Duane Feurhelm was the first owner of this very early Datsun. Duane was the owner of Auto Works, a Saab and Triumph dealership in Granada Hills, CA. With the help of Lee Wiley, Nissan’s Head of Spare Parts, he soon became a Datsun Dealer. He formed his new “Datsun Racing Team” and was the first factory backed team on the West Coast. He was also granted the West Coast contract to supply racers with Nissan approved competition parts.
Duane’s team had reasonable results with a 1600 roadster, including some notable wins. The car was raced in the original red color as it was delivered. However, their early success with the 1600 was not duplicated with the 2000. Despite the factory backing, expectations were not realized. While racing #00004 at Riverside, the car popped out of 5th gear going down the straight and blew a hole through the block when it was over-revved. Nissan was anxious to win with their new 2000, so they took the car and decided to give the car to Jack Scoville.
1968 – 1970
Jack Scoville began racing in the 1950’s. His weapons of choice were MG TDs, TFs and later, Triumph Spitfires. Jack also owned both a Volvo and Triumph dealership, and in 1964 acquired a Datsun franchise.
Jack’s first Datsun was #00004 that was given to him by Mr. Katayama. It had the blown motor from Duane’s Riverside mishap. Luckily Mr. K came to the rescue with a complete new Solex motor. The car’s livery was changed to Jack’s team’s colors. It was painted 1962 Triumph Primrose yellow with black diagonal stripes (prior to BRE). #00004 was raced both as a C-Production (Solex carbureted) or D-Production (SU carbureted) car at multiple venues on the West Coast. He had good success and even some victories with the car.
Jack is best known for winning the 1969 National Championship in D-Production. He accomplished this in a factory lightweight car. That was the sister car to #00004 at The American Road Race of Champions held at Daytona. They decided to run #00004 in the much more competitive C-Production class. They got off to a good start, but unfortunately had to retire due to an electrical problem.
Jack sold the car to Chris Herndon of Seattle, Washington. He campaigned the car with Gerry Murch. The car was now painted white with the now classic diagonal Datsun stripes being red & blue. It was raced primarily in the Northwest. Gerry Murch took it to Road Atlanta for the 1971 National Runoffs. The car did not finish the race. It was sold to an unknown buyer in the Atlanta area.
Owner and car’s history has yet to be uncovered.
Tim Hughes of Atlanta, Georgia purchased #00004. The car was flared both front and rear with fiberglass panels used for the front fenders and hood. The original style dash was removed and replaced with a handmade aluminum dash. Passenger seat and interior pieces were removed. The car was then painted a Corvette yellow. He raced it in SCCA’s Solo I and Solo II. Many victories and several track records were set.
Current owner Bob Klemme purchased #00004 from Tim Hughes now living in Los Angeles. Bob had been a very successful Solo II racer in a Street Prepared 1968 Datsun 2000. He had many class victories including several year-end class championships and was 1988 Men’s Overall Champion.
#00004 was further modified to be a more competitive E-Prepared Solo II car. The car was now running 10” slicks on 13” wheels. An Electromotive crankfire ignition and an electric water pump were added. A new dash, roll cage and a more supportive race seat were installed. Bob raced it for a couple of years with good success. He was class champion and was always in the hunt for Top Time of Day. He won TTOD once in Palm Springs.
The car’s valve train failed at an event in 1994 and the car was parked until 2003. The car appeared in Nissan’s widely acclaimed “The Dream Garage” commercial in 1996. In 2003 it was decided to perform a complete frame off restoration for vintage racing. He chose the former National Champion, Jack Scoville’s 1969 livery as a guide.
#00004 is the oldest remaining Datsun 2000 confirmed to exist.
Bob Klemme (4/26/2005)