The Datsun 510 is unquestionably a timeless classic. Built for economy but later adopted by road course racers, this vehicle has a rich heritage in motorsports. The beauty you see before you on these pages has been thirty years in the making. Owner Kevin Koford has been into Datsuns since the early days of our scene, dating back as far as 1977. Even though all his high school buddies lusted after the ubiquitous muscle cars of the era, he pined for something a little different. That "unusual" car came along in the form of a Datsun 510 after one of his schoolmates showed up one day with a bright orange wagon. Lowered on some 13x7 AREs, it hooked him immediately. A few weeks later he found his dream realized when he picked up a similar orange wagon off of a used car dealer's lot. These little Japanese tin boxes can be very addicting, and this car would only be the beginning.
After his craze in 'Datsundom' concluded, Kevin settled down, bought a 'normal' car and moved on. But he always kept in the back of his mind what he would do if he ever built another 510. Fast-forward to 1998, when Kevin finally knuckled down and decided to buy another 510 and purchased the one you see here. Although bone stock at the time, many grandiose plans were being constructed for it from day one. He removed the stock engine and starting making plans to build the infamous 2.2L stroker version of the stock type engine, known as the LZ22. During the research portion of the swap, Kevin found his way over to the shop of the great Steve Epperly. Those in the Datsun fan club know will likely recognize that name, as he's had a hand in building a vast number of Pacific Northwest Datsuns. His shop, Z-Therapy, has also rebuilt hundreds of 240Z and 510 SU carburetors for many happy customers over the years. Steve made a few suggestions on what to do, but probably created more questions in Kevin's brain than answers. Keep in mind that during Kevin's hiatus from the 510 scene things had exploded. People were doing things that no one in 1983 would have even dreamed of.
On the suggestion of another Oregon Datsun guru, Michael Spreadbury, Kevin started looking into swapping the KA24DE from an S13 240SX into his little Dime. This engine is becoming rather commonplace and inexpensive as copious amounts of S13/S14 owners switch to the powerhouse SR20DET. As such, they are being seen more often in 510s and Roadsters than in their original donor chassis. Although these engines get no respect from 240SX owners, they can really come alive when you swap them into a car that is nearly 1000 pounds lighter. And Kevin decided to up the ante even more with his.