Preston Ruiz - 1971 Datsun 510 Station wagon.
I remember always being into Japanese cars despite growing up around old hot rods and such. My first introduction to the 510 wagons was a hot wheel I had picked up at the parts store when I was 11 years old, still have it to this day. I’ve spent years just daydreaming of what I wanted to do and what it would be like to finally experience it.
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1971 Datsun 510 Station wagon.
I am 22 years old from Fresno, California. I currently work for Whipple Superchargers building the main rotor packs that go into an housing to end up as a finished product that can be bolted onto someone's car.
Cars have ALWAYS been a big part of my life. Growing up my dad always had something he was building or working on whether for himself or someone else. Lots of time spent at classic car shows, learning things in the garage, or cruising around.
I remember always being into Japanese cars despite growing up around old hot rods and such. My first introduction to the 510 wagons was a hot wheel I had picked up at the parts store when I was 11 years old, still have it to this day. I’ve spent years just daydreaming of what I wanted to do and what it would be like to finally experience it. I have always had a soft spot for wagons, one of my biggest memories as a kid was riding around in my dad's 1964 Malibu Station Wagon. There are not too many of these cars left out on the road, especially like this. A lot of the wagon variants ended up as parts cars to save their 2 or 4 door variants or in junkyards, rust is a big killer to a lot of these old school tin cans we know and love.
The car is crazy to drive. The boost response and VTEC in such a light chassis make it quite the handful. After owning the car for 4 years and finally being able to drive it on the road in this form just brings a smile to my face. The years of finding rare old parts here and there to result in what you see now have been a blast.
The car has had a lot of work done to it from front to back. The original L series was swapped out in favour of the turbo Honda K24 that resides in the car now, mated to a Mazda RX8 6 speed transmission, custom driveshaft, all ending up to a Ford 8.8 I got out of a Ford Explorer from the junkyard. The rear end was narrowed to fit up underneath the narrow body with custom axles from Currie to convert it to 4x114.3 to keep the car's original wheel pattern. Suspension wise it has coilovers front and rear, a custom 4-link to mount the rear end to the car, a rack and pinion conversion from an AW11 MR2, and adjustable front arms. Topping it off is a custom fuel cell, with an Aeromotive fuel delivery system and custom stainless hard lines to the front of the car.
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- Kmiata Intake manifold,
- Radium Fuel Rail,
- DW 950cc injectors,
- Blackmarket Fabrications turbo manifold ceramic coated white,
- Tial 44mm wastegate,
- Greddy oil filter relocation,
- Greddy Air filter,
- Rsx Type S Oil pump,
- TFWorks Oil pan,
- TFWorks S Chassis mounts,
- CxRacing intercooler/radiator for an SR20 swap,
- Custom intercooler piping,
- Kmiata engine harness, and Hondata KPro V4 to control it all.
- 1980s Nomura FRP bucket seat,
- Generic 290mm wood steering wheel,
- Battle Club Horn Button,
- Battle Club Boost Gauge,
- TND Pink Jewel hardware
- Mazda Rx-7 Oil cooler,
- Spectre Headlight delete,
- H4 led headlights
- 14x6 +10 Dunlop Lemans TE-24 Front,
- 14x7 -2 SSR Longchamp Rear
- 280zx Front Struts with MR2 Kyb adjustable inserts,
- Techno Toy Tuning Coilover sleeves,
- Swift Springs,
- Techno Toy Tuning camber plates,
- Techno Toy Tuning GTX-2 front lower control arm and tension rod,
- Custom narrowed Ford 8.8,
- Custom triangulated 4-Link,
- QA1 Coilovers
The majority of the work was done by myself with some guidance for the rear suspension and exhaust setup from my dad's employees Trenton, Anthony, and Neil. 90% of what I know about working on cars was learned on this chassis and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Future plans for the car include 14x10 SSR MK3s, a Rollcage, widened fenders to suit the wider wheels/tires, redoing the full interior, and a respray to tie everything together.
Research, research, research know what you're getting yourself into. A lot of pieces are slowly starting to be reproduced or made for these cars but a lot of the process is searching for NOS parts or finding used parts that are in better condition than what you currently have.
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Being part of the car scene makes me feel like there are others out there just like myself. Those who get enjoyment from wrenching and building something that not only they enjoy but that others get enjoyment from seeing as well, especially the younger kids who dream of the day they’ll be able to do the same. I was that kid once so those moments mean a lot to me.
What do you think?
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