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

“Eco” Ford F-250 Running on Biodiesel

This is an interesting truck, to say the least. The seller made some mods which, in theory, help fuel economy. This is not the usual pitch from the seller of an F-250 diesel, but the bio-diesel/veggie oil crowd is, well, different (and proud of it).

We’re not sure whether this truck is a nightmare or a dream. The seller put in a fair amount of effort trying to get every possible mile (or portion thereof) out of each gallon of bio-diesel. Mods include fender skirts, solid front wheel covers, “seal” between bed and cab, slanted bed cover and, apparently, a closed-off grill. We hope the truck still cool fairly well…  Despite all of that, the upgrade from four-speed to five-speed trans with overdrive probably made the biggest difference.

This truck runs the International Harvester 6.9-liter diesel and, as mentioned, the seller runs bio-diesel – “professionally refined”, in this case, which probably means it’s not harvested directly from Long John Silvers or Popeye’s.

The truck runs right now, but has a miss and air in the radiator, which means, at a minimum, a head gasket. The seller also thinks it might need valve work. Here’s the seller’s statement:

“Valves and headgaskets are not expensive parts, and they are parts that will wear on any engine eventually, but the problem is they are buried deep in the engine, so a lot of pieces have to be removed in order to get to them.  If you were to have this work done by a shop, expect to pay at least $2-3k.”

We’re a bit concerned about the impression that valves and head gaskets are “buried deep”, considering this is an overhead valve engine; but, if that’s what the seller thinks, we’re glad he or she didn’t try to fix it!
Bottom line on this one: it’s a real oddball built out of something mundane.  We love it…

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Richmond, CA, USA
$2,125 with ZERO bids and five days to go

Note that fender skirts, bed “seal”, grill cover and, possible, clear tape over lights! Definitely no exterior sun visor here!

The rear fender skirt is especially glorious from this angle, as is the bed cover.

Overload much?  We’re not sure whether the right outside bed side is painted or in primer – maybe this is an older photo?

This manual bed lift is included in the sale! Note also the various biodiesel decals.

We wonder about the aero vs. mass tradeoff here.

The seller highlighted so many things with red boxes that the emphasis is lost. Like we said, this truck is a bit of a hot mess. It’s all there, though.

Here’s the mighty diesel.  No turbo here.

Ad text:

One of a kind machine.

I made some custom mods to improve fuel economy

Read more about it here: 
http://ecomodder.com/blog/bakari/

and here: 
http://www.instructables.com/id/Vehicle-efficiency-upgrades/

or watch the video here: 
https://faircompanies.com/videos/mad-max-hypermiler-hacks-2-ton-truck-doubles-fuel-economy/

Now for the big caveat: this truck needs some work.
It is running currently.  It starts right away and has decent power.  I’m still driving it regularly.
However, it is running uneven, with a slight tapping sound and smoking more than normal when it’s cold.  
It has all new injectors, all cylinders are firing, and there is very little blow-by, so I suspect (at least) one exhaust valve (or seat) isn’t totally closing.
It is also getting pressurized air in the radiator, which means the head gasket is probably going bad.  It is possible the head gasket is causing both issues.

Valves and headgaskets are not expensive parts, and they are parts that will wear on any engine eventually, but the problem is they are buried deep in the engine, so a lot of pieces have to be removed in order to get to them.  If you were to have this work done by a shop, expect to pay at least $2-3k.

However, if you have the knowledge and time (2-4 days if you are experienced) to do the work yourself, you end up with an otherwise strong truck for a great price.  

It has the original International Harvester 6.9L IDI (non-turbo) diesel engine.
For the last 12 years I have run it professionally refined biodiesel.  

I replaced the stock 4speed transmission with a 5 speed (ZF5) (from the same model truck a few years newer) for better highway fuel economy.

Other mods include 
– angled bed cover and wheel well covers for better aerodynamics, 
– removed most engine belt loads (has manual steering, electric fan, electric brake boost and electric fuel pump) 
– alternator cut-off switch and added solar panel and on-board 120V charger (plug it in at home, leave the alternator off, and get ~5-10% better MPGs), 
– starter and kill switch on the shift lever (making it easier and safer to shut the engine in stop and go traffic and at long lights).
– LED driving and brake lights

All together I was able to raise MPG from about 15 to between 25 and 30 (depending on driving habits and loads)

