For sale: 1978 Datsun Skyline C210 project


Although it needs some serious work, these older Skylines are few and far between and it’s worth saving whatever you can get your hands on. In the Australian market, the C210 was available as a coupe or sedan, but it seems that very few of the former have survived. At the time of writing, we’ve only been able to spot one other C210 coupe for sale – a restored and modified example of a JDM 2000 GT which is asking $55,000 – "see it here on

The subject car is an Australian market vehicle complied in May 1978, and was registered in Melbourne by the previous owner over 20 years ago, wearing the registration plate AFS.547. The current owner has relevant registration documentation confirming the vehicle’s Australian registration history, and since purchasing the car it has been stored on a farm in the NSW Riverina region.

As an Australian vehicle, it’s fitted with the L24 Straight 6-cylinder engine. This engine was never offered in the Japanese-market C210, but made it to most export markets. This particular car has the single carby setup, but could be easily upgraded to a twin side drought carby setup, or you could upgrade to the Bosch L Jetronic fuel injection system (the L24E engine) that was available in certain markets including Europe. There are no doubt enthusiasts out there who would also have RB and SR series engine conversions in mind, but we’d love to see it kept close to original spec.


One great feature of this example is its factory fitted 5-speed manual transmission (a 3-speed auto was optional at the time). It also has variable ratio power steering (a system manufactured in Japan under licence from ZF Germany), 4-wheel power assisted disc brakes and fully independent suspension. Unfortunately, non JDM cars always came with the rectangular tail lights, and the afterburners were reserved for the Japanese market only. There always seem to be a few stove top conversion panels coming up on Ebay to really give it that JDM look, if desired.

These coupes were fairly well appointed for their time, with features such as electric windows, side window demisters, stereo cassette player, push button radio, an overhead storage console, adjustable tilt steering wheel and a 4-way adjustable driver’s seat. The cars also had rather extensive instrumentation which included a digital quartz clock and a vacuum gauge to indicate how economically you were driving. All seating is trimmed in velour cloth, and black vinyl is applied to the door cards and dashboard. Also fitted was a rear window wiper / washer and 14-inch alloy wheels (including the spare). Brochures suggest the coupe was also available with optional air conditioning, but it’s not fitted on this particular car. We’ve included a few foreign brochures, and one Australian brochure image we’ve found from the Skylines Australia (SAU) forum.

As you can see by the images, this is a big project requiring plenty of body and trim work, and many replacement parts will need to be sourced. It retains its original metallic green paint (possibly paint code 716? We’ll leave that to the experts to confirm.). The car also has its full set of original 14-inch 16-spoke alloy wheels, including the spare, and it comes with its original and complete tool kit.

There is rust in the mudguard sills and doors, but behind those detachable panels which can be replaced, the car is not as bad as you would expect. The floors and sills have held up relatively well, but still require attention in some areas – refer to the images where some under carpet shots have been taken.

Inside, the car will need re-trimming work throughout, and certain parts such as the dash top will need to be either replaced or sent to someone like the The Dashboard Doctor down in Melbourne to work their magic. Presumably, some of the parts on the dash and elsewhere will be interchangeable with the sedan, which should assist in broadening the rare parts pool for the next owner. The engine turns over freely, but the car is not currently running. The reason for this is that the radiator, plugs etc. have all been disconnected. With the missing parts installed, the seller notes that the motor should run as is with some fresh oil and fuel (it was running when parked).

The car is located at Balranald, in south-western NSW. It is strongly recommended that you come and have a look at the car. Please contact the seller, Ross, by signing in and clicking the contact seller button at the top of this page.


Sale details

$ - AUD sold
New South Wales
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Vehicle details

Paint colour/code: 
Metallic Green
Interior colour/code: 
Grey velour cloth
Current Mileage/Kilometers: 
Engine type: 
Engine fuel type: 
Chassis number: 
Body type: 
Driver seating position: 
Right Hand Drive