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'76 Datsun Laurel (c130)

roddy21t

Well-Known Member
Something different from a Renault ...

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Wow, what a cool project! Certainly didn't expect to see anything about a Datsun Laurel on here! :) Did the Cedric replace that?

That picture of the windscreen scuttle prior to restoration made me chuckle, looks like there wasn't left much holding the windscreen in at that point!! Fair play that it carried you all the way home when you purchased it! :)
 
Jesus Christ was there any metal left at all? What a job to take on, fair play matey! Loving the piccy with the 21 lurking in the garage in the background hahaha thats epic!
 
Wow, what a cool project! Certainly didn't expect to see anything about a Datsun Laurel on here! :) Did the Cedric replace that?

That picture of the windscreen scuttle prior to restoration made me chuckle, looks like there wasn't left much holding the windscreen in at that point!! Fair play that it carried you all the way home when you purchased it! :)

The Cedric ran along side the Laurel but was more an upmarket car. The 3rd and especially the 4rth generation Cedrics are lovely looking motors with beautiful lines.
 
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Jesus Christ was there any metal left at all? What a job to take on, fair play matey! Loving the piccy with the 21 lurking in the garage in the background hahaha thats epic!

lol ... its does look that way eh ! ... I'll be chucking on some underseal and wax oil in the near future.
 
You have certainly saved her from the scrapper mate, that rot looked bad, the guys must have worked real hard to get it back into shape.

You will be delighted when you can fire her up, and take her out a long cruise.

Same with the 21, didn't realise that was actually ready!

When are you on/offshore, I can pop over with the old MG ZS diesel daily driver and check them out?
 
Epicly great - I love a classic Datsun, takes me back to my childhood. Loads of the local asians used to drive Datsuns until they dropped. And in Rochdale in the 70's and 80's - they where everywhere.

Hats off to a remarkable save.
 
Wow!! ... was it really 4 years ago i last posted about this car, scary .

Well i'm still enjoying the car i had wanted since i was 14 and it can still be seen out and about on fine days putting a smile on my face as a gently cruise an .. arm resting on an open window .. shades on whilst the stereo plays something from my playlist of 2000 songs .. what it's all about.

Jobs done since last time ?? .. I have not had anymore bodywork done, to be honest i have just enjoyed driving it and money was being used for other things, it's structurally solid anyway as that's all been tended to so no rush.

