Some cars have a story to tell…
Datsun 510 & Renault 5
I pretty much like single-family ownership cars because they have a story to tell. After many decades in the same house, these classic cars would have easily told all family secrets and happy moments.
Actually, long-onwership cars usually become something like an extended family member, they even get a name after being cherished just like a kid or beloved relative.
I had the chance to buy 2 such cars recently and discover how their previous owners cared for them lovingly. One is the legendary Datsun 510 and the other one the mythical Renault Supercinq.
This 510 belonged to the same family since 1971. It has its original manuals and the Greek customs clearance document – which states that the car was directly imported from Japan in 1971 with a steamship called Laurita ♡…
Although it has been sitting for years, it received a quick service right after buying it from its original owner in January 2020. It then traveled non-stop, with no hesitation, from Patras to Thessaloniki, Greece -a distance of 300 miles.
This car has a solid base with clear documents and traceable history. It passed the MoT without any remarks. It’s pulling well and feels healthy on the road – a true and extremely rare Japanese legend!
New exhaust, new tires, refurbished and clean carb, re-chromed bumpers. All electric functions checked and faults repaired, new heater radiator fitted, engine radiator cleaned and repaired.
All mechanicals have been revamped as many new parts were imported from New Zealand and the USA -like new rear brakes, many engine and differential seals, new thermostat and new thermostat housings, new water circulation valves.
New rubbers all round (windscreen, rear window, door seals, trunk), a couple of new badges, new interior light -among many others. All 4 wheel covers were replaced after importing a nice set of original caps from the US.
All in all the car has been completely restored: it received extensive bodywork repairs, a new paint job kept the genuine 939 Olive Green factory color while numerous interior repairs gave a new breath of life to the cabin.
The seat upholstery and door cards are original in near new condition. The car enjoys now new headlining material and new high quality carpet has been fitted in the car’s cabin and trunk.
After buying the car and just before my return trip from Patras, I was invited to dine with the family who kept the car for almost half a century. In that table I immediately recognized some mixed feelings of happiness and grief since selling cars sometimes produces an increased level of separation anxiety. I was also told -however- that all family members were pleased as their car would end up to the hands of a careful new owner -kudos to me!…
As far as the Supercinq is concerned, although there was no separation ceremony, the family explained to me how much their beloved father cared about his tiny French supermini.
Well, such an affection is evident in every inch of the car given its sound mechanical condition and almost intact interior. The car also came with a full service book with dozens of stamps from authorized Renault service stations. Although there is room for improvement in the car’s exterior surfaces, this does not prevent the silver Supercinq from driving well and pulling strong.
Overall, this Supercinq’s merits far outweigh its ageing process since grandmaster Marcello Gandini (the creator of the famous Lamborghini Miura) penned a unique shape that has helped this cute Gallic symbol withstand the passage of time until today.
✎ Savas Kalfas, Managing Director, automotohistory.com
© • Photos courtesy of the Auto Business Review artistic gallery.