Aldene Klein's Stanza proves that Datsun's don't get old, they get better with age

The Datsun of now and way back is two completely different cars.

One is small and geared towards fuel economy while the other represents a nostalgic reminder of when push-rod engines and authentic Japanese design once lived.

A special era

Older petrolheads will fondly remember models like the U, Y, and GX Coupe as those 'golden oldies' were in their prime. More than 40 years later, and you'd be lucky enough to even catch a glimpse of one of these cars.

READ | Beetle, Datsun 510, Sierra Cosworth - this reader started a local 'old school' spotter hashtag and we can't get enough of it!

In overseas markets it was also known as the Violet, with local production taking place at the Rosslyn plant in Gauteng.

The sad thing about some of these cars in the modern day is that owners use it for spinning or the basis on which to build a race car, removing basically all of the stock components in the process.

aldene corolla

                                                                      Image: Jaylan Scholtz

There are some that think along different lines, those that pride themselves on preserving a car's original look. Aldene Klein and his Datsun 1800 Stanza fall into that category.

I've known Mr Klein for the better part of 10 years and has a massive love for Toyota. He has owned a number of models in the past including a 3T-powered box-shape Corolla as well as a 'bubble' Corolla fitted with a RSI 20-valve engine conversion.

Bringing back the 80's

While he would have liked to own a vintage Corolla or Corona, he was then made aware that a red Datsun Stanza was up for sale, still pretty much bone stock and in fairly good condition after all these years.

The car is used everyday and to this day, Aldene always has someone come up to him and ask if he isn't by any chance looking to sell his car. The answer is always no.

datsun stanza

                                                                     Image: Jaylan Scholtz

Back in the 80's cars weren't programmed to run the way they are now. Most cars operate with intricate electronics, leaving only the dealerships with the proper expertise to work on it.

In that regard, Aldene does all the maintenance and mechanical work on the car himself

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