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Monday, September 15, 2014

Datsun 510 and 620 family by Hot Wheels



Wow, its amazing how fast this family came about.  In 2009 the 510 Bluebird 2-door sedan looked like a nice, but not-so-popular model that would grace the pegs at stores for a while.  Now it's the hottest item for collectors now, and its joined by the Wagon and 620 Pickup.


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Japan's BMW

Introduced in 1968-1973 this 510 generation was known as the "poor man's BMW" and it shows.  The boxy shape resembles the BMW 2002, but with a Japanese flair like quad headlights with lower signal lights and rectangular taillights.  The interior has the same 2002 look with a flat dash, round gauges, and center radio and ventilation controls, not to mention seating for four in this roomy 2-door sedan.  The engine is a 1.6L SOHC I-4 producing 96 hp. through a 4-speed manual.  It's not powerful, but the car is light and features a 4-wheel independent suspension on a unibody chassis.  The simple, ease of maintenance and perfect handling was a favorite for racers to take to the track and compete, earning the 510 bluebird many titles over the years, not to mention being a favorite for enthusiast in the US.


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The wagon is the same, but uses a live axle and leaf springs in the rear and a roomier interior with seating for five and plenty of room for cargo in the rear.  The 610, on the other hand, was released in 1972, but still shared the same styling as the previous-generation 510, with other features of the new 720 generation.  The quad headlights remain, but join a cross-hair grille and signal lights now mounted on the front bumper.  The bed creases into a 'bullet-side' crease into the front doors, while the rear has a curved tailgate with DATSUN letters and taillights mounted on the rear bumper.  The interior has the same simple dash layout of the 610.  Engine size is boosted to a 2.0L I-4 producing 110hp. through a 4-speed manual.  The body construction is different from the 610 is that its a body-on-frame with live rear axle and leaf springs.

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The 510 sedan and wagon

The sedan came first in 2009 in blue with a racing deco.  The front grille and headlights in chrome separate from the metal body tends to hide further details, such as the signal lights below.  The fender flares are widened and a front chin spoiler is added.  The details are about average for this casting, so is the interior.  The base at least shows the unique four-wheel independent suspension and rear-wheel drive layout. 


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Several variations have been released, mostly unpopular at first, but now is commanding high prices thanks to the unexpected spike in popularity of the bluebird.  The wagon was introduced in the 2013 Boulevard series thanks to Jun Imai's actual 510 wagon (and also help from the 510 Bluebird he created).  The front headlights and grille are now part of the metal body and look fantastic, with a lower chin spoiler and an oil cooler integrated into the front bumper.  A nice touch is the JDM rearview mirrors on the front fenders.  The wheels are flared, and the stance is lowered.  The rear has the wedge-shaped look with vertical taillights and central license plate, which unfortunately has a similar profile look to a Toyota Corolla wagon of the same era.  The interior details are nice, featuring bucket racing seats in the front and a standard flat bench seat in the rear.  The console has also a slight curve in it as well.  Imai kept the engine perfectly stock whereas others prefer to swamp out the mill for a larger and more modern one.

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The 2014 model is the first in the mainline and looks good in the red paint with racing graphics to match the same graphics on Imai's actual vehicle.  The Super Treasure Hunt features metallic red paint and rubber tires on blacked-out 5-spoke wheels.

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The 620 truck

The 620 pickup is the newest addition to the 2014 line in the awesome orange paint with black stripe in the sides (that conceals the Hot Wheels name), DATSUN on the front fenders, side marker lights, JCCS logo on the rear bed sides, and DATSUN logo not only decaled but stamped into the tailgate.  Again, Imai goes for the lowered, sporty stance with front chin spoiler and flared wheelwells.  It looks fantastic and almost stock-looking!  Next is the K-mart special blue with white instead of black decal colors, with the red rounding it out, but this time with blacked-out OH5 over the 5-sp wheels.  In 2015 a vintage metallic green joins new graphics that are very '70's.

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Like the Nissan GT-R line, the Datsun Bluebird, 510, and 620 lineup looks to continue to grow in the rapidly-popular JDM fan set, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more model variants in the near future.

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