I've got a '66 Datsun Fairlady (called a Roadster in the USA) and the locking mechanism on the boot (trunk) is broken. If the correct key is inserted into the lock the mechanism turns but with no resistance and nothing happens. And without a key inserted the mechanism also turns with no resistance. I can tell that at some stage someone has tried to open it with a screwdriver because the lock has the tell tale signs.

The question is, how do I get my boot open?

As far as I can tell, gaining access from the parcel shelf area isn't viable as there are no holes there at all.
The only access to the boot interior that of I know of are the 2 small screw holes for the number plate, the small area provided when removing the tail lights at either side and one small (possibly non-standard) hole in the bottom of the boot.
So far my plan is to poke some bent wire through one of these holes and try to latch onto the internals of the mechanism in order to get it to open. The trouble is, apart from this being a not great plan that could take me hours, that I have no idea what the internal mechanism looks like or how it operates so I don't know if I should be trying to push, pull or turn something.

If anyone has any photos or diagrams of the mechanism or can describe what to do then that'd be great.
Otherwise I'm open to other tips or suggestions on how I should go about this. Perhaps I should be trying to pick or force the lock or some other such thing.

  • 3
    I realise this is bordering on a 'How do I break into the boot of a car?" question, but I honestly don't think there would be too many potential car thieves out there that would be interested in learning the specific techniques required to break into a 66 Fairlady - most folks would never have even seen one.
    – Scott
    Commented Jun 6, 2011 at 6:20

2 Answers 2


If you can get through the license plate hole on the left side of the trunk key and simply press down on the back of the latch mechinsm while holding pressure down on the trunk lid it just might open up for you. The lock simply has a small arm that performs the same task. Keep in mind, the key for this lock must be inserted with the smooth side up. The lock will let you insert the key upside down, but wont actually move the mechinism. Feel free to email me if you want some pictures. [email protected]

  • Thanks Michael, I will definitely hit you up via email to request those photos. I've tried through the numberplate holes on several occasions, but when I'm only taking an educated guess as to what the mechanism looks like, the whole operation feels futile (and more than a little frustrating). I've read on www.311s.org tales of the arm on the lock cylinder slipping off and under the trunk latch, I'm wondering if this is what's happened to me as the whole lock mechanism seems to spin freely.
    – Scott
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 6:34

Do you have a workshop manual or parts book for the car? These should at least give you an idea of what the mechanism looks like.

The best option I can see would be to find someone else with another Fairlady (is there an owners club?) who would let you have a look at theirs, or email you photos if they aren't local. If you could get access to another car you could possibly use that as a guide to bend up an appropriate tool (i.e. bent coat hanger) to suit yours. Or you might even get lucky and find another access hole you'd missed!

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