When the call came from his friend Anson, Jared Perry, no stranger to impressive car builds, found himself faced with an intriguing proposition—a 1972 Datsun 521 pickup truck seeking a new lease on life. Having just completed a spectacular “G-nose” converted S30 project, Jared’s hesitation was fleeting, and a grin quickly gave way to an enthusiastic “Sure, why not?!”
The vision for this Datsun diverged from the mainstream; Jared envisioned a low coastal cruiser exuding vintage charm. Armed with a Pandem kit and a set of sleek Carving ORT-1 wheel faces, the restoration journey commenced in 2021 with a frame-off restoration, setting the stage for an extraordinary transformation.
The initial step involved removing the cab and bed, making way for a comprehensive restoration. The master plan included concealing air ride components like the battery, compressors, and spare tire beneath the bed. Welded supports were strategically placed, and the frame underwent a C-notch modification to enhance lowering capabilities when fully aired out.
The assembly progressed with the reintegration of the cab and bed, followed by the fitting of a Rocket Bunny body kit, injecting a dose of aggressive styling. The Carving ORT-1 wheel faces from Work Wheels, combined with custom barrels by Love20BEE, provided a formidable stance. However, the challenge of Pandem flares necessitated expert attention from Chumpot, creating additional clearance and ensuring a perfect fit.
The implementation of QA1 front and Koni rear shock-backed air bags, complemented by heim-jointed components and a Datsun 720 steering box, resulted in a meticulously customized suspension system. The 521 now boasts a few inches of ground clearance when the air suspension is fully settled, aligning precisely with Jared’s vision.
A Symphony of Colors
Delivered to Westlake Auto Collision for an eight-week makeover, the 521 emerged resplendent in Greyish Blue Pearl from Nissan’s R32 Skyline color palette. Trim pieces, meticulously restored by Alan at The Polishing Shop, accentuated the new color. A vintage camper shell, color-matched and secured, added a nostalgic touch, elevating the build’s uniqueness.
Under the hood, a revitalized L20B engine underwent enhancements, including a U60 crank, 10.1:1 pistons, and a Delta cam. Mikuni 40 PHH carbs, expertly restored by Kyusha House, add a touch of vintage elegance to the engine bay. Cody of GuldstrandPRO handled cooling, fuel, and power steering components, ensuring seamless integration with a Haltech Elite 550 system.
The meticulous approach extended to the interior, where aftermarket touches coalesce with the original 1970s charm. Pristine door card material, reupholstered factory seats by Alejandro Ocana, and a Kenmeri Skyline steering wheel enhance the interior’s allure. Seat Belt Planet contributed fresh black belts for a finishing touch.
In the words of Jared Perry, “The result is everything I dreamed up when I kicked off this wild ride.” A testament to meticulous planning and skillful execution, this Datsun 521 stands as a testament to the artistry of automotive restoration.
Jared’s Datsun 521, transformed into a coastal cruiser masterpiece, showcases the fusion of vintage aesthetics with modern ingenuity. As he contemplates potential future enhancements, one thing remains certain—the sheer awesomeness of this Datto is a testament to the collaborative efforts that brought this vision to life. A heartfelt shoutout resonates with everyone whose skillful hands contributed to the realization of this extraordinary build.