Sightings: Newport Beach, CA July 6, 2017

I went to Newport Beach for a Duffy Boat ride and was rewarded with a few odd sightings – all in one parking lot.

This gem speaks mostly for itself, but we first noticed the Pep Boys hood scoops and the body side molding used on the hood, as well as the horrid decal work on the side.

Under the front bumper is a strange assortment of LED lights.

The rear features very thick molding applied in odd locations. Its a bit sad to see the car that introduced the DOHC Ford modular V8 (later used in the SVT Cobra) to the world treated like this. That being said, we’re not sure whether it’s better or worse than the geriatric, puffy top treatments these usually get.

Lumina APV – need we say more?

Finally, in the same lot was a genuine 280ZX 10th Anniversary Black Gold edition!

The paint has oxidation, but the car is overall in pretty amazing shape and appears to be mostly original.

MSA/Grant steering wheel is a common mod and we also noted a MSA 6×9 speaker panel in the back. Great news in this pic is the manual shifter.

Double Cab Ute: Datsun U620

Most Datsun pickups from the 60s and 70s were standard, two-seat affairs with separate beds – much like almost every other pickup out there. There were a few oddballs, though, including the Sunny Ute we previously featured and today’s U620. This is the Ute version of the 620 pickup and arguably the coolest (and weirdest) Datsun pickup ever made.

Continue reading Double Cab Ute: Datsun U620

Sylvia Gen 1: 1977 Datsun 200SX

Okay, we’ve posted one as UR-Sylvia before.  We stand by that.  This is where the Sylvia started and it offers light weight and rear wheel drive with a nice, little L-series four cylinder up front.  Included is a healthy dose of delightfully odd 70s Japanese styling.

The seller claims this example has about 97K miles, which is nothing. Apparently, it runs with gas sprayed into the carb and the clutch has no pressure. So, at a minimum, you’ll want to refurb the fuel tank and clutch system, but these aren’t huge tasks.

Another consideration is no registration since 2011.  We recommend checking with your state to see what it’ll cost to register five years later.  We hope it’s not too much, as this cool, little relic deserves to remain on the road and in service.  At under $1K, this may be a no-brainer, assuming not too many big issues don’t appear once it’s up and running.

Click for eBay ad
Turlock, CA, USA
$660 with 20 bids and two days to go

These were always “interesting looking” cars – oddly appealing and a bit ugly at the same time.

The rear of this generation of 200SX was always delightfully odd and it seems a lot of them had stripes to accentuate it.  We approve of the brown stripe color choice!

Front end is perfectly handsome, though the 70s bumpers jump out.

Interior is all there and relatively clean.  These is one of our favorite 70s dashboards.  Upholstery appears to have a rip or two and we’re not sure it’s original.

Rear seat shows little use, but a few spots.  No telling what that could be.  This appears to be the original cloth, though.

L-series four cylinder looks as appealing as ever and it looks like someone has cleaned up under here.  We’d consider painting the air cleaner…

Ad text:

1977 Datsun 200SX
Vin # HLS10137709

Last registered in CA in 2011
97K miles on the odometer
Holds a clean CA Title
Engine fires up with gas sprayed in carburetor (gas tank is dry)
Clutch pedal has no pressure
Minor fender dent on passenger side (see pictures)

No Shipping
AS-IS with no guarantees 
Buyer responsible for pick up
$500 deposit is due immediately after auction ends
Vehicle must be paid in full and picked up within 7 days of the end of the auction
$25 per day storage fee will apply after the 7 day grace period

Great Ad and Cool Car: ’76 Datsun Honey Bee

We admit it, we love the Honey Bee.  Sure, Nissan/Datsun shipped too many base B210s and someone in Gardena simply decided to slap decals on them to make them a “special”, but there’s something oddly appealing about this little car.