Also included:
– Detachable manual liftgate (lift up to 500lbs to bed height, using a drill or ratchet) 
– all sizes of hitch ball including a full load leveling tow system
– sheet quick unloader system (for unloading soil etc) plus reversible bedliner mat (slick on one side, friction on the other)
– chilton manuals 
– spare parts inc. the original brake booster vacuum and a full size spare tire
– big ol lugnut wrench and giant hubnut socket (for bearing/brake maintenance)
– Garmin GPS (with traffic updates)
– 15W solar panel and dual battery charger for its two (deep cycle) batteries

Old school quality and simplicity.  The old Ford International Harvester IDI diesels were some of the most durable engines ever built, with many going half a million miles or more before a rebuild, and a few reported cases of a million.
How many miles are in this one, no one will ever know, because previous owners didn’t keep track of how many times the odometer turned over, and now it isn’t even hooked up.  
It is an over 30 year old truck, so of course it has its share of quirks and issues, but when anything does have a problem, it is relatively easy to find and fix without a mechanic, as it has no computer, no turbo, no power anything (manual steering, manual locks, manual windows).  

misc issues include:
– the synchros being somewhat worn on 3rd (doesn’t really matter if you shift slowly, and at the correct speed),
– the speedometer doesn’t work (I never got the adapter for the ZF5, I just use the one built in to the (included) GPS),
– the fuel gauge doesn’t work (its a dual tank, so when one gets low I just switch, and then I have ~400 miles to get around to filling the empty one), 
– drivers seat is very worn, needs at least a seat cover, a new bench seat from pick’n’pull would be better

For over a decade I’ve used this truck to haul loads of furniture, building supplies, piles of soil, tons of broken concrete, and tow boats and trailers, including a 7500lb 35ft RV trailer (that I lived in at the time), and it has held its own, but I’m shifting gears in my business and don’t need something so large anymore.

1971 Honda Vamos

Here’s one we’d never heard of! The Vamos was based on Honda’s mini-truck, the TN360, and was a mini-Jeep competitor (think Suzuki).

The interwebs consistently indicate that about 2,500 of these were built; so this is rare outside the Lane Motor Museum (surely they have one).  The seller of our subject unit provides almost no information, other than to say this features a manual trans and a clean title.

Given the relatively high asking price, we hope this runs and drives and is in very good shape.  The photos don’t show any real issues.

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Somewhere in SoCal, USA?
$15,000

We love just about everything about this!  It features right-hand drive, a spare mounted on the body AND beautiful, plaid seats.  Also, is that a bar that lifts to act as a “door”/driver retainer??

Here’s that unique front end.

Passenger side looks much the same as the driver’s side.  Note the occupant retention system is in the deployed position here.  Also, the engine is presumably behind that black door on the lower side of the body.

We can’t see much of the rear, but we like what we see.

Ad text:

very rare truck
honda made just 2500 truck
california clean title

Stand and Deliver! 1931 Stutz Pak-Age-Car.

The Stutz Pak-Age-Car was a delivery truck meant to be driven from a standing position. Various sellers, including this one, claim very low remaining units.  We know we’ve never seen – nor featured – one.

This cool little van has a mid-mounted Hercules four cylinder with a rear radiator.  The upside is the whole unit slides out for easy service.  The downside is this van doesn’t have all that much cargo capacity.  That won’t matter for a 2010s owner, though, as this little curiosity will end up a slow cruiser and/or display piece.

The seller claims this example runs and drives and that all wood is new.  Note that the roof is currently open – something one might want to rectify before any all-weather use or outdoor storage.

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North Las Vegas, NV, USA
$12,500 BIN with offers considered and 6.5 days to go

The doors are not original, but we imagine this van came equipped with something similar.  We love the two-tone tan/brown and we’d love to see correct hubcaps.

Profile is pretty much a typical van box, but the cab-forward nature is obvious.

Here’s where things get really interesting.  The radiator occupies the lower center of the rear, complete with accessible cap.  The lower rear and side panels unbolt to allow the complete engine and transaxle assembly to slide out.

As we mentioned, this isn’t the most spacious van, given the shelf created by the mid-engine layout.

However, there is, oddly, some storage space in front!

Here’s a look at the rear from the inside.  Is that a fuel gauge?

Stutz ID plate is still in place!

