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February 23, 2022

Chris Forsberg’s SR20-Turbo Powered 1972 Datsun 510 Grocery Getter

By Ainsley Jacobs

Formula D’s Chris Forsberg built this restomod 1972 Datsun 510 with a Garrett turbocharged SR20 engine swap.

Multi-time Formula Drift champion and car culture celeb, Chris Forsberg, built up this immaculate 1972 Datsun 510 wagon that was purchased from an ad he found on Craigslist and it soon spiraled into an all-out build destined to be debuted under the spotlight at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Nicknamed #Wagonfors, Forsberg started by replacing the PL-510’s heart with a newer one from the Nissan family. A stout rear-wheel drive SR20DET engine was first fortified by the team at Mazworx with JE pistons, Brian Crower camshafts, and a Supertech valvetrain with fresh ARP hardware holding it all together. A slick carbon fiber and billet intake manifold from Custom Plenum Creations in Australia adds the perfect finishing touch to the modernized powerplant.

Mazworks also supplied the top-mount turbo manifold to which a Garrett GTX2867R Gen II ball bearing turbo was bolted. Perfectly sized to match the SR20, Garrett’s GTX2867R turbo can support up to 550-horsepower and is ideal for engines in the 1.4-liter to 2.5-liter range, but Forsberg chose to keep his turbo spooling a conservative 450 ponies. The Datsun was then completely rewired and received the full treatment with new connectors, a new fuse panel, and more from Wiring Specialties along with an AEM Infinity standalone engine management system. Forsberg addressed the rear of the car quite carefully and gave it a massive overhaul with a new, prototype four-link-style suspension from Techno Toy Tuning along with adjustable coilovers to replace the factory leaf springs.

Forsberg also ditched the Datsun’s factory brakes and upgraded the stoppers to bigger, stronger Wilwood disc brakes which fit perfectly under the super deep dish 15” SSR wheels to keep the classic, vintage look while providing proper stopping power. After removing 45 years of rust from the Datsun wagon, Forsberg replaced the pieces that were too far gone with fresh metal and bolstered the bodylines with widebody CarbonSignal fender flares and a carbon fiber front end. Sam’s Autoland then sprayed a flawless coat of the original factory Safari Gold with a hint of added metallic.

It was a mad thrash to get Forsberg’s Datsun 510 done in time for the SEMA Show, but it all came together perfectly and the beautiful restomod widebody wagon was on display in AEM’s booth for the duration of the event. Tons of neat touches and personalized details added to the specialness of the showstopper and distinguished the 1972 Datsun 510 as a part of the Forsberg fleet. Not one to ever skip on style, Forsberg created a stunning sleeper of a street car that does double duty as a Garrett GTX turbocharged grocery getter.

See the build on Donut Media’s Youtube Channel

VEHICLE: 1972 Datsun 510 Wagon

ENGINE: Nissan SR20DET 2.0-liter 4-cylinder

TURBO: Garrett GTX2867R Gen II turbocharger


POWER: 450

USED FOR: street

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