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Discussion Starter #1
I'm just in the process of seeing if I can track down the eventual location of a particular Datsun. It was a RHD, 4 door that was likely painted white with an orange stripe down the side at the the owner sold it, in the mid 70's to an individual from Michigan who wanted to race it at POR. Any thoughts? Photo repositories of mid/late 70's POR events? I've looked at some of the POR results from that time and there are so many Michigan residents running 510s in those events its not a big help...
 

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your other left, you idiot
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I don't remember any RHD 510s back then.

The 510 was the belly button car of the day.

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Discussion Starter #3
This one had a special history. It was originally a Datsun "works" car (thus the RHD) that had once been used in the East African Safari rallies and then given to BRE for some Baja events. then when it was going to be shipped back to Japan it fell off a loader and was determined to no longer be of use to the engineers in Japan and was sold to a racer in CA who campaigned it for a few years (winning High Desert Trails) and then reportedly sold it to an individual from Michigan who wanted to run it in POR...
 

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your other left, you idiot
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So........

Who ran it in High Desert Trails?

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Discussion Starter #5
So........

Who ran it in High Desert Trails?

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RC (Bob) Laton

He doesn't remember the name of the individual he sold it to....
 

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OK folks, here's the rest of the story:
John Crawford purchased it in late 1975 or early 1976. I drove Bob Hourihan's rally Volvo 142 to Torrance, CA and delivered it to Wayne Baldwin. I then flew to San Jose, CA and picked up the Datsun, which was full of spare parts. I drove it back to Ann Arbor with a clutch that slipped on uphill grades in 5th, but would hold in 4th. Along the way I had a short stop in Elko, NV to drain about 3 gallons of gas out of the trunk due to a fuel fitting leak. Once repaired I continued the drive east. The car was stripped of its interior and had no heater, except the 1 inch hole in the firewall that let warm underhood air leak into the passenger compartment.
I had left Ann Arbor at 10 am on a Monday morning, and was back in Ann Arbor at 5 am the following Monday. Since I spent all day Thursday and Friday in California, I drove the 4900 mile round trip in 5 days. Either John Crawford or Terry Palmer can explain where the car went.
Doug Shepherd
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK folks, here's the rest of the story:
John Crawford purchased it in late 1975 or early 1976. I drove Bob Hourihan's rally Volvo 142 to Torrance, CA and delivered it to Wayne Baldwin. I then flew to San Jose, CA and picked up the Datsun, which was full of spare parts. I drove it back to Ann Arbor with a clutch that slipped on uphill grades in 5th, but would hold in 4th. Along the way I had a short stop in Elko, NV to drain about 3 gallons of gas out of the trunk due to a fuel fitting leak. Once repaired I continued the drive east. The car was stripped of its interior and had no heater, except the 1 inch hole in the firewall that let warm underhood air leak into the passenger compartment.
I had left Ann Arbor at 10 am on a Monday morning, and was back in Ann Arbor at 5 am the following Monday. Since I spent all day Thursday and Friday in California, I drove the 4900 mile round trip in 5 days. Either John Crawford or Terry Palmer can explain where the car went.
Doug Shepherd
Is John and/or Terry on SS?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Doug, can you provide any further assistance? John or Terry's contact info? Thanks!
 

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your other left, you idiot
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Dan-

Sent you an email today. Did you get it? (the email address in your profile)

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Discussion Starter #10
Dan-

Sent you an email today. Did you get it? (the email address in your profile)

press on,
Ah!! My yahoo email address!! Its blocked here at work--I'll thank you ahead of time--Thank you! and look at it when I get home!
 