I always said i would like the gearbox swapped from a 4 to 5 speed which i finally got done .. but not without its hassle .. would you expect anything else !!.. I visited a garage regarding having the car tuned, it's a wee village just outside Dundee called Errol, it's on an old RAF base and he works out of an old hanger, a cool retro place i thought. Try as i might i just could not get it to idle below 1100rpm without it hunting and it was running way to lean, i knew this guy was a whizz with the Datsun L series blocks. I didn't really like the guys personality but he was a genius so i just bit my tongue at his occasional rudeness as he worked his magic .. ok i didn't bite my tongue all the time, i did have a go as a man can only take so much rudeness ... i hate being polite to somebody only to get attitude back, but he did soon have the engine running sweet and idling away at 650rpm as it should .. his people skills may have been poor but his tuning skills were top notch.
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My late father in law and best mate watching Mr Grumpy do his thing ... R.I.P pal.
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I noticed a mint race spec Datsun 240z in his hanger .. this guy worked on some exotica .. he looked after and maintained this 240z for a nearby customer. I mentioned about converting the Laurel to a 5 speed and he said he had a rebuilt 5 speed in the corner which was rated for 300bhp and it had been intended for the 240z, but since the 240 was now putting out 400bhp it was no use, so for a handsome some the box was bought. A few days later i'm having a final check over the box before it's due to be fitted and i can't find 5th gear on it .. turns out he's sold me a 4 speeder !! .. yes i know i should have checked but i didn't .. Doh! .. So another 160m round trip later and the box is back with him and i have my handsome cash sum returned, but still boxless. I eventually track down a box from the guy i bought the Laurel from back in 2006, he's just broke a 70's Skyline and the 5 speeder had only churned out 40k odds miles so the handsome sum was now transferred into his account and a few days later i have my 5 speeder, or should i say i have my 5 speeder that's jammed in reverse, but this wasn't discovered until the garage had fitted it. So now the box has to be removed and there is phone calls to the seller who swears the box was fine when it left him in south England, i didn't doubt him, he deals with Datsun's all over the world and it's not in his interest to dupe buyers and i had bought many items from him in the past and never had issues. The box was sent to a gearbox repair business with the seller saying he would pay the repair bill, that was until he was told the repair bill was £180 then he decided he wasn't paying the repair bill, the joys !!! The repair guy was pretty sure it had been dropped by the courier on transit which had resulted in it jamming into a gear, but he did say the box was like new inside so that was good, although these old Datsun mechanicals were built to last. Regarding the bill, well the repair guy was great and why should he have to wait so i made sure he got his money and i made the seller give me half the bill cost back. I love old cars but the people you have to sometimes deal with can test you.
I not going to get into how a new clutch was fitted only for the car then not to engage any gears so the box had to now come off for 3rd time and the old clutch put back on, thankfully it still had plenty of life left in it. All i can say is thank god the garage owner liked me as after the 3rd box removal he was getting rather sick of the whole thing. Good news though, the new 5 speeder is fantastic and glad it's done.
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New gearstick bush sorted out the excessive free play.
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Another job was finally fitting a carpet . I bought the car with it carpet missing .. a bare floor, i guess an advantage was being able to see the floor for rot. I kept it this way for a long time until the floor welding had been done. My choices of carpet was either making and fitting my own or getting one made or maybe finding a ready made one. I wasn't keen on doing my own .. i had seen a few on other cars and although fine you could tell it was not perfect. The quotes for getting one made was silly. The companies are out there to cater for this type of stuff but they want an absolute fortune which i was just not willing to pay. I eventually found my searches taking me to Australia where Datsun's sold in huge numbers, although my Laurel 200L (C130 model) was never sold there but Datsun 240K's and Skyline's were which pretty much had the same floor pan. Datsun's in Oz are pretty well cared for and i found 5 companies that had carpets moulded and on the shelf for these cars with 3 of them willing to send to the UK and in pretty much any colour i desired. I went for dark blue as that's what the car left the factory with and all this including postage was £88 !! .. can't argue with that. It fitted pretty much perfect with just some alterations being required but on the whole it was a good job. After driving it for so long with a bare floor it's bliss now having carpet fitted
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The carpet come in 2 sections .. front and rear.
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I used 10mm thick underlay .. it made fitting the carpet abit tricky due to the thickness but i wanted as much sound protection as i could possible get.
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There should be a small parcel shelf that runs under the dash but it was missing when i bought the car .. still trying to track on down. I missed on one on a Japanese Auction the other day.
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I do like a gauge soI fitted both a voltage and water temp gauge and i gave the system a good proper flush whilst i was at it. I have been tempted to fit an aftermarket cooling fan and do away with the permanent fan but to be honest they both have their pro's and con's but with the permy fan i know its lasted this long and it's pretty much bullet proof.
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I undid the rear engine drain bolt and gave it a proper flush through as this area tends to hold the dirty stuff if you don't, there was a bit of gunk that came out initially.
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I thought i had more photos ...

