I feel a special connection to this car. It represents a lot. I started the Lamley Group blog 6 years ago this month. In June of that year, I met a guy named Matt Bradshaw, who with Matt Payner had a small diecast sales business on ebay. We decided to partner up. As you know, we have been partners ever since.
I started writing about certain models, previewing others, and showcasing new stuff. In the fall of 2012 I saw the Datsun 510 Wagon in Jun Imai’s hand at JCCS. I was instantly in love. In the first week of January, it was released to hobby dealers along with the rest of 2013 Boulevard Mix L. Wheel Collectors got a batch, and sent me a set. I showcased it. I have documented the story since. Wheel Collectors was selling it for $5.99, and it sold ok. But more and more folks started noticing it. It finally hit a limited amount of stores in April 2013, then vanished again, only to appear at a few discount stores in late 2013. By then it had turned into the must-have model it is today, and ushered in the JDM era.
It also helped create the myth of Lamley Hype. I knew it was a special model, and surely talked about it a lot. But it was the model that sold itself. Matt at Wheel Collectors also knew it was special, and ordered as many cases as Mattel would sell him. And every few months since then – the last 5 years – they put them up for sale.
Lamley has grown, so has Wheel Collectors, and the Boulevard 510 has always seemed to be a part of it. And now that chapter comes to a close, as Wheel Collectors has listed the last of their Boulevard 510 Wagons:
With our hobby dominated by the brilliant HW Car Culture line, I think more and more people are returning to lines like HW Boulevard, Vintage Racing, and Garage. I also think they are giving themselves a facepalm for the amount of those models sacrificed for wheels. Nonetheless, these lines from earlier this decade have taken on lives of their own.
When Matt told me the last of the Boulevard Datsuns were listed, and could not help but feel nostalgic. It seemed appropriate to post something about it. It may seem odd, but this blog has been a thing in my life for the last 6 years, and the model most symbolic of those enjoyable years is the Boulevard 510. It is special to me. And definitely to Wheel Collectors.
Needless to say, if you want one, I’d jump on it.
Here is to six more years with WC, and we will figure out our next mascot model.