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JDM Gems on Route 66: The Multi-State Datsun Classic

Nestled in the pine country of Northern Arizona is the Gateway to the Grand Canyon—Williams, Arizona. In 1985, Williams became the final stretch of Route 66 to be bypassed by the current I-40, completing the decommissioning of the Mother Road across central and western United States. Fast forward to 2017 and this final stretch of Route 66 has been added to the National Register of Historic Places and has successfully maintained a small town nostalgic vibe. Each year the nostalgia bumps up another notch or two as the Multi-State Datsun Classic rolls into town.

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Datsuns and their owners from across the southwest make the drive into the orange- and yellow-leaved hillsides to gather around Williams’ Dairy Queen, inevitably spilling out of the tiny parking lot and along the sides of the road for a couple blocks. From a dinner on Friday, imagine plates of BBQ and car friends catching up for hours on end, on through Saturday where locals and travelers alike admire the many Roadsters, Z cars, 510s and more along the central thoroughfare.

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While some of these cars have been JCCS attendees in the past, there are a great number of cars for which the drive to Long Beach was a bit too far. In that case, the fresh new batch of builds to drool over was a welcome sight. The cars being grouped by model along the curbs made the breadth of variety between models easy and a joy to behold. Everything from engine swaps and convertible conversions to barn-finds and imported rarities was on display. Make sure to check out the gallery above and mark your calendars for the 8th annual event next October, it’s something no Datsun lover should miss.

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