When I talked with Tyler Scott, I noticed something we, and a lot of other people in the Datsun community seem to have in common… A background circling around hot-rod culture and classic American cars. I think the fact that people like us are drawn to these cars speaks to how deeply Datsun has wormed it’s way into American culture. In the 70’s when the gas crises hit, what did the muscle car guys buy as daily’s? 510’s… and it seems not much has changed since then. There’s just something American about this little Japanese sedan, maybe its the light RWD platform that makes it feel so much more fun than it should be. If you’ve never driven one, you wouldn’t understand. But there’s a reason these cars are so iconic. Tyler’s car is about as honest as a 510 can get and that’s a great thing. Like so many other Datsun driver’s Tyler has given his car an identity and personality all it’s own. I sat down with Tyler and asked him about his history and his awesome little dime.
L: Tell me about yourself, where are you from, what was your first Datsun?
T: I’m a father of two beautiful girls. I was born and raised in a small town in Northern California called Grass Valley. I’m a car enthusiast which means I appreciate all builds. The car scene in my town is 99% hot-rods so it’s nice to see some of the younger generation build imports around here. My first Datsun was a 1972 510 that I bought from an older Japanese man in San Francisco around 06. It had a pretty bad orange and white two tone paint job and stock everything else. I lowered it on some springs installed a sway bar and put some 13 inch Gotti wheels on it.
L: Very nice, why Datsun? Why did you decide to build a 510?
T: It was love at first sight. On my first day of orientation for Wyotech I saw a beautiful 240sx so I complemented the owner on his build and we started talking cars. He asked if I had ever seen a 510 before and I hadn’t, so he googled it and showed me a picture and it was all down hill from there ha-ha. Datsuns just have more soul. I’ve owned 50 cars give or take and I just can’t seem to get away from Datsun.
L: I know the feeling! So tell us about the 510 you have now, when did you start this project, what are your future plans for the car, and what’s the best thing about owning a 510?
T: I was driving a h2b swapped Honda Civic that was beautiful. It was an amazing build but I had the Datsun burn so I sold the Civic. I went to my buddy James Johnson’s aka the 510 keeper the see what he had in stock. On average he has anywhere from 15 to 30 510s on hand so while walking through his inventory, I saw her, the biggest pile of perfect. It was the one so I went to find James to tell him I found the one I wanted just to find out that he was going to build it to be his driver. So I did what any man would do and cried… Like ugly cry… Tears and snot. No I’m just playing, but I begged and begged and begged and he decided he would sell it to me as a turn key daily. I found out pretty fast that turn key to James was a little different than turn key to me. The car had a L18 and a 5 speed in it but nothing was wired or plumbed. It had a full interior that wasn’t installed and so on. I was actually alright with this because I got to make it my own. Future plans are T3 rear coil-overs and some side draft carburetors. My favorite thing about the car is it’s mine. A lot of good people helped put it together and there isn’t another one like it. It gets attention from old and young.
L: Well put ha-ha. It’s an awesome car and I know we all can’t wait to see more. Alright, how about some current specs?
T: 1971 Datsun 510 2 door sedan
L18 with a Weber down draft
5 speed transmission
Shortened 510 strut casting with t3 coil-over kit
Custom carbon fiber door cards
Middle finger Takeyari exhaust
L: Any other current cars or projects Tyler?
T: I recently was forced to buy a 1974 Datsun 620… It was only $300. I’m torn between keeping it stock or doing what I always do and ruin a perfectly stock vehicle.
L: Forced!? Ha-ha, well, keep us posted!
Words by, Logan Neet
Photography by, the owner Tyler Scott