The seller provides lots of good photos, including every issue noted.  The car apparently has one small bit of rust-through, but paint is original; so we recommend a little treatment to stop rust growth and leaving as-is.  The car is reported to run well but might need a bit of tuning.  It’ll be up to the next owner to decide whether to yank out emissions gear and simplify or keep it running bone-stock.  In our humblest of opinions, this one’s far too nice for a swap, but one could toy with it while keeping all original parts.  Hmm.
Ultimately, this is a very basic, four-speed-equipped B210 with under 50K miles and which is ready to run.  This is a deal at the current sub-$3K bid, but we don’t know the reserve.  This car was a prize in a dealership giveaway, so it has a bit of an interesting story!
Stillwater, MN, USA (the OTHER Stillwater)
$2,750 with 24 bids, reserve not met and 5.5 days to go
Original paint looks great to these eyes, as do the steelies.  If we bought it, we’d keep an eye on eBay and salvage sites for a good set of original hubcaps.  You know…for concours use.
Front also looks almost as-new.  Compared to its delightfully ugly F10 sibling, the B210 was downright handsome.
In truth, we prefer the hatchback “GX” body, but Honey Bees were all based on the two-door.
Interior is in excellent condition with one crack in the dash and a minor tear on the side of one seat.  Don’t expect a tachometer in this basic B.
Here’s the 1.4L I4 in all its glory.  Very clean…
Ad text:
PLEASE READ THROUGH THE ENTIRE DESCRIPTION THOROUGHLY!!! Sorry about it being Long-Winded, but this car deserves a proper description!!!!
This may be the nicest, original, low-mile, unmolested 1976 Datsun B210 Honey Bee on the Planet.
Working odometer currently shows approximately 48,500 miles and the car is in AMAZING condition for it’s age. This little Honey Bee has an interesting “story” as well…..
In 1976, the original owner (shown in the photo with his wife) stopped in at the local Datsun dealership to look at pickup trucks. One of the salespeople convinced him to throw his name in a hat as the dealership was holding a drawing to give away this particular Honey Bee. Well, wouldn’t you know it? A few days later the phone rang, and low and behold, he had won the little car!!!!
For the next 10 years, the Honey Bee was used mainly in Arizona (where they spent the winter months). If you notice the car still has it’s tow bar attached. According to the grandson (now in his late 40’s), the actual miles on the drivetrain are probably somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000 as opposed to the 485xx currently showing on the odometer. This is due to being flat-towed to Arizona from Minnesota almost 3800 miles round trip for a number of years.  The car shows like a 30,000 mile car without a doubt.
The original owner passed away in 1986 and the Honey Bee was put into storage until 1996 when it was then passed on to his son. From what I can gather from documents, the car was driven less than 3000 miles from 1996, until a couple of years ago (2014?) when it was parked yet again. I was told that during the last 20 years it was driven solely to local car shows and around the neighborhood during the summer.
Thankfully, this car has been kept in a dry, climate controlled garage, has NEVER witnessed a salty winter road, and currently is about 99.9% rust free.
Let’s talk about rust and get that out of the way first. There is ONE (1) small rust hole (aprox. 1/4″x1/2″) located behind the drivers’ side rear wheel well. (shown in close-up photo) That is the only “substantial” structural rust on the car; body or otherwise.. The remainder of the “rust spots” are mostly from paint chips (lower valance, hood front edge, roof, etc). The underside is spotless, floors, door bottoms, trunk floor, etc., etc. All are almost as solid as the day the car was made 41 years ago.
The body itself I would rate an (8) out of 10. It has a number of parking lot dings, and a few minor scuffs and scratches.. The white paint hides these blemishes so well, they are virtually impossible to photograph…. and unless your are at the right angle and up close, they are difficult to see in person as well.
The photos ARE a true representation of how this looks in person. It truly is a BEAUTIFUL LITTLE CAR, especially when factoring in how rare a virtually rust-free, original Datsun of this vintage is to find! Let alone a Honey Bee!
Yes, Once you get up close and personal, you can start to pick out the small blemishes. I guess you might call it a “3 footer”.  Also of note is that the lower edge of the rear window rubber trim has been “cut/modified” to fit the base of the CB antenna (shown in pic) and the inner trunk seal is a bit deformed because of running the CB antenna cable through this area.
The car wears 100% of its original paint and decals and has NEVER been in an accident. Both front and rear bumpers are NEAR-PERFECT although the rear bumper has a tear in one of the rubber end caps (shown in pic). The front valance panel (beneath the front bumper) has been bent up (NOT CUT) to accommodate the tow-bar mount. If you are going to remove the tow-bar mount, this is easily fixed by bending the panel back into place as the steel used in these cars is quite thin and easily manipulated.
All glass is near perfect. No cracks, and aside from a few ultra-small rock chips in windshield, is crystal clear. Windows roll up/down like new. Weather-stripping, for the most part is still soft and supple.
