Greenwood Car Show Deadline April 18th NWDE meeting.


I already have 11 applications and money in hand for the June 28th Greenwood Car Show. This show is 100% reimbursed after the fact by NWDE so there is no excuse for you not to show up. I will have applications in hand at the April 18th meeting for you to complete. I will be hand delivering them the next day to the Greenwood organizers. All applications MUST be submitted in a group  NWDE envelope. All we need is one more member to go and we will set an all time attendance record. C U there.

Club Meeting March 2014

On the first day of spring twelve Datsun showed up at the monthly club meeting.  Friday night, 21 March 2014. Photos by Ted Heaton.

DROPS Swap Meet 3-16-14

Datsun Roadsters of Puget Sound hosted a swap meet March 16 and several NWDE club members attended.

Photos and text by Ted Heaton

A GREAT ( but very wet) swap meet today. Wonderful large turnout of about 30 Datsun Folk, even from Oregon and Canada! Many wonderful parts were exchanged and a fine time was had. A lot of parts were given away or sold at very low prices. This is in the fine roadster tradition of helping our fellow owners and “what goes around, comes around” assures a future return.

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Check out the picture of a HAPPY Antonio. He needs a new starter and ends up with 2 free ones from Greg B!

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We parked in Steve’s extra grass lot which was very muddy after all the rain got it very soft and we had to push many cars to the road. Steve, sorry for the mess.

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Our roadsters were hiding from the heavy rain but Paul B, Wayno and Jack K did bring their Datsun trucks.

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Paul’s 521 is the one with the elephant ear mirrors, the subject of past discussion.

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Even the rarely seen and elusive DEF escaped from Flat Speaker Land and can be spotted in the pictures.

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A great early spring motivator to prepare us for the upcoming better Roadster weather. Many thanks to all who made this a great event, Steve C for hosting at his place, Ray for providing Pies and chips, Don for bringing sodas and Ted for pizza, chips and sodas. Thanks to Ross of Sports Imports for attending and showing the Canuck flag.

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Interview: History of NWDE

by Gordon Glasgow, as interviewed by Tana Bryan

Back in about the year 1978 when Gordon was first autocross racing, he found other folks who also autocrossed their Datsuns. In order to be eligible for season points and awards, you had to be a member of a club that was a member of the Western Washington Sports Car Council (WWSCC or WW – pronouced “dub-dub”). Most were usually marque clubs (devoted to a particular make of cars) such as BMWs or Corvettes. There were also the Boeing Employees Autosports Club (BEAC), Bremerton Sports Car Club (BSCC), and Acme Hardware Racing (AHR).

BSCC meant having to go to Bremerton for meetings and events; not very practical.

AHR was based out of Seattle. They were hardcore autocross  racers who usually won approximately 50-percent of the local races, but had no social events and two meetings a month that were mandatory.

The Datsun owners were very successful racers,  but none of the existing WW clubs were a good match. Ted Hanson and Terry Sanborn, both Z car owners and racers, contacted Gordon about starting a Datsun club. They did the research about starting a club. The first meeting was in 1979 in Issaquah and had about 20 people showed up. Pretty good for a first time meeting! It took a while, but a name was finally decided on: Northwest Datsun Enthusiasts. The club applied for membership with WW, and officially became a WWSCC car club in 1979. Ted became the first President and Gordon was the first VP, while Terry became the first treasurer.

Gordon took first place that year in Improved B class! Several other Datsuns all took home trophies that year.

Gordon ended up being NWDE’s second President (since then he has held every position more than once). He also ended up being WW’s President even though he had never attended a WW meeting. Gordon worked hard at being the WW President by trying to get new members and leveraging an information hot line. He stayed as President of WW for two years.

Back then, autocross racing was still mostly an invisible event. Gordon managed to get the Seattle Times sport section to publish autocross race results. The Times covered a WW  event for the cover story for the Pictorial section.

Meetings in those early years took place at different locations including the Bellevue Library.

NWDE used to also do rally sports called TSD or Time/Speed/Distance, and done mostly on public roads. The navigator was very important to the driver’s success. Can you imagine no onboard electronic navigation system? There were also some folks who liked to participate in Pro Rally which was usually done on unpaved, closed roads and much more dangerous.

Gradually NWDE began to get members who did not race and enjoyed social events too. Members and their families liked to get together for events and food. The tradition continues on to this day and we have Ted, Terry, and Gordon to thank for getting the club started.

A huge thanks to Gordon Glasgow for keeping the club going all of these years. He has been to nearly every meeting too! Gordon is quite the photographer too as you can see by his photos on his website. Please look at the amazing photos of race cars that he took himself. He did sports photography in high school and went to Pacific Raceways with his father, who was an official photographer for PR. There will be more on Gordon in another article to come soon.

