When car enthusiasts hear or think of the brand “Datsun”, the first thing that often pops into their head are the more popular models like the 240z, 1600, 1200 or 240k. It’d be safe to say, most people probably wouldn’t know of or have even seen a Datsun Sunny 1000 before. With lesser-known models like this, you either love it or you hate it. In this case, we’re absolutely diggin’ Ashley’s simple, yet tastefully modified example.
At last year’s All Japanese Day car show, the Plate Game team was bestowed the honour of judging and finding a car deserving of the Trader’s Choice trophy. Although there were many well-built cars on the day, we chose Ashley’s Datsun Sunny 1000 as the winner.
To the untrained eye, a lot of Ashley's custom work would probably go unnoticed and honestly, we missed a lot of little details ourselves as the workmanship was that good. If we hadn't spoken to Ashley after he was presented with the trophy, we'd still be none the wiser.
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see mostly off-the-shelf, bolt-on parts on a lot of modified cars; so it was refreshing to learn that Ashley’s Sunny had its fair share of custom hand-built, restored or factory parts from other Datsuns incorporated into the build. From hand-formed sheet metal bits and custom metal 3D printed badges, this little Sunny has it all.
Here’s a quick overview of Ashley's Sunny and some words of wisdom from the man, himself:
Vehicle: 1967 Datsun Sunny 1000, 2 Door Sedan
- A12 Engine
- 4 Speed floor shift conversion
- SSS L-Series Airbox
- Hayashi Racing Rocker Cover
- MSD 6AL Ignition System
- 14” Gloria Super Shark rims
- Optional Sports Steering Wheel
- Datsun 120Y Coupe Seats
- Respray in original paint colour
Name: Ashley Wyatt
Question 1: At what age did your love of cars begin?
A: I got a taste for cars when I was child as my Dad is a giant car nut, with strong a love for Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maserati etc, basically anything you could class as an Italian classic car.
I have fond memories of his Fiat 124 sport,
Memories of looking out the windows as we drive through the country side and listening to a combination of Webers and a Talking Heads cassette tape.
Question 2: What is your favourite automotive manufacturer and why?
They seem to make everyone around you happy.
Receiving thumbs up, smiles and waves are common when driving one.
A Datsun makes the world a happier place everywhere it goes.
Question 3: Out of all the cars you have ever owned, what was your most memorable one and why?
A: My Datsun 1000.
I’ve owned it for nearly 10 years now,
During that time it has taught me many skills.
Almost every time I decide to make a part for it I need to do something that I have no idea how to do, so it has created a secondary hobby within itself.
There is the car hobby of buying and fitting available parts, attending car meets, driving with friends etc.
And there is also the hobby of building your own parts in such a way that they appear to be a genuine factory part, or at the very least made to suit the parts around it.
Question 4: What is your most memorable vehicle-related moment?
A: I was passenger in my friends TA22 Celica while we were driving home along the main road.when I saw a van speeding out of a side street on a collision course with us.
I pointed out the van to my friend who was driving at the time and in the split second he had left he unclipped his seatbelt, sat on the centre console as he steered the Celica to the shoulder lane
The lady driving the van T-Boned us hard enough to push the outside of the Celica door to the centre line of the steering wheel.
Luckily he did this as we were all unharmed.
To this day I am amazed at how quickly my friend assessed the situation and made the decisions that he did.
Question 5: Do you have any other car projects on the horizon? If so, what are they and what’re your plans?
A: My current plans are to continue improving my Datsun 1000 with a fresh engine and 4 wheel disc brakes on the to do list.
Other than this, my current plans are to chip away at keeping my daily driven Datsun 1200 on good working order and maybe some basic mods such as lower springs, weber carb etc.
Question 6: What is your dream vehicle if you don’t already own it?
I have more of a dream garage, Top of the list would be a Datsun Hakosuka GTR, then I think next on the list is fairly even between a Fiat 850 coupe, Honda S600-Hard top and a Classic Mini.
Question 7: If you were to start building this car again, what would you do differently?
A: I don't think I’d do anything differently, as each decision I have made I did so with careful thought about what I wanted the car to be.
The one thing I would do differently would be to collect more spares.
Most parts are getting extremely hard to come by if you want something in excellent condition.
Question 8: What are the top 3 modifications on your car and why?
