1966 Datsun 1600 Roadster

Multiple regional and divisional SCCA championships and national runoff appearances

$39,000, entertaining offers


Car #44 is argueably one of the most signifacant Datsun race cars and is considered to be one of the greatest SCCA Production Datsun 1600’s ever raced. This ‘factory’ supported and Panasport Wheels sponsored roadster was built, developed, and campaigned by Frank Honsowetz, who was the Director of Datsun-Nissan North American Racing for 27 years. The car’s history includes a logbook from the SCCA Cal Club Region where the car won 6 regional championships, won 5 SCCA Pacific Divisional Championships, and successfully competed 5 times at the SCCA National Championship Runoffs.

During the early and mid 1980’s the car was campaigned by Ernie de Jacomo. At the 1988 SCCA National Championships in Atlanta as Ernie was charging up the field from 10th to 3rd and had an unfortunate 3 car off while passing for 3rd into turn 1. All drivers were safe but the cars not so much, as can be seen in the Photo Gallery below, and the video at minute mark 26:45. While an unfortunate end to the race for Ernie, it is further evidence as to the cars potential, speed, and continued significance.

Recent competition history since restoration includes the 2018 Rolex at Laguna Seca when the car was featured among many Datsuns/Nissans as the event marque and chosen manufacturer. This Datsun roadster is a truly superb historical race car and is investment grade quality. The car is eligible for any vintage racing event throughout the vintage race car scene, and is ready for an owner who desires a period correct and very competitive race car.


This 1966 Datsun 1600 Roadster is a true “barn find”. In 2006 the car was discovered by its current owner under a dusty blue tarp among 20 antique cars in a barn in Merced, California. Photos of the car in its discovered state are in the Photo Gallery below.

In 2009 #44 began a no expense spared, body off, frame up restoration. Everything on this beautifully restored, historically significant race car has been replated, replaced, updated, and all mechanicals are new and without comparables. The quality of workmanship is superb and justifies the historical value of this remarkable race car! The complete restoration took 7 years in the trusted hands of Datsun expert Joe Harlan of TopTech Motorsports where the restoration was completed in 2016. This is not a tribute race car…..it is historical in all respects. All previous owners have documented the autenticity of this race car.

Class: G Prod
Weight: 1800 lbs
Engine Builder: Joe Harlan, TopTech Motorsports
Engine Manufacturer: Datsun
Engine Type: 4 cylinder
Displacement: 1600cc
Horsepower: 150+
Induction: Twin 1 1/2 Hitachi/SU carbs-complete rebuild
Heads: Aluminum, ported, polished, torqued at 55 lbs
Block: Datsun R16
Main Caps: ARP
Crankshaft: Factory cleaned, polished, balanced
Connecting Rods: race prepped
Pistons: Venolia/Deeves rings
Camshaft: TopTech Custom
Valves: Isky valve springs (clearance 0.017)
Clutch: Bulton
Pressure Plate: 2 litre lightened
Flywheel: Tilton Aluminum
Exhaust: BRE 4-1 merge collector (new)
Engine Notes: Custom velocity stacks/thermal coated headers
Fuel Cell Manufacturer: Fuel Safe (8 gal.)
Fuel Pump: Holly
Fuel Type: 110 race gas
Radiator: custom crossflow copper (new aeroquip lines)
Water Pump: stock-rebuilt
Oil Cooler: Setrab (BRE filter adapter/accusump system)
Ignition: Rebuilt gear reduction/Petronix ignition
Alternator: New Nissan 240 SX
Battery: 12v new Odyssy PC 680
Transmission: 5 speed 2 litre rebuilt (completely rebuit & shifthubs blueprinted)
Gears: ultra close competition
Shifter: short shifter from 2000 roadster
Notes: new Tilton aluminum flywheel
Rear End Manufacturer: Datsun (4:62 and 4.38 ratios)
Differential: limited slip/complete rebuild
Axles: driveshaft/factory-rebalanced, magnafluxed (all new rings/pistons/ bearings/seals/tubes rebuilt)
Construction: 4 panel wink mirror
Color: red/white-professional repaint and graphics (tub bead plasted, epoxy primed, new paint)
Front Suspension: 7/8 swaybar, a-arms, hubs, spindles, heim joints (all new)
Rear Suspension: leafsprings (all bushings replaced, bead blasted, powdercoated)
Shocks: new Koni competition
Brakes: Front-Disc, Rear-Drum, New dual 3/4 master cylinders
Steering: all new grade 8 bolts and newly rebuilt hypoid factory box
Wheels: Panasports
Tires: Hoosier ST TD 205 60×14
Interior Color/Finish: new gray
Material: epoxy
Fire System: Halon-engine, cockpit, trunk
Restraints: 6 point Pyrotect-new 2020
Gauges: Stewart Warner/Jones/ATM
Steering Wheel: 13.5″ factory

Included with the car:

  • 2 EZ UP canopies
  • 4 minilite wheels/shop tires
  • beautiful pit board w/ history
  • front spoiler/BRE air dam
  • complete build sheets, records, photos, and logbook
  • many spares-too many to list
  • complete driver’s gear, race suit, clothing, helmet, necksgen included ($2000 value)

Please note that a beautiful 24 foot enclosed trailer with finished interior is available as well.

All vehicle descriptions are accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. Corrections, and supplemental information, are always welcome. Buyers are responsible for confirming vehicle histories, condition, and authenticity to their own satisfaction prior to purchase. Motorsports Market is not the owner of the vehicle and assumes no liability for errors and omissions.

(c) 1996-2023, Motorsports Market. All Rights Reserved.


SCCA Championship 1988 @ 26:45 (10th to 3rd) Ernie de Jacomo off.

In car video with Will Campbell at the wheel in 2018 after restoration (0:00 – 6:50).

In car video with Will Campbell at the wheel in 2018 after restoration (22:00 – 26:00).

Photo Gallery

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