Datsun 510 Front Grill Styles

Cindy wearing a Datsun Girls t-shirt

OK, Here is a description of the Datsun 510 grills that came stock on US  and Japanese market Bluebirds.

1968- The 68 grill is pretty uncommon, it is unique to this year and had a different design, that looks a little more dated. The headlight bezels that are a bit longer than later years, they have a bend in them that makes a smooth transition into the center grill section. The individual bars on the grill are flatter than later years. It is accented with black paint to make the individual bars stand out. In the center is a long, rectangular DATSUN badge highlighted in red.

1969- The 69 model got a new grill. The headlight bezels were changed, and ended around the highbeam headlight. The center part of the grill is unpainted stainless steel, with rounder bars. The grill is highlighted with two larger bars in the center. In the center of the grill is a
rectangular D (for Datsun) badge which does not look very sporty (but is easily removed.) This is an easy grill to find and looks ok.

1970-73 The “standard 9 bar” 510 grill comes in two styles. The 2 door was equipped with a grill that had bars 1,2, and 8,9 in polished stainless, with the center section,(bars 3-7) painted a graphite color.

The 4 door and wagons came with the same grill except that bar 5 is also stainless, and the painted section seem to be black.

Both cars came with a red, white and blue DATSUN badge with the standard Datsun racing stripes on it. (some may call them BRE stripes, but Datsun “encouraged” them on all their early race cars, but that is a different subject.

OK before all of you say “but I have a so and so grill in my car, Don’t forget that these cars have been around awhile, I always change my grill to a 4 door version on my car.

Now there are some variations for other markets.

The SSS grill- the SSS grill was not officially imported into the United States, but there are many examples to be seen. The difference between the SSS grill and the standard is a raised section in the middle of the  grill. It also has 11 bars instead of 9. The center bars are smaller, and  can be painted or unpainted, depending on the model it is issued to. I  just talked to a guy who ordered a new grill from his Nissan parts  department and got a SSS grill, two of his friends ran down and ordered  the same part number and got standard grills…

The `73′ grill- the Japanese 1973 domestic market cars got a new grill.  It is made of plastic and is highlighted in silver paint. It kind of  looks like a combination of a 610 sedan and a 620 pickup grill. Very  rare. There is a good photo of this grill on the cover of the January  1985 UFO reports.

The Austrailian market was offered the same grills as the US, so you will  not find any special grills there.

The Jetta headlight/ Ford Escort grill combo is pretty ugly, and when I  had a Jetta I hated the headlights for their poor output of light, they  must be awful upside down.

I have seen the BMW kidneys mounted on the 510 grill, but why would anyone  want to do that???

If you MUST have something different, go to your local wrecking yard and  see what they have laying around, you might find something that suits  your needs. But I believe that you will be hard pressed to beat the  original Datsun design, its simple, classy, and says “510”

Michael Spreadbury
Corvallis, Oregon

 

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