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Picture a classic car in your head: likely it’s an American icon like a late ‘60s Mustang or even earlier like a ‘50s Fairlane. Maybe your taste is a bit more exotic and you’re imagining a classic Ferrari or even a British sports car like an MG or Triumph.
What Inside Line did was pit an old Datsun 510 versus a new Nissan Juke. You might think that the Juke would have an unfair advantage, but the 510 they brought out to this comparo was not an ordinary, run of the mill model. No, it is a rally spec version that has been gutted of its interior to save weight and been given a roll cage for safety. It also has skid plates to protect its parts.
The Juke on the other hand was a completely stock model. Both cars recorded their time on a 2.6-mile gravel road.
And the winner is… well you’ll have to watch the video to find out which was just less than a second quicker.
Check out the video after the jump
The story of Datusn (and later Nissan) in the United States is probably the most fascinating of all the Japanese auto makers . While early Toyota’s and Honda’s were ridiculed for their diminutive size and propensity to rust, Datsun was the first Japanese manufacturer to establish a reputation as a respected car maker. The 240Z sports car showed that it was possible to have European style and performance with perfect reliable and a fraction of the cost, while the 510 brought Alfa Romeo and BMW to its knees in amateur road racing.
Datsun’s hub of popularity has always been in Southern California, and the once-dominant brand is being feted at the San Diego Automotive Museum, in a special exhibit called “Datsun/Nissan: The American Story”. You can expect all your favorite classic Datsun cars to be there, like the 510, the Datsun Roadster (basically a Miata, 30 years before the Miata came out), the legendary Z cars, as well as some more obscure models that are only in the hands of a few collectors.
[Source: Japanese Nostalgic Car]