A quick check over prior to its MoT revealed that a front side light wasn't doing it thing ! .. A quick fiddle with the wire up behind the bumper restored light for a brief second but quickly going back out. Bumper removal is the only way to get a proper access to the light unit, thankfully it's so easy to remove the bumper.
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It turned out the earth wire moulded into the rear of the plastic light casing was to blame ... nothing improves with age. I do have precious spare items but i like to try and make do and mend the existing parts 1st before i start using my spares and it's that sense of satisfaction we get when you fix something that was broken, and after abit of jiggery pokery i had it working again, happy days. Then the horn failed to do its thing, so i took the glass fuse out .. put it back in and ''Bingo'' it was back to beeping again .. i do love it when a fix is that easy.
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However, she did fail the MoT on the handbrake having too much travel. So after checking with the old work manual its meant to have no more than 100mm of travel from bottom to top, and mine was a tad more to be fair so some adjustment later and all was good, the shoes etc had all been replaced prior.
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Quick adjustment of the cable mechanism, i also adjusted the shoes ..
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As from 20/05/2018 the Laurel will no longer qualify for MoT so if i want i can stop submitting the car one. I'm unsure if this is a good idea and most owners of 40 year old plus cars think the same. I do think the insurance companies may have something to say about this .. time will soon tell i think. I don't really have an issue with submitting my car for MoT and i think i may carry on having one done.


Whats next ?? ... Well bodywork is an ongoing work in progress. I know have the structure all done so that's all good, it's now onto the sections like the door bottoms etc ... but i'll just plod along with that job as and when. More immediate i would like to lower the height a tad, not drastic, i don't want a road scraper but just a nice 30mm, it does sit quite high but the plus side is it feels like it rides on air. I have lowering blocks for the rear and i have traced new lowered coil springs for the front in Oz, they are for the Datsun 240K GT but they have the same struts. I also have plans regarding the front seats. I will either have the originals reupholstered but i have not yet found a company that can do them as close to original as i want, or swap them for some mild 70s looking Recaro seats that suits the character of car. Old Opel Manta style seats suit the car very well i think but i would be having them re-upholstered in a style i have seen in many old skool Skylines .. i think the black with the metal rings looks spot on.
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Some random photo's ... i do love this car.
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You ever seen a duck that can't swim ... Quack Quack.

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Some dedication there ! :)

Can I ask why a Datsun Laurel ?

Cheers Andy. I could do things quicker with it but i just go at my leisure to be honest.


I do love a good car story ... that's a big part of car ownership for me.
I have always liked older cars anyway, i think there lines are lovely but i always loved old 70's Datsun's, if i didn't have this i would have a Datsun 180B SSS (pronounced Triple S) ( 610 model) .My love affair with this model of Laurel began back in 1984 when i 1st clamped eyes on this customed version. It drove around my local town and was built by 3 guys, the wheels came from the states. The tint over the lights was 2 way so the lights would be ok when switched on. All the windows were tinted so you never seen who was in it .. it would just gently burble past you, loved it. I just loved everything about this car ... it just had such a presence in our wee scottish town. It may look odd to some people now but this was 1984 and it was mega.
A while later i went to my mates house in the village and it was sitting on his dads driveway, turned out the owner had started dating my mates elder sister so he gave us a drive in it ... I could barely speak.
Most teenagers had Ferrari's and Lambo's on their bedroom wall as their dream cars .. i had a small photo of this car stuck in the corner of a mirror in mine and one day i vowed i'd own one. During my army days it made no sense to own one but after i left the services i decided to hunt one down. It took a long time and my searches led me to a chap in East Grinstead who dealt and still does on old Datsun 's ... he's your go to man. He informed me that they were very rare now and i might have a wait as the the C130 model Laurel was sought after, my wait lasted 1.5 yrs and he found me the one i know own. I had always seen it on Google images but never thought i'd own it one day. It's history is well known within the club and most owners have been in touch saying they were glad it was still around. It was owned by an elderly gentleman who owned a chain of launderettes in Ipswich, he had it up until 1995.

I'm glad i bought it when i did, they are soo rare now, only about 7 left in the UK with mine being only 1 of 3 on the road. I have alot of offers from guys wanting to buy it, especially the up and coming younger generation, and like the band, they are big in Japan.

Years later i met the owner of the customed one, it ended its life in the late 80's and all he has left is the rear number plate, i asked if i could have it but he's keeping it. He knows about mine and would love to have a drive in it for old times sake which i'm only to glad to help with so that's a date and a new story for the future.

I did have thoughts about making mine a clone but part of me thinks that mine has lived way past it's years and deserves to stay the way it left the factory.

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