Datsun Bluebird Nirvana—My Visit to Tokyo-2U

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spriso
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Datsun Bluebird Nirvana—My Visit to Tokyo-2U

Post by spriso » 03 Jun 2018 20:11

Datsun Bluebird Nirvana—My Visit to Tokyo-2U

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“Take the Shinkansen Hayabusa to Sendai…” said Craig— a quick 1.5 hour journey north of Tokyo, where I spent the last couple of weeks. As the train glided along at over 200mph, I pondered my long awaited visit to Bluebird Nirvana…

Craig Ford is a transplanted Australian, who has lived in Japan the last 12-years with his wife Yuka and son Tarou. Craig makes his living off of buying Datsun Bluebirds and other vintage Japanese tin and selling the cars and parts to an eager worldwide customer base, anxious to get the rare unobtainium…

Craig and I have been buying and selling cars and parts for nearly 20-years, but had never met in person, so I was looking forward to finally putting a face to the name. As the Shinkansen glided into Sendai station, I got a text telling me where to meet, and soon I was shaking hands with one of the world’s most renowned Datsun gurus.

We hit it off immediately, and I knew that the day was going to be overload… and I was right. First we visited a couple of Craig’s Datsun 610 Bluebirds—a near mint 2-door EFI L-18 powered coupe:

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The 610’s were nice… but who are we kidding, I was here to see some 510s!

After the 610s we drove out of town to Craig’s holding yard for cars that are either going to be parted out, or exported.
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Damn.

Finding a 50-year old Bluebird in Japan is quite a rarity, they are very seldom seen. The corrosive environment and ridiculous licensing laws for cars over 10-years old have erased these cars from the roads—most disappearing 20-30 years ago. But finding a field of 25+ Bluebirds was really making my head swim.

The environment has not been kind to most of them—crazy rust etches deep into their bones

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Shoddy body work rears it ugly head on some of the cars;

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But not all is lost—there are some gems in here as well--- such as this exceptionally rare 68 2-door sedan

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These three Coupes (in the foreground) have paperwork and will likely be exported:

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Others are destined to be parted—either due to severe rust, or lack of registration papers

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Craig in his field of madness!

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To be continued....
Michael Spreadbury
Spriso Motorsports
www.spriso.com

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spriso
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Re: Datsun Bluebird Nirvana—My Visit to Tokyo-2U

Post by spriso » 03 Jun 2018 20:23

More Parts, More Cars, More Mayhem

Down the road is Craig’s workshop, where he works alone, 7-days a week processing cars and orders to support his business.

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Some of the cars are just holding parts:
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And suspension and steering parts are stacked high:
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And others are awaiting further attention:
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And then we went inside…
Some of Craig’s person collection is housed in the building—jam packed with Bluebird Coupe’s, sedans, and wagons (vans):

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NOS Set of 72 GL Bluebird hubcaps:
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71 Heater assemblies:
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Early and late warning flares:
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Early 1300 valve cover (with no breather):
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There was too much to see and even concentrate on. I have been playing 510s for 35 years, and have seen a collection like this... Jaw on floor.
Michael Spreadbury
Spriso Motorsports
www.spriso.com

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Byron510
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Re: Datsun Bluebird Nirvana—My Visit to Tokyo-2U

Post by Byron510 » 03 Jun 2018 22:09

Very cool Michael, thank so much for sharing the photos. The pictures are great. A very good friend of mine also has a Japanese wife, lives here in Canada but goes over to Japan usually once a year. Over the last 10 years he’s sent photos of bio-degraded 510’s of all shapes and sizes that he’s found in the country side. But as you note – very few are left.

I have a car that matches that 1300 valve cover! :-)

So will we see you at Canby, love to hear more about the trip.

Byron
Love people and use things,
because the opposite never works.

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Heinrich
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Re: Datsun Bluebird Nirvana—My Visit to Tokyo-2U

Post by Heinrich » 03 Jun 2018 23:04

very cool and quite sad.
Progress is slow, but it is progress non the less.

qwik510
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Re: Datsun Bluebird Nirvana—My Visit to Tokyo-2U

Post by qwik510 » 05 Jun 2018 05:15

Thanks for sharing. Loved looking at these pics and reading the story.
Enjoy The Ride!
David
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