Ad text:

1931 Stutz Pak-age-car this is a very rare small stand and drive delivery van 1 of only about 6 known left in existence and a part of american automotive history. This little van has a 4 cylinder Hercules engine mounted in the rear to a transaxle with 4 wheel independent suspension. I have left the roof open there are a lot of ways to finish it witch I will leave up to the next owner. This van runs and drives. The 2 side doors are not originel but just about everything else is and I installed all new wood. This little van would be great for advertisment. Clear NV title. You can google Stutz Pak-age-car for more info on this little van that is were I got most of what i know about it. trade possible for the rite hot rod, street rod or other classic car or truck.  Any questions call Jeff #702-xxx-xxx  Las Vegas NV

Rare Mexican VW: Hormiga

The Hormiga (Ant in Spanish), also known as the Basistransporter, was a front-engine, front-wheel drive mini-truck made in Germany and Mexico from 1975 through 1979.  In some cases, these were shipped as knock-down kits and built elsewhere.

These were only in production for a few years and only in low volume.  As such, only a a few thousand were built.  These were front-drivers with a front-mid engine mounted under the rear of the tiny cab.

This one, however, appears to have a rear-mounted engine, which might have been a strange option or a modification.  The big center console storage compartment may be where the engine used to be, which is a big disappointing, as we’d prefer to see a twin-engine, four-wheel drive setup, a la Citroen.

Value is hard to determine given rarity; but 15K isn’t a ton of money for something so unusual and which might actually be useful as a truck.  Will a US buyer fly in and drive it through Baja?  We’ll see…

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San Jose del Cabo, Mexico
$15,000

We love the simplicity of this little beast, as well as the white walls and moon mini-moons.

The cargo area holds the spare and, apparently, a Pepsi cooler.

Cab is as simple as one would expect.

Here’s that storage compartment where one might expect to find an engine (?).

If stock, this is an air-cooled VW 1.6.

As we mentioned, this appears to reside at the rear, which is not normal for this vehicle.

The ladies seem to like it.

Ad text:

VW Hormiga (Ant) 1978, very unique piece on its type.
This truck was manufactured in Puebla Mexico from 1976 to 1978 with an exclusive production of 3600 units in total.
Very original and authentic.  Delivery covers California State.
This truck was restored in Los Cabos Baja California Sur Mexico, where I currently live.
Note-  This track was previously announced in my former user alpine1961 but unexpectedly pictures and information was deleted.
Price 15,000 USD

NisoFiniti TX56?

Apparently, someone loved the idea behind the Lincoln Blackwood so much that they decided to create the Nissan/Infiniti version.

The seller calls is a NisoFiniti.  We think it might be called the TX56.  Given the large number of shared parts between QX (this was when only one Infiniti was called QX) and Titan, this conversion looks quite natural.

So far, the market says it’s worth $9,100.  We wonder how much it will go up.  Mileage on the underlying 2005 Titan is a bit under 75K and Kelley Blue Book says that it’s worth about $15K, not considering the QX bits.

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Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
$9,100 with 30 bids and 5.5 days to go

This looks like it could have been factory.

From this angle, one might wonder if this is a QX; but the lack of roof rails and the mirrors give it away.

Profile is pure Titan, except for the visible bits of the front end and, of course, the wheels.

From this angle, only the wheels indicate that something is up.

Rear badges complete the transformation.

This is MUCH more useful than a Blackwood!

The steering wheel and center console make this look like a full interior swap, but it might be missing a few pieces.  The head unit is aftermarket, but the blue HMI looks close to what Nissan and Infiniti offered.

Yep, it’s an Eclipse unit.  What ever happened to Eclipse?  Note that the backup camera works.

Seats are correct for a QX – front ones, at least.

The Gauges are pure Titan – the QX looked a bit different.

Engine is the stock Titan 5.6L V8 with a cold air intake.

Ad text:

