“They don’t build then like they used to”. That is a phrase that we have all heard before – especially when it comes to fans of classic cars who prefer the oil, sweat, smells and sounds of the experience of owning and more importantly enjoying an older vehicle, something I’m guilty of as well. However the truth is they actually DON’T build then like they used to – in every tangible way modern vehicles are built to be better, safer and in most cases ridiculously faster!
So what is this intangible attraction people have to an older car? If our feature Datsun 260c is anything to go by then it must be the straight uber cool street presence that make everyone take another look.
The Datsun 260c to most people, is a car that they would swear they would have never heard of on paper- however mention what that “C” stands for and you get a knowing nod. C of course, stands for Cedric.
So why the 260c? As with all manufacturers some amazing engines always find themselves in the strangest of places and in this case under the hood sits the legendary L26 – 2.6l straight six engine right out of the iconic 260Z sports car – hence the name 260c. Now, this engine is a detuned version of what is in the Z of course but it still has that buttery smoothness and more than enough get up and go, as you would expect it to.
The gun metal shade on this car really does turn heads – combined with the low slow gangster stance it is very imposing on the streets of Colombo. “The colour is a standard Nissan colour.” says owner Shalike. “ The ride height really needed a drop because it was too high and didn’t look right”. We completely agree – that drop of the ride height has really catapulted this car in to super JDM status.
Shalike found this car quite in quite a dilapidated state – although all of the original parts were still on the car – which he admits is a good thing when it comes to restoring JDM classics as the original parts are very hard to come by. Shalike has numerous stories about the lengths he had to go to secure parts for the 260c – some disheartening but they all add to what makes this car what it is – a bold statement of history and JDM goodness – with all the tears that come with getting it to where it is today.
We have to admit though a 260c is not a quintessential classic to go looking for so why did Shalike decide to go down this road? “ My dad had a 70’s Toyota Crown and I still remember been taken to school in that car” says Shalike. That’s a good enough reason if any to own this beauty in our books.
In Lanka, where cars like this are prime candidates for the dreaded diesel swap, this car truly is a survivor and Shalike has certainly done an amazing job on tastefully restoring it back to its glory – albeit with a little bit of JDM cool thrown in. The interior is simply stunning – all original down to the cassette player that came with it. It’s clear that Datsun really was trying hard to tap into that executive car market – power windows, plush interior, dope dash its all there.
As big fans of JDM classics we are super proud to see such a fantastic example of a 260C on the streets – and more importantly tearing them up. Too long have the JDM’s been hidden treasures which have been sought after by a few. We hope that this straight cool Datsun 260c will spearhead a revolution to bringing more JDM classics back on the road – where they belong!
Words: Shane Walgama
Images : R2 Studio
A big thank you to : Shalike Ganewatte