Mike Farley, 65, is a magistrate judge who has been racing vintage
cars for about 15 years and is a former driving instructor.
Farley from Kansas, has been a fan of sports car racing since the
1970s, and for years he satisfied his passion by traveling the country, camera
in hand, recording cars as they zoomed through turns and screamed down
straight-aways. His images were published regularly in Victory Lane magazine.
One day, while driving home from a race, he realized that he was
enjoying photographing wildlife and landscapes more than cars. The light came
on: If he was bored with race photography, perhaps it was time to put down the
camera and get in the car.
It wasn’t long before Farley settled on a Datsun 510 as the basis for
a racer. He had photographed the Brock Racing Enterprises’ Datsun 510 in the
Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am series in 1971 and 1972, and he once
owned a 1970 Datsun 240Z.
In 1988, Farley bought a Datsun 510 two-door that had been used for
autocross. With the help of his brother, he began to strip it down in his
garage. Once he began working on it, he realized that it needed extensive work
to turn it into a race car. He and his brother rigged a device that would let
them turn the car on its side so they could more easily cut out and replace the
floor. He rebuilt the car with quality racing parts.
To duplicate the look of the BRE Datsuns, Farley relied on his old
photographs. He recreated every detail, down to the tiny jack box under the
door. He used a protractor to get the right angle for the fender stripes.
Farley races his car a few times each year, and recently competed at