated or uncrated (will need a van or pick-up for the crate but the top by itself “might” fit inside a full-size SUV). The hard top is kept in storage and will need to be picked-up at a different location than the car in San Diego.

Below are the details of the restoration work done in 2002:

  • Removed engine and transmission, all trim, chrome, lights, interior prior to stripping body, making minor repairs to body work, sanding, prime & block and re-painting.
  • Re-upholstered seats, door panels, all other vinyl, carpet.
  • Replaced dash pad and powder-coated dash face, glove box and heater panel
  • Replaced windshield and related seals
  • Replaced side pillar seals, door seals on body, trunk seal, window channels felt, soft top front bow seal, gas filler rubber ring
  • Powder-coated soft-top frame, replaced soft-top and all posts and snaps
  • Powder-coated wheels.
  • Re-chromed front grille and both bumpers
  • Checked transmission and re-installed; new transmission gasket and seal kit
  • Re-installed engine and got back to running conditions; new engine mounts, plug, plug wires, cap, rotor, engine gasket seal kit, clutch kit, rodded out radiator, replaced battery tray, frame kit, cables and terminals
  • Rear brake shoes, rear wheel cylinders, front brake hoses, rear brake hoses, resurfaced rear drums
  • Gas tank renewed inside and out
  • Header, gasket, studs, replaceed exhaust system