Wednesday, March 18, 2009

1968 Datsun 2000 Roadster

It's hard to believe now, but in the 1960s most of the US looked at Japanese products as cheap, poorly made items. That included Japanese cars. That might explain why it took so long for the Datsun 2000 to be recognized as the true classic sports car it is. Old prejudices die hard. (That, and the fact that the next Datsun sports car, the 240Z, was such a monumental success, it eclipsed the 2000)

The Datsun 2000 was far from cheap and poorly made. It was a well designed and built roadster that could hang with anything in its class.

The 1965cc 4 cylinder engine found in the 2000 pumped out just under 100HP (roughly the same as the MGB). It came with a 5 speed transmission at a time when most cars were still using 4 speeds. Everything else about the car was standard issue late 60s roadster... Leaf springs, dual sidedraft carbs, sparse but functional interior, etc., etc. Strip off the Datsun badges and you'd think you were looking at a British roadster.

Reliability wise, the 2000 roadster was better than its British and Italian counterparts, with one exception; rust. Datsun 2000s rusted like few other cars rusted. Most cars have certain places where they all rust, but not the Datsun; it rusted anywhere and everywhere. One site stated that these cars just "dissolve".

Parts, while not as easy to find as they are for British roadsters, are available through specialty companies.

The car listed on eBay is in nice condition. The seller states that it needs a few minor things, but nothing that would prevent you from driving it right away. The body appears to be straight and rust free.

I like the little bumper guards the owner replaced the bumpers with. I'd replace the wheels with a set of Panasports, but that's just my opinion.

All-in-all, if you want to be a little different, the Datsun 2000 is a nice alternative to a British roadster.

Click here to find the eBay listing for this 1968 Datsun 2000. is a great source for Datsun 2000 parts. Their website also contains some info about the car.

Click here to find Tom's Datsun Roadster Page. A homemade site full of info and pictures.

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