Michael "Dale" J 1970 Datsun 1600

Daughters Special 16th Birthday

My daughter Amy was turning 16, I purchased a 1970 Datsun 1600. I had it for about a year before her 16th birthday, but she did not know it. I stored the car at a friends Terry's garage. I went through the car making sure the mechanics were OK. Had the seats redone in white. For her 16th birthday party we had it at a pizza place. I had a 5 foot poster of the car covered in brown wrapping pager. Terry drove the car to the party and when I saw him out of corner of my eye, I said OK let open the presents. She open a few, and I said OK Amy here is your present from your Mother and me, pointing to the poster that the Pizza manager put menus on and wrote "ask about the special of the day." Amy tore off a little of the brown paper and saw the picture of the car and said, very funny dad. I then handed her a Datsun Key chain with the car keys and said, O by the way your car is out front. The Pizza shop emptied fast. She did not have her license, and keep in mind it was a stick shift. She learned to drive the car in about 3 weeks and took real good car of it. She is now in her late 30's. She told my wife a few years ago that her husband could not fix it so you tell dad he can have it back. When I joined the Gateway Z Club it was featured on their newsletter and here was the write up.

Dale Johnston's 1970 Datsun 1600 Roadster?

Not if you ask his daughter, She will be happy to tell you that this beautiful automobile is hers. It was purchased for her ?? years ago. The interior was redone at that time in the configuration you see here. About ?? years ago, after getting married having a daughter, ie. one of my 2 grand daughters, the car was throwing one of many fits, she let her father look into it to see if he could get it going again. He has yet to relinquish the car back to her, and are we glad about that here in the Club. He has been involved in a few of our events this year and even took 1st place in the very large Non Z class at our annual car show hosted by Bommarito Nissan. I first saw him there pulling up with the top down. Let me tell you it was cold and I know I'll never understand convertible owners. It has wheel from a 280zx it was a beautiful color red. and it looked like it had all of the chrome pieces it should. As it happens all of the chrome is original. The car was repainted in VW red. and the top was replaced very recently. Dale readily tell you it's his daughters car, but he enjoys it so much that he just can's give it up. The paint was done about ? years ago at which time it was completely stripped down before it was repainted. The engine remains stock and that's fine by Dale and us because how else could we compete with him for spectators whenever we go out as a group?

8 Reader Comments

  • 1
    BikerMike California July 11, 2014 at 13:46
    Great story and nice to hear that she kept it for so long.
  • 2
    Datsun.David Calgary July 11, 2014 at 09:56
    See Honey! I am not the only one! I keep telling my wife that this is why I need 3... Two for my baby girls, and one for me... Makes perfect sense really. So what if my girls are only 4 and 5... Never to early to start turning wrenches!
  • 3
    Bruce Antonia, MO July 12, 2014 at 16:06
    I never knew the story behind the Datsun. We all have memories of friends because of the special cars they drove and I'll bet her schoolmates remember her because of that little red convertible!
  • 4
    Susan Missouri July 15, 2014 at 10:49
    Good looking car, great story
  • 5
    Steve Allen Iowa July 16, 2014 at 07:30
    Good read and sounds like the car has a good home. Kind of cool to have memories like that regarding a car you have had for so long. Enjoy the ride and thanks for sharing.
  • 6
    D.Brick New Jersey July 16, 2014 at 10:04
    Nice story. That's one car that will never leave the family.
  • 7
    Kevin Bartels Frisco, TX July 18, 2014 at 17:09
    Excellent story. Love the Datsun!
  • 8
    John Lowry Kansas City July 19, 2014 at 08:11
    The passion for these cars runs deep and wide. Sometimes several generations. Although these cars don't get the publicity that a lot of other old roadsters do, they are still cherished by those that own them. Glad your daughter understood your passion. My daughter is now sixteen and asking to learn to drive mine. Oh the dilemma of a sixteen year old and a stick shift.

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