This was sent on the Bluebirds mailing list by Julian Serles. Julian is the current editor of the Dimequarterly and also the owner of a 4 door Bluebird powered by an SR20 with twin SUs and four wheel drum brakes. I’ll let him tell the story:
In the past I’ve taken to the preservation of information vital to our shared love of the Datsun 510. I bought, borrowed, cut, scanned, arranged, and presented for sale The 510 CD, something a few of you have bought over
the years. At the time I began that project, none of that data was readily available; 510 factory manuals on eBay were few and far between, and carfiche.com didn’t exist. Since then things have changed, but the preservation of information is still a very large goal of mine.
I’ve recently had contact with three people important to 510 information. First is Colin Messer, the author of the brilliant “How To Keep Your Datsun Alive” service manual. It is a tome I recommend in the strongest of terms, whether for the outstanding technical information, or just for the absolutely incredible, hand-drawn illustrations throughout the book. Trouble is, finding copies for sale is getting more and more difficult, as it has been out of print for some years and won’t ever get printed again.
I’ve also spoken with John Thawley, son of John Thawley, known better to us as “Bob Waar.” John the younger holds the copyright to the original “How To Modify” book, aka the 510 Bible. Again, another book that is tough to come by, expensive when it is available, and never to be printed again.
The third person is Gian Bowles. He is the final owner of FiveTen Again. Previously on The 510 Realm, Ray Johns posted and released his interest in the FTA issues, and Gian has copies of every issue and the backissue set
of UFO Reports/5′n’Dime. UFO Reports was produced by Rex Jennet and is the first national club to make the scene. Many of us have our bound hard copies of Rex’s work, but, once again, with FTA gone, there’s no one to
sell new copies.
I’ve had chats with each gentleman about their interest in reproducing their work in electronic form. These conversations aren’t finished, and each may end up going in a different direction. However, the reason for this e-mail is that I feel we still need to preserve as much of this information as possible, and in a place that will remain available until the bitter end.
You may have read my past musings and are aware that I feel the Internet as a whole is a lousy place to store information. “Domain today, gone tomorrow” (catchy, isn’t it?) has disappeared more information than we
know, and sources like webarchive.org don’t always have a copy. It may then surprise you to hear that I’ve turned to the Internet to preserve as much information as I can get the rights to save. Those of you familiar with my work for DQ over the past couple years might figure that whatever I am talking about here will appear on dimequarterly.com in short order, but you’d be wrong.
DQ will cease to exist at some point in time, and when there are no subscribers fees, there won’t be any money to pay for web hosting. No, what I need is the one Internet presence that will survive to the end of the Internet – Google. I’ve created a Google account, The510Archives, and aim to use the Google Docs features of their service to store and share 510 information, starting with all that information I put on The 510 CD.
Where it goes from here depends on the desires of those who hold the rights to the information mentioned above. However, it also depends on each of you that has information that should be preserved. Local club
newsletters for clubs that no longer exist, factory information, brochures, etc., and anything else concerning the cars we all enjoy. If you have that information at your hand, consider securing the authorization to reproduce
it and send me the files, or send me the hardcopy and contacts and I’ll do the work.
Oh, and spread the word. Most 510 owners in the world aren’t on the BB list. There will be both interest and, hopefully, contributors around the world that will all help make The 510 Archives useful.
First let me say: Thank you Julian! This is something that is much needed and most welcome. So if any of you guys or girls out there have any information on our beloved Datsuns that need archiving, please contact Julian.