Before the venerable Z-cars, Datsun offered sporty roadsters that have become 
very cool and very collectible. Jim Palam checks out the annual 
Solvang Datsun Roadster Classic.
The Datsun Roadster Classic has been held in Solvang, CA since 1988 and has become the most important event for stock, custom and race-prepared Datsun Roadsters in the country. Spectators this year came from all over the U.S. and well as from Europe, making this event 
the best attended of its kind. Jeff Silvey’s ’60 Fairlady roadster, above.

“There’s an obvious British car influence, particularly the MGB styling and engine cues, but these Datsun guys like to build big motors and swap to higher horsepower, like Marshall Smethers’ Jet Black High-Window ’70, powered by a GM V6 engine with T-5 trans,” above, said
Palam. Jeff Torres’ blue ’66 1600-cc with a five-main-bearing R16 stroker with
wall-to-wall Webers, below.

The Show’s goals are to foster appreciation for these rare sporty cars and this year to raise money for a worthwhile cause. The Datsun Roadster Classic helps support Camp Reach For The Sky, an outreach of the American Cancer Society. The Camp gives children diagnosed with cancer an opportunity to enjoy camping activities, some while they are being treated.

Richard Maxon races this #66 Datsun, above, at Willow Springs and other road-racing tracks in California. Karen Desirello owns this beautiful low-windshield ’66 1600 Datsun, below,
finished in mirror-like Lexus Matador Red.

PHOTOS: Jim Palam,

For more information about Solvang Roadster Shows, please visit