The Roadster

When I got this clapped out piece of junk it had already had the conversion done to it, but everything was cheap, trashy & broken.  This is a 1969 Datsun 2000 Roadster (some called it a Fairlady, but it is not). 

When I got it there was a 289 (Ford) in it that had a hole in the top of the #3 piston.  I am guessing that something dropped into the carb & smashed its way through.  I bought it from someone that I worked with & every time he started it, it would pop the breather caps off of the valve covers, because of the hole in the piston.  This was the same person that sold a complete set of 8 pushrods to a cusotmer that had a 350 Chevy, & thought he did good.  He did this enough times that there were dents in the hood (the bottom of the hood) from where the breathers hit it. 

As you can see this took a LOT of lovin' to get back to where it was even drivable.  I put a 302 into it that had some poop, but not too much.  The car did not weigh but 2K or so, so it did not need much to be fun.  I worked @ an auto parts store for some time during college & actually met the guy that put it together in the first place.  He came into my store to buy some oil to fire up his 260Z that he stuck a blown BBC into (go figure), he walked right by it & it did not dawn on him that this might be his car.  After some talking, we figured it out.  Anywho, check it out.

This was taken a few days after I towed it home, I suppose that I could one day buy a project car that runs, NOT.
What you can't see from this is that the wiring loom ran under the drain tube for the cowel.  This tube was a rubber tube that rotted out & leaked onto the wiring harness.  After years of that it decided to short out the wiper motor & burn the harness all the way back to the fuse box.  The easiest thing to do was to remove the dash & rewire the parts that were smoked & leave alone the rest.  This was not really that big a task, but when you look @ the picture you have to flinch & say ouch, what a mess.  It came out nice in the end.  
I love this shot.  This is the motor just before we stabbed it into the car.  You have to love the spider looking headers on this one off gem.  Some of the things that I found were that the guy that owned it before me had a few backfires & the plastic element in this fine air cleaner did not take to the fire too well & melted pretty solid.  This did not lend itself to good air flow.  Another thing was that It appeard to be running out of fuel @ the top end.  Come to find out there was lots of fuel, no air.  The hood of the car actually sat on the top of the air cleaner, again not so much air flow.  The moral to that story is to not assume that the guy that put the cowel hood on the stock hood new that there was enough room for air to flow. 
Not the best of pictures, but the engine compartment cleaned up rather nice. 
The car in front of the now sold to Auto-Zone, store that I worked @.  Don't blame me for the L-88 look-a-like hood, It was on the car when I got it & never got around to changing it to something better looking.  I had great plans but, ran into some opposition.  No worries, the 'Maro is better by a long shot.    
The parting shot.  If you look closely you will see that there are 5.0 badges on the front fenders.  They are the ones that were on the Fox bodied Mustangs.  I found out that they were stick on & a few bucks apiece.  I think that this made more people turn & look than the rumble from the exhaust. 
Some lessons learned with this car.

Make sure that the new bride is on board before taking up a project that was this big a Piece Of Junk. 

Know that the Ford 8" rear end, looks just like the 9" when you are under the car & really dont know what you are looking @ other than it looks like the one under your buddies, uncles, wifes, mechanics truck, that you looked @ 8 or so years ago.  The only thing that they have in common are that they both come out the front & they both say Ford on them somewhere. 

Building a fairly stout SBF from scratch is a costly endeavor (If you want to build the motor "right").

Trying to cool the same SBF when it is done w/the amount of area in the engine compartment of a 1969 import sports car is not a simple undertaking.