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Now that Doug responded we've got the story. I remember seeing ( and photographing) the car at POR 76. The car got a lot of attention from the legions of Datsun drivers. It was a red 4-door sedan. It was said to have a U20 ( Datsun SRL311 engine) and 5 speed transmission. It did not have the then relatively new ( and rare) L20B. Doug confirmed the 5 speed part . The high performance Datsun bible of the time did have a story about the BRE Desert car and I remember a U20 engine there. It was not at the event as a competition vehicle . Doug may chose to confirm/deny/ignore the rest of the story.
Doug was clerk of the course. In the process of the final check, the car broke down stranding the crew in the middle of the woods. They broke into a nearby cabin to spend the night- this was early November in the UP- and were rescued the next day. Or so the story goes.
The was a second-later RHD 510 in Michigan rally. Somehow a real 510 SSS ending up on a used car lot in Grand Rapids in the mid-seventies. It was from South Africa ,RHD, and a bitch to sell. Don Fetrow, a longtime Furrin Group member bought it cheaply and used it as a street car for a number of years. He sold it to one of the Traverse City rally group who converted it into a rally car. It only ran one or two rallies before centerpunching a tree. It was parted out but I had heard that the RHD pieces were saved for a future project.
Those are my stories and I'm sticking to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Now that Doug responded we've got the story. I remember seeing ( and photographing) the car at POR 76. The car got a lot of attention from the legions of Datsun drivers. It was a red 4-door sedan. It was said to have a U20 ( Datsun SRL311 engine) and 5 speed transmission. It did not have the then relatively new ( and rare) L20B. Doug confirmed the 5 speed part . The high performance Datsun bible of the time did have a story about the BRE Desert car and I remember a U20 engine there. It was not at the event as a competition vehicle . Doug may chose to confirm/deny/ignore the rest of the story.
Doug was clerk of the course. In the process of the final check, the car broke down stranding the crew in the middle of the woods. They broke into a nearby cabin to spend the night- this was early November in the UP- and were rescued the next day. Or so the story goes.
The was a second-later RHD 510 in Michigan rally. Somehow a real 510 SSS ending up on a used car lot in Grand Rapids in the mid-seventies. It was from South Africa ,RHD, and a bitch to sell. Don Fetrow, a longtime Furrin Group member bought it cheaply and used it as a street car for a number of years. He sold it to one of the Traverse City rally group who converted it into a rally car. It only ran one or two rallies before centerpunching a tree. It was parted out but I had heard that the RHD pieces were saved for a future project.
Those are my stories and I'm sticking to them.
So it sounds like its the first of these that you remember that I'm interested in. Do you have any photos of it? Any idea where it went after POR 76? Was it sold from John to Terry?
 

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Someone out there knows the rest of the story: the aforementioned Terry Palmer or John Crawford; Harry Ward, maybe. It's likely the car rotted into the ground and was parted out years ago.

If memory is correct, it was sitting at Terry Palmer's beside another equally rusty 510 rally car and the mystical "Volt" (Volvo 6-cyl engined Dodge Colt) of Bob Hourihan at least 15 years ago.

There has been speculation the RHD-specific pieces were passed on to late rally legend, Eric Jones, who used them in his RHD 510 LEJOG car build. Who knows?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Someone out there knows the rest of the story: the aforementioned Terry Palmer or John Crawford; Harry Ward, maybe. It's likely the car rotted into the ground and was parted out years ago.

If memory is correct, it was sitting at Terry Palmer's beside another equally rusty 510 rally car and the mystical "Volt" (Volvo 6-cyl engined Dodge Colt) of Bob Hourihan at least 15 years ago.

There has been speculation the RHD-specific pieces were passed on to late rally legend, Eric Jones, who used them in his RHD 510 LEJOG car build. Who knows?
I spoke to Terry Palmer and his recollection was that John Crawford purchased the vehicle and he (Terry) saw it at his shop for a brief period of time before John determined that it (the car) was not suitable for Eastern Rally events and it was quickly sold back to an (unknown) individual from California who flew in and drove it back to CA. That is where the story ends for me right now--if Terry's memory is correct. I'd like to confirm his recollection with John's (particularly given the above rememberance of it sitting at Terry's 15 years ago, though I would think that Terry would have told me "yup, its sitting right here rusting away" when I spoke to him if that was the case). I've also reached out to BRE to see if they have any knowledge of it given they have one of their old 510 Baja cars in unrestored condition sitting as a display piece in their shop--but it doesn't look like the one I'm interested in as it doesn't look like it has been repainted in the manner RC had described--but it could be it...just don't know...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just got an email back from John...he states that he did sell it and that it is NOT sitting at Terry's shop. He also states that he ran it in one rally (I have inquired as to which one) with it in about the '77/'78 range. He never came across it when he was living in CA and rallying there in the early '80s. He does not remember who bought it from him or where exactly it went. Anyone have a listing of stage rally events in CA for the very late '70s, early '80s?? I mean...just how many 510s could have been rallying in CA in those years?!?!?!!?!?
 

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Anyone have a listing of stage rally events in CA for the very late '70s, early '80s?? I mean...just how many 510s could have been rallying in CA in those years?!?!?!!?!?
http://www.rallyracingnews.com/
Ed has as many of the SCCA PRORally results as he can find up there. It doesn't help with regional or non-SCCA events, but it is a start.

For instance, the 1979 La Jornada Trabajosa had 12 Datsun 510s in the 32 cars listed (of 45 total entries).

Adrian
 

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Ken Sterling and Mary Jo Czyzio ran a RHD Datsun 510 at POR in 1977. It was yellow with blue stripes. He sold it the next year to someone and they ran a couple of rallys before wrecking it at Northern Lights Rally
 

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Ken Sterling and Mary Jo Czyzio ran a RHD Datsun 510 at POR in 1977. It was yellow with blue stripes. He sold it the next year to someone and they ran a couple of rallys before wrecking it at Northern Lights Rally
This was the South African "real" SSS car. I do have at least one photo of the other car from POR. It's slide so I'll have to locate it and get a scan.
 
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