Interior is in EXCELLENT condition as well for it’s age. Yes, it does have a cracked vinyl dash pad(across the speaker), but I think all B210’s came from the factory that way (joking) as I’ve never seen another that wasn’t cracked, especially 40 odd years down the road. Aside from a small (2″) cut in the vinyl on the side of the lower portion of the drivers seat (see pic), the seats, both front and rear are perfect. I believe the small cut could be repaired from the backside (easy access).  Door cards are excellent, vinyl floors excellent, etc. Both sun-visor clips are broken, and there is a small 1/2″ cut in the headliner near the dome light (see pic).
Interior has “vintage” CB radio mounted (working condition unknown) along with fancy (by 1980’s standards) cassette stereo mounted beneath the glove box. Yes, the factory radio is still in place and the dash has not been cut. I have not been able to get either of the radio’s to work, but I haven’t tried very hard. Factory radio is missing one knob. There are tweeter speakers two-sided taped to the dashboard, that I will leave up to the next owner to get working, or remove.
Wipers work, Heater works excellent, rear window defogger unknown (hasn’t been cold enough to use it!) All lighting (head, tail, brake, dash, hazard) works as they should.
Brakes were recently serviced and car stops straight and true. Tires are brand new as of a few hundred miles ago (2014 date code). As you can see in the pics, the car is missing its original “dog-dish” hubcaps. I purchased the car with ugly “aftermarket” hubcaps, but felt the original steel rims looked better naked than what was mounted. Original wheels are still wearing their factory paint. Spare tire in the trunk, I do not believe has ever been used, and appears to be original as well. All original Nissan jack-hardware is in place. The trunk is missing it’s cardboard “floor panel” spare tire cover as seen in pics.
As for mechanicals, the car starts instantly, idles like a sewing machine and goes down the road well. The original Hitachi carb (and ALL of the wonderful 1976 emissions paraphernalia) is still in place and supposedly “working”. In my opinion, the car could use more tuning as there is a bit of a flat spot when accelerating. If you ease into the throttle, it pulls through fine, but if you “step on it” it will hesitate a bit before accelerating. I am not an expert on Hitachi carbs, and do not plan on becoming one. From the info I’ve gathered on various Datsun forums, most people that drive these cars daily, remove all of the emissions and install a Weber carburetor. That said, others claim the Hitachi’s are the best for overall fuel economy and can be tuned to perfection.
Once again…I must repeat!!  As it sits, the car runs and drives well right now!! I have driven it at highway speeds and it does just fine.
Could it run a bit better? Yes, but I will leave that up to the buyer to sort out. Anyone that is going to be interested in this car will be an enthusiast with more knowledge than I and should have no problem sorting her out to 100%. At the end of the day it is a classic car, and classic cars will always require a bit of fiddling.
I will say that I have gone as far as to replace cap, rotor, wires (NGK), plugs, points and condenser and made sure the timing is set to factory specs.
Engine does not smoke, leak, or make any odd noises. In fact, it sounds like NEW and is one of the quietest and smoothest running 4 cylinders I’ve ever heard. Coolant is bright green, oil is clean.
I should probably mention the transmission. Honey Bee’s only came with a 4 speed manual, and the one in this car shifts like butter! Clutches and shifts absolutely perfect. No chatter, no slipping, no grinding (perfect syncros), etc.
The one thing that I feel will need attention sooner than later is that the speedometer needle is “lazy” and makes a clicking sound when driving. This is probably due to sitting, as I find similar issues in many of the vintage motorcycles I restore that have spent more of their life “sitting” as opposed to being used.. Most of the time this is cured by re-oiling and use, but this probably requires removing the dash and I will leave that up to the new owner as well. That said, the odometer is still 100% accurate (with GPS) and works perfectly. The low miles on this car are CORRECT.
I really don’t know what else to say??? Datsun B210’s rarely come up for sale in this condition, let alone a Honey Bee!!!
This car would truly be an AMAZING addition to someone’s Vintage Datsun collection!
I’ve tried my best to describe this car how I would like it described to me if I were a potential long distance buyer. I do NOT like surprises when buying vehicles online (believe me, I’ve bought more than my share….just ask my wife!!)
PLEASE BE SURE TO LOOK OVER ALL OF THE PHOTOS CAREFULLY!!! and if you have ANY additional questions AT ALL..
Be sure to ask BEFORE PLACING A BID!!!
Car has a FREE AND CLEAR Minnesota Title in MY NAME and is ready to be transferred to the next owner.
$500.00 deposit Via Paypal IMMEDIATELY AT AUCTIONS END. Balance due within 3 business days via Nationally Recognized (Wells Fargo, Us Bank, Etc) Cashiers Check or CASH ONLY
I prefer that the car be picked up ASAP, but I can store the car (indoors, heated) for up to 3 weeks after payment in full is made.   Please make arrangements for pickup before the auctions end to save us both time please.
This car is a 41 year old USED Car and is sold 100% AS-IS, with no guarantees, warrantees, expressed, written, or implied. 
Thanks for looking!

