Dave Frellsen's Datsun A510

Dave Frellsen - the "late" 510 years
National Champion B Sedan (1978) and GT-3 (1980)

DF: In 1978 I built a late style 510 with the 2 liter engine. The 78 season was plagued with niggling problems and the car finished few races. To qualify for the CSPRRC I had to resort to a little trickery. The Central Division of SCCA National Racing was very competitive and I had not been able to make the late style 510 reliable enough to qualify for the National Championship race. The solution was to change my racing region of record to Southern California where the competition was thinner. Counting only "out of division" races I finished 8th. in the Southern California Division "Cal club", having not set foot in California. Only 3 drivers from Cal club out of the top 6 could go to the CSPRRC which would not normally include me. But a couple of drivers who were not going to the CSPRRC anyway agreed to "withdraw their points" which then made me 6th. in division. The CSPRRC held near Atlanta, Georgia was 2000 miles from southern California and only 2 of the regular Cal club drivers were going, so I became the 3rd Cal Club representative. I won the CSPRRC that year (the first race I had won all year) and the SCCA wrote a new rule banning drivers from "withdrawing their points" in the future. My late style 510 was 2nd at the CSPRRC in 1979, won again in 1980, and was leading in 1981 when a water leak caused a DNF.

Dave remembers a close race in his 510 with Tom Brennan. Both had won a National Championship in 1978, Dave in his A510 and Tom with his Datsun 2000 'Barton Special'.

DF: "The race against Tom Brennan took place in 1979 at Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, 60 miles north of Milwaukee. Tom and I are good friends and we usually paddocked together. We had a terrific race. I had the pole and Tom had the second spot. 72 cars started the race. Elkhart Lake is 4 miles long and the longest permanent race track in the US. The race was 48 miles long and for 36 miles we ran nose to tail or door handle to door handle. We entered the right hand corner 12 at the end of a 130 MPH straight and I had the inside line, Tom on the outside. We rubbed sides and one of my left tires cut the tire stem on one of Tom's right tires. He did not crash but had a severe tire leak and fell back and then went into the pits. I went on to win the race. I felt terrible about the touching incident, but it was just a racing thing. I was paddocked next to Tom and immediately apologized, Tom was upset but as I recall handled himself very well and we continued to be friends. Tom set a new course record for DP exactly 1 thousandth of a second faster than my fast lap." See the gallery below for an image at the start of this race.

"I had a similar kind of incident with Jim Fitzgerald at Road Atlanta except Jim did crash and we could not talk about it for a year. Both Jim and Tom were awesome competitors with no quarter given and none asked. I am pleased to say Jim and I buried the hatchet and remained good friends."

Late 510

Dave's late 510, still under sponsorship from Conroy Datsun

Dave Frellsen's late 510 - 1978

From Mid-America Raceways, St Louis, 1978     

Dave Frellsen's late 510

In Dave's own words: "Frellsen raises some dust."      

Dave Frellsen head-to-head with Tom Brennan

Dave head-to-head with '78 Champion Tom Brennan, 1979    

Dave Frellsen's late 510 - Chicago Auto Show

From the Chicago Auto Show, 1979 - note the later front end.     

Dave Frellsen's late 510 - Road Atlanta 1981

Road Atlanta, 1981 - leading until a water leak ended Dave's hopes. 

510 poster

Nissan promotional poster

Dave Frellsen's HL510 was sold to Sterling Kelley of Springfield, Missouri. Sterling painted the car green and won several races with it.

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These pages and images, unless otherwise stated, are copyright ©1999, 2000 and 2001, Rob Beddington & The Classic Fairlady Roadster Register. No part to be repoduced in any form without the prior permission of the owners.