Thank you Gordon for this great information.

Cover of March 1983 NWDELetter

2014 Greenwood Car Show

 by Jack Kampa

The annual Greenwood Car Show will be held on Saturday June 28th. Last year NWDE had 11 members in attendance, however a number of our members couldn’t go as they didn’t get their applications in on time and were shut out as this event was completely sold out.  DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU.  All registrations must be submitted thru the club and submitted in one group envelope to facilitate processing by Greenwood car show.  Send your applications to me by MAY FIRST so that we can get the same preferred spot as last year.

ENTRY form

UPDATE: Rowland’s Datsun 320 progress

 Current news from NWDE club member Rowland.

  • Got my Thai bumperettes installed.  I’m not sure if this is factory as-built but I had two extra Y shaped bumper holders like the ones that attach the front bumper.  I had a hunch the reason I had extras is because they fit the rear also.  They did.  So the rear bumpers are now attached.  Now I can cut up that ugly diamond plate bumper and toss it.


  • Fabricated a heater-box-to-vent duct out of neoprene fabric.  It was a bit short but I did get it attached.  I’ll probably make another one.  For a good price I might be willing to fabricate more.  Getting them perfected might use up my entire quarter’s allocation of curse words while working awkwardly under the dash, so who knows.


  • Went up to TAP plastics in Bellevue and got some acrylic for the dash tray, it’s done, just need to bolt it in.  I think it will be nice having it clear instead of opaque.


  • Got my replacement mirror glass Monday and put it in last night.  It was from, 4-1/4″.  I thought I was just ordering some flat glass, nothing special, mirror.  I don’t know what’s up with this mirror but the quality is exceptional, just brilliant.  It’s curved.  My original glass, with missing silvering, was just flat.  I think I’ll like this curved one better for visibility, with the convex side out.


Datsun Master Mechanic’s Tool

A lively discussion ensued recently on the NWDE email list regarding this eBay listing:

Mechanics Engine Rebuild Tool 1970s-80s Datsun 1600 1800 Timing Chain
Starting bid: US $20.00 +$12.0  shipping from Washington state, USA

This auction consists of a tool used by my dad, a certified Nissan mechanic back in the 1970s-80s. I’m not sure exactly how it was used — I believe it would keep the timing chain in place while he did piston work. It’s made from the front of a head that’s been lopped off.

Datsun L-series engine cam/crank tool

Not so much “what is it?”, but “how would you use it?”  was the question we entertained. It was observed that this is not a factory tool but a one-off custom-made tool.

Doug said:

The actual purpose I believe is so that you can rotate the engine after removing the head (without removing the timing cover). With the chain wedged (which is required to keep the tensioner from popping out of L-series engines), you can't bar the engine over. This allows you to put the chain upper sprocket and chain back on, and bar the engine over without having the chain lose tension.

Dave further expounded on the dangers or Datsun L-series timing chain replacement:

I can understand someone going to the effort to make this, since I’ve personally have had tensioners inadvertently pop out when I stupidly moved the crank (to clean the piston tops and examine the bores), and knocked my chain wedge out of place.  

In other words, the sequence is:
1. Set at TDC.
2. Secure the tensioner with a wedge before taking apart anything.
3. Remove cam gear.
4. Remove head.
5. Reassemble in reverse order.

The sequence done the long painful way is:

1. Set at TDC.
2. Secure the tensioner with a wedge before taking apart anything.
3. Remove cam gear.
4. Remove head.
5. Stupidly turn crank, even a little bit.
6. Remove loose chain wedge.
7. Remove radiator etc.
8. Remove fan & water pump. 
9. Remove crank pulley.
10. Remove timing cover (cheat by not removing the oil pan, like you should; if you are lucky).
11. Remove all timing components (reassemble ideally with new parts; the only upside).
12. Reassemble in reverse order.

This momentary lap of intelligence creates hours of extra work removing the timing cover etc. to fix this stupidity.

So what happened to the auction? It received zero bids.  But was relisted at the same price and on this second try sold for the minimum bid.

Griot’s Garage – Saturday April 5th coffee and donuts

by Jack Kampa

Join us for Caffeine & Gasoline at Griot’s Garage  on Saturday, April 5th from 8am to 10am. This event is sponsored by Griot’s, and is open to all.

Griot’s Garage Store & Events Center
3333 South 38th Street
Tacoma WA 98409

This event is always fun. Last month they fired up a dragster in parking lot. Who knows what they will have next month.  Griot’s is easy to get to. Just take exit 132A heading South on I-5. Stay to the right, go straight on 38th about 3/4 of a mile and it is on the right. See you there.

Google Maps – Griot’s Garage

If you want to carpool, meet at the Renton Yankee Diner at 7:30am and we will caravan in style!