Rare Datsun 1200 Two-Door Wagon

Nissan positioned this V320 as a small van, and it is closely related to its trucks of the time; but we see it as a small wagon.  Either way, it’s damn cool and has massive potential.

This example needs a lot of help, both cosmetically and mechanically, but the good news is that it appears solid and complete.  Also, it’s small and shares a lot of parts with other Nissans from the period.  Hopefully, that can keep costs down.

The seller claims this ran seven years ago.  Worst case, the next owner could consider a swap to something with more grunt, but there is something charming about these little sewing machine-like engines.  Perhaps it can be saved?

Paint is a little beyond patina and we suspect the next owner will want a full repaint.  Whether or not the baby blue is original, we think it’s perfect here.

Not too many years ago, this likely would have been a sub-$1K proposition all day long; but Japanese cars are a thing now, and the asking price is $6,500.  The question for a buyer is whether they want to end up with $10K+ invested in this when it’s finished.  That’s not unfathomable, but it’s not cheap, either.  If asking price was much under $5K and it ran, we’d say it was a bargain…

Click for Craigslist ad
Maybe near Orange County, CA?
$6,500

Front end should be familiar to early Datsun truck fans.  The seller claims to have the grill and bumpers and they’ll be included in the sale.

Rear mini-fins are just plain awesome, as is two-door wagon body.

The interior is as simple as one would expect from an early Japanese vehicle – especially one based on a truck.

Here’s a closeup of that almost-art-deco instrument cluster.

There’s not much left of the seat upholstery; but the frames are there, so this shouldn’t be a huge job.

Door panel is truck-simple.  That card might just need some dye or it might fall apart if touched.

Here’s the 1.2-liter four in all its glory!  The seller doesn’t say whether the air cleaner is available with the sale.

The undercarriage is dirty and appears to have some surface rust, but we don’t see obvious holes.

Ad text:

Datsun 1200 / 2 Door Bluebird V320 commercial van…

very complete, straight, rust free body…

i have the bumpers and front grill also…

original 1.2 liter engine…

the engine ran 7 years ago…

clean title, rolls easy for shipping…

asking $6,500…

thank you

Quickie: Datsun 411 Wagon Roller on Top of a Shipping Container

We don’t know how this car got on top of this container nor why.

