Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
5/26/24 11:02 p.m.

So since we have some many former Datsun 1200 owners and KB58 asked here is is.

Who knew so many people could be fond of these little 1500lb 68hp cars.

So please share pictures and stories. This summer will make 40 years of ownership for me.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
5/27/24 12:18 a.m.

chandler
chandler MegaDork
5/27/24 10:24 a.m.

Not sure where all my pictures went but I found this in a barn back in 2007 and had a ton of fun putting it back together. It had always been a race car having been wrecked as a new car

this picture from its first log book shows how it looked then. Pretty neat that I got three log books with it although all were out in the south west, Phoenix and surrounding iirc. It was then rebuilt as the top version as a passport picture in the second log book still in the south west. The bottom build happened and it was never raced by the builder (to my understanding) but went to the Datsun guy in St Louis.

It was used as a backup car for years and came to NW Ohio as a backup car for Lee's (a roadster racer) wife who had another one that the water drum from their Dyno had fallen on its roof. I don't think she ran it but once or twice and I was there buying something else and couldn't leave without it.

I'll try to find more pics but I built a a12 from Lee's parts stash (never seen more vintage NISMO boxes in my life) and traded it off for a hot wheels collection before it was done done.

Datsun240ZGuy
Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
5/27/24 10:33 a.m.

I've never owned a 1200 but did have two Datsuns that carried the A series engine so this thread interests me.  

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/27/24 11:37 a.m.

I’ll have to see if I have any photos to contribute. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
5/27/24 8:32 p.m.

This car belongs to a local shop owner who specializes in Datsun and Nissan. It's sporting CA18DE and a 5-speed.

kb58
kb58 UltraDork
5/27/24 9:16 p.m.

Now I'll have to dig out my old pics. In its last iteration, it had a A15 block and crank, GX head, middle-close transmission, and side drafts, plus limited slip of course. For the suspension, through a friend I got in contact with Rob Walker*, who had wrecked his GT5 1200 at Carlsbad Raceway (being used as a road course) in the early 1980s. He was parting it out so I bought the front strut assemblies, big brakes and calipers, lowering leaf springs, and a huge radiator.

For the longest time I had a Datsun Competition book on how to convert the 1200 to a road racer - wish I'd kept it just for the memories. Also had several competition parts catalogs. I used to page through it, dreaming of what I could achieve with all those parts.

*Rob was/is very private, so he was almost impossible to contact. Thankfully, I happened to meet him at the local metal supply store some years ago. Even better, I was driving Midlana, which he was very interested in. I wanted to talk to him more but he had to leave, and no, he still wouldn't give me his phone number. Oh well, at least he got to see the end result of the adventure he helped enable.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UberDork
5/27/24 9:36 p.m.

I never owned one, but they were one of my favorite road tests when I had one in my shop for service. More fun than a Sprite and a roof too. Later, 1980-83ish I built final drives for a team racing in C Sedan. Plural mostly because they left the drain plug loose...I still have the adapter I made to test the slip limit.

kb58
kb58 UltraDork
5/27/24 10:20 p.m.

Oh and I also bought some parts from a Steve Johnson, who worked in the Datsun Competition Department at Datsun. Wondering if anyone remembers his name or Rob Walker.

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf Dork
5/27/24 10:23 p.m.
kb58 said:

 Ron Walker.

Ron or Rob?

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
5/28/24 12:00 a.m.

In reply to L5wolvesf :

He meant Rob.

I ended up with some parts from Rob but not directly. I ended up with one of his round port H-production heads. The port work was really impressive. I eventually sold that on to a guy named Larry Hassler.......he also knew Rob. 

The front suspension on my car came from Tom Neeley, the rear supension from Buzz Rose and the flat slide carbs from Travis Duder.

 

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
5/28/24 12:06 a.m.
kb58 said:

Also had several competition parts catalogs. I used to page through it, dreaming of what I could achieve with all those parts.

I now have every NISMO 1200 part ever made bolted to my 1200. The only thing I'm not running is the really aggressive camshaft.

kb58
kb58 UltraDork
5/28/24 12:18 a.m.
L5wolvesf said:
kb58 said:

 Ron Walker.

Ron or Rob?

Oops, Rob, fixed my post.

akylekoz
akylekoz UltraDork
5/28/24 6:50 a.m.

I owned one very briefly, seriously regret selling it.

chandler
chandler MegaDork
5/28/24 11:46 a.m.

I still have one of those flares front fenders hanging in my barn. I liked the box flares on mine better than the pulled looking ones.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
5/28/24 3:17 p.m.
akylekoz said:

I owned one very briefly, seriously regret selling it.

I've actually sold mine twice; 

The first time was the day after I bought it in  1984. The original plan was to put a small hitch and load my race bike on the back (the bike only weighed 150lbs) but then I realized it was impractical. 

The next time was late 1998; I had the Showroom Stock Miata, the D-sports Racer and the Datsun. One of them had to go and the Datsun was the slowest so off it went...........thankfully I got it back in 2001.

Datsun240ZGuy
Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
5/28/24 9:10 p.m.

I have some Japanese magazines that have some cool A engines.  GX steering wheel is pretty sweet too.

Datsun240ZGuy
Datsun240ZGuy MegaDork
5/28/24 9:12 p.m.

Cherry

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
5/28/24 9:53 p.m.

In reply to Datsun240ZGuy :

GX carbs are cool but the Keihin FCR flat slides on my car are works of art.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/30/24 10:30 p.m.

From Nissan’s Japanese media site:

RacerBoy75
RacerBoy75 Reader
6/1/24 7:48 p.m.

These are taken at PIR (Portland Int'l Raceway) in 1983, when I was a young lad of 22. I won several class championships with the 1200, beside quite a few races and some lap records. The bottom one is after a race, getting ready to drive the car back home. Getting a trailer and two rig was a great thing, I instantly was more aggressive and quicker in the races because I wasn't always worried about driving the car back home. Notice all the cool cars in the background of the picture!

Somewhere I've got a picture of it up on two wheels going through turn 9 at PIR, I'll keep digging and try to find that one.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
6/1/24 11:40 p.m.

In reply to RacerBoy75 :

Our car was still street driven until just before I went to SCCA drivers school.

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