My Car Quest

May 28, 2024

Interesting Collector Cars For Less Than $50k USD-Datsun 510 Sedan

by Mike –

This is the second installment of Collector Cars For Less Than $50k USD.

The Datsun 510 Sedan is an interesting Japanese made car. Unfortunately there are not many good Datsun 510s left because many were used up, raced, wrecked and likely rusted away.

Datsun 510 Sedan

Datsun 510

Branded the Bluebird in Japan the Datsun 510 changed what people thought about Japanese made cars. The Datsun 510 has been compared to the BMW 1600 and 2002 but at a much lower price point.

The Datsun 510 Sedan incorporated a fully independent rear suspension with semi-trailing arms and a single overhead cam 4-cylinder engine. In the US market it was powered by the Hitachi downdraft carbureted 1.6-liter I4 engine with either a four-speed manual or a three-speed automatic transmission. The power was claimed to be 96 hp and the top speed was 100 mph.

Datsun 510 advertisement

The 510 is a very well styled small car and was a popular choice for racers led by Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) in the Trans Am series.

Number made: approximately 423,000 (2 and 4-door combined) from 1968-1973.

Hagerty Price Guide value for a condition 2 example: $13,300 USD for the 2-door sedan and $10,100 for the 4-door sedan.

Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide median price (2 and 4-door combined): $8,600 USD.

The Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide lists the Datsun 510 Sedan as an Investment Grade ‘B’, which is defined below.

Cars that have something special about them, often technical innovation, style or competition provenance – but normally not all three. They were generally produced in far larger numbers than A-tier cars. Examples are the Austin-Healey 100-4, the Ferrari 512 BB and the Lotus 7.

– Sports Car Market Pocket Price Guide

I think a Datsun 510 Sedan would be a great weekend car to drive around town and not worry too much about how many miles you accumulate. Or, it is a great choice for historic racing.

Datsun 510 advertisement

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Datsun 510 Road & Track

This is what Road & Track wrote



Datsun Logo

Datsun 510 Trans Am

Interesting Collector Cars For Less Than $50k USD-Datsun 510 Sedan
Article Name
Interesting Collector Cars For Less Than $50k USD-Datsun 510 Sedan
The Datsun 510 Sedan changed what people thought about Japanese made cars for the better.


  1. John Luthi says


    The top photo shows the various Datsun B210 models, bottom photo is of a Datsun 1200.

    The 510 series also included a 4-door station wagon.

  2. Yeah. I remember the B210 and its eye-catching hub caps as well. I don’t believe they had the independent rear suspension. But.. I always wanted one of them. Haven’t seen one in years.

  3. Mike Clarke says

    The 510 was the poor mans BMW 2002 and they ruled the twisty roads and autocross tracks once lowered and fitted with wider tires and a dual sidedraft Weber manifold. Most were crushed by the Air Resources Board back in the 90’s, so I guess it’s rare and a collectable.

  4. Wayne Watkins says

    In Australia & NZ they were called the Datsun 1600 and were assembled there with about 40% local content . They were also assembled in South Africa . As they had 4 wheel independent suspension they were extremely successful rally cars and are still rallied in the classic rallies . The wagons only had live rear axles with leaf springs . In America they won the under 2.5 litre class for two years in the Trans-Am series . Like many cars of the 60’s & 70’s they rusted , so any remaining are to be found in non snow areas like west coast USA , Australia & South Africa . I agree with you that they will be highly collectable in the future with classic styling & easy maintenance .

  5. The biggest problem with this category of collector car is that you now have literally dozens of far more sophisticated cars that are available in this category that will offer you safe, reliable motoring with state of the art engineering and ride comfort for well under $50k.

    The demise of a great deal of the collector car segment has to do with how great newer cars are. In the 1980s most of the cars were boring and underpowered. So collector cars from the past were seen as more viable performance alternatives. by the mid 1990’s that started to change.

    Now there is a glut of average collector cars on the market that compete against 20-30 year old cars that are very nice and usable for about the same price.

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