Buying these wheels set me down the path for every other aesthetic decision in the entire build.
2. Handbrake relocation and Gearbox swap.
The car had the handbrake on the dash and was 3 speed column shift when I first purchased it. These two changes made the car substantially more fun to drive.
3. Red engine components
I absolutely love the family of engine that the Datsun 1000 came with stock.
The red parts I have chosen to use show that I am running the A-Series engine because I love them.
The Hayashi Racing cover is from a limited run of only 20 covers, so for other A-Series fans this is a real point of interest in the car.
Question 9: What are your future plans for the Datsun Sunny?
A: Finish my 4 wheel disc brake swap (Front: Holden VK Commodore calipers, Nissan U12 Pintara rotors. Rear: Nissan S14 Calipers, Honda Accord Rotors), drop in my Datsun A14 engine and GX head, add some Hitachi SU's and A12T inlet manifold, upgrade exhaust to 1 3/4 stainless after GX exhaust manifold, swap 1600 SSS airbox to A12 GX airbox.
So in Layman’s terms, I’m trying to build my take on what a special model of 1000 could have been if Nissan had made a 1000 variant similar to the 1200 GX
Then using that as a general design goal upgrade/modify the car in a way that fits/respects the time it came from.
And finally, I have an AC Swap to finish.
Question 10: If you could give advice to any retro JDM car enthusiasts wanting to pick up a Datsun Sunny, what would it be?
A: Parts... start collecting parts, they are getting less common and prices are rising.
While chatting to Ashley about his Sunny, you could tell he was a true die-hard Datsun enthusiast and the attention to detail, effort and countless hours poured into the build was nothing short of inspiring.
For full details on Ashley’s Datsun Sunny 1000, check out his build thread here:
Photo Credits: retrojdm.com, Ashley Wyatt
Happy New Year! - Welcome to 2021!
We are planning on making 2021 bigger and better then 2020 was! This year with the lessening of restrictions, we are hopeful to be able to get to more automotive events and share our fun little products and exciting new releases and features.
On the first weekend of Y2021 we made it out to the The All Japanese Cars and Coffee in Brisbane, Queensland. Danny of @allthingsmazda captured the mighty little Mazda RX-3 in all its glory and I'd like to thank him for his other pictures too.
The RX-3 is now sporting a new 12A Bridgeport Rotary motor which was built by Automotive Plus so I have been trying to put some mileage on it. The change has made the Mazda RX-3 so much more fun to drive. I find myself trying to put kilometre's on it now rather than just looking at it.
I believe that this event is still in its very infant stage and it is the first time I have even attended and I believe it will continue to grow. I heard someone say that it is on every month however so keep an eye on this page, they are usually posted here.
I noticed that the event was mainly dominated by Mazda's however there were some nice Datsun 240Z's and Skylines that I got to take a closer look at.
One car that I was super impressed with was Adrian's brand new Yaris GR-Four! This car is completely factory and had me in total shock of the size of the brake setup. The front and rear brakes are actually larger than that of a Porsche Cayman S! I was a bit reserved to pull the trigger on one because I was initially worried the interior would feel cheap, boy am I wrong! Lots of cool little details all over the place that kept me glued to it for a while.
I look forward to seeing many of you at car events this year, I promise I will start using my own photos in future post's.
Thanks for reading and supporting PlateGame.
Vogue Industries - The Automotive Funhouse!
Our friendships and history date back to early Autosalon days (If anyone can remember those events) when people used to go crazy with car builds. I have known the head guys over at Vogue Industries for over 10 years, and at their shop opening, they definitely wowed the local automotive industry. They had KatoSan himself of LB Performance there and it was undoubtedly one of Brisbane’s biggest car events of the decade.
The shop itself is styled in a way that there is something for all ages, from toy cars to an actual office desk made from LB performance Lamborghini Aventador parts. If you could imagine having an unlimited wishes genie lamp for all the cool things you wanted when you were a kid, Vogue has delivered. If you live in Brisbane and are into cars this place is really something impressive that you need to check out.
The most amazing thing we found about this Australian shop is their view and style of building cars, previously they were renowned for building exotics with Justin’s extensive collection of heavily modified Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s, they have now found their niche in building off-road weekend monsters with daily capabilities. In our opinion In Queensland especially, the focus of aftermarket modifications has taken an amazing direction with so many drivable adventure roads and beaches a stone throws away.