If the body and glass truly are in good shape, this could be a deal at $500 or so.  We’re not sure Lemons rules allow a rolling shell at $500, but this shouldn’t be smashed to bits on a track, anyway.

Click for Craigslist ad

Valencia, CA, USA
$900
Again…no idea why or how.
The seller claims two grill are included.  Neither is attached to the car.
Ad text:
Solid body, great glass. The windshields of these cars typically sell for $700.00. Two grills
No engine or trans. Good builder of parts car. Clear title.
Mike 818-404-eightytwo thirty
If it is listed, it is still for sale, so don’t ask. No lowballs, no trades, no CLBS

Old School Cool:1970 Datsun 521 with Chevy 327

Small Block Chevy (SBC) swaps are all the rage these days, but they’re nothing new.  The original swaps were into 1920/1930s hot rods and usually involved Ford’s “Flathead” V8; but Chevy swaps have a history, too, as evidenced by this 1980s swap involving a tiny Datsun pickup and a Corvette 327, which is older than the truck.

While the seller says this customization was finished in the 80s, we’ll bet it started deep in the 70s, given the choices made.  Either that, or the owner was stuck in the 70s.  The good news here is that a four-speed manual was chosen, which is fairly unusual.

It’s interesting when we see period mods that are almost worth saving for their retro coolness.  In this case, no rare car was modified, so why not keep it this way?  This should be a handful to drive – a truly delightful handful.

Click for Craigslist ad
Somewhere near San Diego, CA, USA
$5,000

Air dam and lights are too much, but we like the wicked scoop

Side view reveals sun visor, five-slot mags (with spinners) and side pipes!

Off-brand OWL tires are always a plus, and we do love the tiny window louvers.

Underneath, you’ll see that the suspension was beefed up a bit.

Strangely, the nitrous bottle isn’t mentioned in the ad.

That scoop dwarfs the engine itself, but that would happen with basically any engine.

One last look…

Ad text:

1970 Datsun 521 pick up square body, old school and way cool. Wow.
Built in 1986, daily driver until 1990 when life got in the way.
Yes, smog exempt.
Please, serious inquiries only. Cash Only. No time wasters or low ballers.

1964 Chevy Corvette 327 small block, balanced, double hump camelback heads, Crane roller rockers, Holley 4 BBL carb, fender well headers. 
4 speed Chevy Saginaw transmission.

Narrowed Chrysler 8 3/4 differential with 3:91 posi traction.

Slot Mags front and rear, drum brakes all around.

Clean custom interior and exterior. Blue Plates. Title in hand. 

Big Potential: Cheap 1974 Datsun B210GX

These little hatchbacks pop up from time to time – some are ‘too nice’ and some are basket cases, but this car lies right in the middle.  The bidding just passed the LeMons $500 mark and this will be a cool project if it doesn’t go much higher and the reserve is met.

Thirty years ago, these were just cheap, used cars, but now they’re appreciated for the rear-wheel drive, light weight and ability to accept more modern four cylinder engines. Given this one is claimed to be solid and it is pre-1975, this could make the trek across the country to California, where it will never need a smog check.

This cool little ugly duckling needs to stay under about $1,000 to be something of a deal, as the next owner’s plan should include an engine upgrade/swap and some body and paint work.  The period aftermarket wheels are nice, but we almost prefer the odd, honeycomb-style hubcaps that were original to these cars.

Click for eBay ad
Salem, VA, USA
$760 with 9 bids, reserve not met and 1.5 days to go

Lines are still strange, but oddly appealing.

Grill looks a little more blacked out vs. stock.

The odd rear allowed decent cargo space in this one.

Twin pipes are an interesting touch for car that seems to be stockish.

As the seller claims, the interior appears to be in very good condition overall.  Of course, the manual trans is a welcome sight.

Wheel should be familiar to just about any Datsun owner.  Auxiliary gauges have been fitted, but it’s not clear what they are.

