This 1969 Datsun Roadster was built as a resto mod utilizing an assortment of interesting and clever features by the crew at Spriso Motorsports in Corvallis, Oregon. This project wasn’t exactly their first tango at swapping a modern SR20DE engine into one of the iconic Japanese convertibles. In fact, they had completed several before, using “test drivers” to sort out any possible bugs before selling their conversions to customers looking for upgraded power, handling and brakes featuring modern reliability all wrapped up in a vintage package. This particular ’69 S13 SR20DET came about as the result of one man’s new found interest in the vintage convertible after many years of 510 dedication, and the following story is about his build and what changed his perspective forever. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what would make someone simply walk away from a previous devotion and never look back…
As an avid 510 junkie who had owned 6 of them before, Eric Straw was working some barter time out by helping the shop build one of these aforementioned engine swap Roadsters in exchange for them helping with his own SR20 powered 510. He was surprised that although the two models shared many interchangeable parts, the open air vehicle was far more complex to work on. In any case, once “BOB” was complete, the shop’s owner Michael let Eric and his girlfriend take the car on a road trip up the coast for the weekend on a trip that would transform his previous multiple years worth of Five and Dime loyalty. He sold his current 510 project that he had been working on and began his search for a solid Roadster to base his build.
From the beginning…
The first one he purchased ended up to be a hack job that had been welded together from two different cars and had two conflicting VIN numbers, but the second ’69 SRL311 was a winner.
After it was stripped down, he then addressed the existing rust and cut into it’s floor so that he could fit the Lotus Elise seats low enough that his 6’3″ body wouldn’t be peering over the top of the windshield, but not before sending the body away for an acid dip to remove all of the old paint and undercoating, as well as previous Bondo work.
A friend in the parts department at a local Nissan dealership provided valuable information and time with parts sourcing that including an all new front suspension and steering components.
An aftermarket sway bar and springs were then installed to keep the car flat in the corners, and Z32 four piston calipers with Colman rotors help bring the car down from speed, which the shop offers in a kit form for customer cars.
Next, the S13 SR20DET engine was rebuilt using a bottom mount log manifold from JGS, along with a new GT2554r turbo charger. The standard 5 speed transmission received similar treatment as the engine, including installation of a lightened flywheel.
Joe Cruze spent the next 9 months with the car, giving it a new Acura Type R “Championship White” paint job and bed liner coating for it’s underside.
All of the trick parts were then installed, which included a rear axle from an RX-7 that they narrowed so that they could fit a 16×7 rim with 225/40 tires.
Then the engine, transmission and all of it’s new and refurbished suspension were put on and the last thing reported is that it was on the road being shaken down for a few hundred miles, then that’s all he wrote…
We imagine that can only mean a good thing with top down motoring since Eric is surely now more interested in driving it than reporting on it’s build. We understand, and of course, Kudos.
Find the full story HERE
SHOP CONTACT INFO:
6757 NW Burgundy Drive
Corvallis, Oregon 97330