Chris Forsberg's Wild, Wide-Body Datsun Wagon

November 16, 2017 / by Evan Perkins

Chris Forsberg introduced his latest show-stopping build, a wide-body Datsun 510 wagon, at the 2017 SEMA Show. 

The world of drift is about style–on and off the track. Sure, it takes tremendous guts, skill, and determination to hang the rear end of the car inches from the wall at speed, but ultimately, it’s the “show,” a mixture of angle, adrenaline, and clouds of billowing smoke, that earns guys like Chris Forsberg multiple Formula D championships. 

2017 marks the second year in a row Chris Forsberg has unveiled a show-stopping Datsun build at the Las Vegas SEMA Show.

Last year at SEMA, Forsberg introduced a resto-mod-style 280z, a killer build dripping in carbon, suede and Forsberg’s signature gold paint. Little was left on the table to be topped. This year, Forsberg not only proved he had another sleek build up his sleeve, but that style runs family wide as he debuted his wife's show-stopping, 1972 Datsun Wagon.

A set of custom, SSR, 15-inch wheels fill the widebody's fender flares.

“She’s had a wagon since the day I met her,” said Forsberg. “When we started looking around for a wagon to build for her, the Datsun 510 seemed to be the perfect fit.”

A fitting canvas for the project, dubbed #Wagonfors was found on craigslist and treated to a host of custom fabrication, rust repair and top-shelf parts. Given Forsberg’s affiliation with fast Nissans over the years, the Datsun brand was a natural fit.   

On the exterior, the wagon fetaures flawless, gold paint, a carbon-fiber front end, and a custom wide-body kit that seamlessly flows into the wagon’s original, boxy contours. “We did a lot to update the body, but wanted to keep classic lines and a classic feel to the car,” said Forsberg. Tucked into those flares are a set of custom, SSR wheels that ooze ‘70s Japanese charisma. Proper–and perfect– stance is courtesy of a full Techno Toy Tuning suspension. Reigning in speed  are four-wheel Wilwood brakes and accompanying Wilwood hydraulics. 

Engineering a wide-body kit that not only allowed the car an agressive stance and wider wheels, but didn't overshadow its vintage looks was a labor of love.

Inside, the car is all cruiser, with comfortable and modern accoutrements. Recaro seats, a modern set of gauges, a GPS unit, air conditioning, and an automatic transmission ensure this is as pleasant a car to drive as it is to look at. Practicality and ergonomics are forefront–it is, after all, a wagon- but the vintage feel is not lost thanks to a restored factory dash and OEM-style interior accents.

Cutting to the chase: “What’s it got under the hood?” No one expects a Forsberg build to "phone it in" in the power department, so in the fully wire-tucked and shaved engine bay is a Garret GTX–turbocharged SR20 built by MazWorx.

Forsberg prefers to keep Nissan engines in Nissans (Datsun) rides. This SR20, built by Maz Werks features JE pistons, Supertech valvetrain, Brian Crower camshafts, and a Garret GTX turbo. It cranks out 450 horsepower.

The engine utilizes ARP fasteners throughout, a Brian Crower camshaft, Supertech valvetrain, and JE pistons to handle the 450hp-worth of grunt. “All of my focus was on building the proper engine package to tie the car together,” said Forsberg. “We choose JE Pistons for all of our products because I have yet to have one fail. We’ve put them through every ounce of pressure we can with nitrous turbos, supercharger packages, and we’ve never had a failure.”

The wagon is as much a statement as it is a driver. This one, too, will be a hard build to top come next SEMA show!

A carbon-fiber front end sets the wagon apart from other resto-mod-style Datsun builds.


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Written by Evan Perkins

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