Long explains to us that the market is wanting more than just “Dad Spec” offroaders, they want them looking like Baja ready trophy truck’s for the streets. This is where Vogue Industries really shines, in imagining, designing, and then building your dream car to life.
Go and give their page a follow
The Story of a man and a passion for Ferrari's
I first met Matt about 5 years ago at a lunch that I was extended an invitation to with the Lamborghini Group in Brisbane.
Obviously we became friends shortly after due to our passion for all types of cars including classics, all of a sudden my attention was drawn to a classic Ferrari 328 GTB that passed by us on James street in Newstead. He noticed my appreciation for it when he glanced over and quietly responded with wow, Ferrari 328! Dan, I happen to have one of those with a smile on his face. I guess you would say that this is the moment is where our discussions of the Ferrari brand began.
I would say Matt is a very humble and kind person, it is no surprise to me that his personal drive has led him to own this amazing collection. I would like to personally Thank Matt for the insight into his Garage and sharing his passion with PlateGamers.
Go and give his Instagram page a follow!
Name: Matt Latimore
Profession: Steelmaking raw materials marketing, trading and investment, mining.
Question 1. At what age did your love of cars begin?
Answer: At 15 years of age when we had an Italian exchange student come to stay at our house for a year. He was from Modena, the home of Ferrari – he bought a poster of F40 and a Ferrari singlet and cap (which I still own)
Question 2. What is your favourite automotive manufacture and why?
A: Ferrari. Great history with racing and car manufacturing. There are plenty of good people around them with a passion for the brand. Everyone within Ferrari is working and involved within the brand success, this is what makes it such a great company.
Question 3. Out of all the cars you have ever owned, what was your most memorable and why?
A: I would have to say it is the Ferrari 458 Speciale. Nothing compares to the emotion and driving experience from this car so far. It is the last of the naturally aspired V8 Ferrari's ever made and makes the perfect mix of noise, fizz with matching speed, and handling. An amazing car to drive.
Question 4. What is your most memorable automotive moment?
A: The Ferrari F40 on track – while it looks fantastic you only really get an appreciation for the car when in its natural home, on the track shifting between 2nd and 3rd gear.
Question 5. What is your most prized current vehicle and why?
A: Owning the last car Enzo Ferrari signed off on, the Ferrari F40 is very memorable, as is his tribute car the Enzo Ferrari itself.
Question 6. Dream Vehicle if you don’t already own it.
A: I would say I have to divide this answer into three categories.
Vintage - Ferrari 250 California Spider. V12 open-top classic car.
Modern vintage - Ferrari 288 GTO, gated shift drivers car and
Modern - The Ferrari Laferrari Aperta.
Question 7. The inspirational quote you live by:
A: You only get out of anything of what you put into it. There is no substitute for hard work and having a passion for what you are doing makes is essential.
Special mentions or people you would like to thank:
I owe everything in my life to my parent's dedication to me as a child growing up in a small country town.
Please Enjoy the Photos.
The Ferrari F40.
Ferrari 458 Speciale.
Ferrari's 488 GTB 70th-anniversary edition and Ferrari 328GTS.
Ferrari F430 Scuderia.
Ferrari 812 Superfast
Ferrari 488 GTB 70th-anniversary edition.
My name is Dan and I am the creator of PlateGame. PlateGame has seen massive growth over the last few years since we launched in DATE. We absolutely love being a part of this car-loving community, and we want to use our platform to share stories from car lovers and feature garages from our PlateGamers across the globe (or across Australia?). You’ll still be able to find all of our usual fun products (with lots of new things to be added to the store soon!), but we’ll also be sharing a new and improved blog and newsletter.
Each month we will feature an amazing garage, and introduce you to the people behind the cars and the collections. Do you have a collection or car-related story to tell? Do you have a topic you’d like us to cover? Please email us at hello@PlateGame.com.au.
If you have not subscribed to our emails, we invite you to do so, as we will be sending out links to the blog features and photos (including phone wallpapers). We will also be sharing the stories via our social media pages, on Instagram (link) and Facebook (link), so make sure to follow!
Thank you for your continued support of our PlateGame community. We hope you enjoy this new addition to PlateGame.com.au
Dan | Creator