This one has a tach, but it looks like it was pulled out of a newer car.  Still, it’s nice to have and few of these had ’em stock.

Back seat looks almost new.  Kids might fit back here.

Here’s that cargo space – it has a decent footprint, but the floor sits of high.  Rear seat folds to accept large items.

Apparently, the car was once yellow – we would prefer that!

Ad text:

“RUNS & DRIVES GOOD, WITH A STRAIGHT, RUST FREE BODY/FRAME & VERY NICE INTERIOR”

FOR SALE IS THIS WONDERFUL LITTLE CLASSIC DATSUN B210GX SPORTING A SET OF RARE AFTERMARKET 13″ KEYSTONE WHEELS. YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE HOW RUST FREE THIS CAR IS! THE ONLY RUST I CAN FIND IS UNDER THE COVER WHERE THE SPARE TIRE IS & THAT IS ONLY SURFACE RUST. THIS CAR HAS CONSTANTLY BEEN ON THE MOVE SINCE IT WAS NEW. THEY SAY A ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS, WELL THIS BEAUTY HAS GATHERED NO RUST & SHE STILL MOVES WITH STYLE ON THE ROADS. THE INTERIOR IS REALLY SPECIAL IN THIS CAR: EVERYTHING IS SOLID EXCEPT THE CARPET: THERE ARE NO RIPS ON THE SEATS, DOOR PANELS OR HEADLINER. THE BODY IS PRETTY GOOD BUT IT HAS HAD SOME DAMAGE TO THE DRIVERS DOOR & THE DRIVERS QUARTER PANEL WHICH HAS SOME FILL IN IT. (YOU CAN SEE THE AREA BELOW THE REAR GLASS) THE ENGINE RUNS & STARTS UP EASILY BUT THE BRAKES ARE SQUISHY & WILL LIKELY NEED MUCH ATTENTION. THE TRANSMISSION SHIFTS WELL WITH NO ISSUES. THE MUFFLER NEEDS REPLACED. THESE CARS ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO LOCATE IN ANY CONDITION: RUNNING, DRIVING & LOOKING PRESENTABLE IS A GREAT WAY TO START A PROJECT. EVERYTHING YOU NEED IS HERE. IF IT WASNT FOR THE BRAKES I WOULD SAY YOU WOULD HAVE NO ISSUES DRIVING THIS HOME AS THE MOTOR IS STRONG & RELIABLE. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS & HOPEFULLY FINDING A NEW OWNER FOR THIS RARE CAR. GOOD LUCK WINNING.

Ran When Parked: 1974 Datsun Pickup with SBC

Remember the custom mini truck craze?  This truck was apparently one of the many victims and was cast aside when another fad took over.

This looks like a “needs everything” project; but the presence of a small block Chevy means the mechanical bits can be purchased at Wal-Mart. As such, getting it running might not take too much money. If you can take on the body and paint work yourself, that will be manageable, but just be warned that you’ll end up with a 1980s/1990s “show truck.”

Restoring this to sleeper condition – which we would prefer – would likely take too much time and money and ensure you’ll be upside-down on this project.

Click for Craigslist ad
Riverside, CA
$1,700

This is a pretty aggressive body kit for a Datsun truck, but this truck at least had the engine to back up the glam.  This truck has obviously been sun-baked for too long and the fiberglass has taken some hits.  Centerline-style wheels suggest this might have been a mid-to-late 80s project (?).

Rear has the obligatory louvered, fixed tailgate.  Custom mini trucks were all about erasing practicality.  It’s not even clear where brake and tail lights are/were.

The interior is tired, but hasn’t been overly modified.  Massive B&M shifter is appropriate for a V8 swap.

Seat upholstery is in surprisingly good shape and we’ll bet the seats themselves came from a different car/truck.  Note that this truck was originally red.

This Chevy 350 supposedly ran ten years ago.

Ad text:

This has a 350 motor and 350 trans with 8 inch rear end,truck has not ran in over ten years but ran good when parked.The motor is not stuck it does turn,it should run Great with a little TLC.Call with ?