Hello and thank you for stopping by our, “NO RESERVE” auction for this, loaded up, rare, crossbreed, 2-owner, clean Carfax history, 2005 NisoFiniti Q56 Crew Cab pick up truck!! Always been a Florida vehicle. Donor vehicle is 2005 Nissan Titan. No accidents, no damages, no issues. Been converted and altered cosmetically, no frame alterations. Clear Florida title sold as 2005 Nissan Titan. Crossbreed between a Nissan Titan and Infiniti QX56. As you can clearly see in the many detailed photos taken, the “Galaxy Black” exterior shines like the Florida Sun! She looks really good overall. On the inside, there are no rips, odors or tears in the “Graphite/Titanium” leather upholstery, shows normal wear, looks nice overall. Very minor, not even worth mentioning, hairline crack by the center speaker on the dash area. I personally drove this truck and she runs strong, drives tight, confident handling, feels very good. Features, navigation, winter package, DVD entertainment, rear camera, park assist, power adjusting pedals, step bars, heated exterior rear-view mirrors, folding tonneau bed cover, compass, external temperature display, Eclipse flat screen CD player WMA, MP3, HD, satellite compatible,  receiver hitch, folding rear seat bottoms, 20″ chrome wheels, fog lights, homelink, cruise control, 5-speed, automatic transmission, ice cold air conditioning, 5.6′ bed, wood interior trim accents, dimming rear view mirror, power driver and passenger front seats, driver seat memory and power lumbar, power mirrors, locks, windows, tilt, leather, wood steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, spare tire, jack, front and side airbags, floor mats, 4-wheel ABS drilled, disc brakes, rear defogger, tachometer, rear ventilation ducts, tinted glass, keyless entry, Clean Carfax, hand-painted accent stripes, rear door child locks, Utili-track bed channel system uses C-channel rails on the cargo-box floor, side rails and front panel, lockable bedside compartment, tailgate illumination, bed-mounted, 12-volt power point, VDC, power vertical sliding rear window, Ipod chargers, front tow hooks, 5.6L V8 engine and more! The transmission shifts smooth, right on time, no hard shifting. This truck is gorgeous and super rare. High bidder wins it! All of our vehicles are free from any and all liens. You will receive a clean title. We also use our detailed pictures as a physical description so look at them all. Pre-sale inspections are welcomed. Read our “terms and conditions” below. Please do not assume anything. We do accept trade-ins, send your VIN# and photos to the following email address. If you have any questions about this or any of my other auctions, or would like a “Buy It Now” price through Ebay, feel free to contact me, Avi Fraser, via email at avi@rollingwheelsinc.com or you can call me, in the office, at 954-527-5522 and I will be happy to help you. We are always willing to negotiate and 4 SURE, WE WILL MAKE A DEAL WITH YOU! Thank you for your interest and I look forward to hearing from you! Visit our location at Rolling Wheels 125 E. Sunrise Blvd. Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33304. We are open, M-F, 9am-5pm. Saturday, 9am-4pm. Closed Sunday and holidays.

An Off-Road SSR?

If you want a truly unique off road vehicle, this could be just the ticket.

The SSR launched as a hardtop/convertible cruiser for the older half of the Baby Boomer generation back in the 2000s.  This retro-styled trucklet sat atop the same platform as the Trailblazer, Envoy, Bravada, Ranier, Ascender and 9-7x.  At first, it was a relatively slow cruiser with its 5.3-liter V8 and quite a bit of mass; but it did eventually get the 6.0-liter LS2 with a healthy 390 HP.  As such, performance, was pretty good after the poor launch year, particularly when equipped with the available 6-speed manual.  These were definitely not meant to be used as trucks, however, which was fine for most owners.

This one, on the other hand, has been fully beefed up for off road duty and even has engine upgrades.  Maybe this isn’t a bad use for one of these?  The seller, who claims to be quite the fabricator, offers the truck as-is or with a number of possible upgrades.

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Ridgway, CO, USA
$42,000 BIN with 9.5 days to go

Normally, these sit low and are very car-like. This one looks a bit more aggressively truckish.
Here’s the unmistakable retro face.
With ground clearance, the SSR looks completely different.
The interior appears to be stock, though the seller does claim it has a high-end head unit.
Supposedly, the engine has had significant upgrades, but it is hidden under the factory plastic covers. 

Ad text:

THIS IS THE ONLY ONE IN THE WORLD I STARTED IT 5 YEARS AGO HAD TWIN BOYS STOPPED ON THIS TRUCK AND BUILT A 4 SEAT RIG. WHATS REALLY NICE YOU HAVE A 500 HP LS3 FACTORY, FACTORY 4L65E BUILT BY HUGHES TRANSMISSIONS,CRYOGENIC, HUGHS FLEX PLATE, AND HUGHES 2200 STALL CONVERTER, ATLAS 5.0 TRANSFER CASE CABLE SHIFTER. YOU HAVE NO WIRING NO BS TO MAKE IT RUN ,STOCK FUEL TANK STOCK EXAUST IT WILL RUN FLAWLESSLY. THE PRICE REFLECTS A 14 BOLT REAR DISC BRAKES AND A DANA 60 FRONT AXLE. ANOTHER OPTION I HAVE NEW 9″ ROCK HIGH PINION AXLES ORDERED FROM CURRIE WITH THE BEST OF EVERY THING ALSO 20″ TRAIL READY BEAD LOCKS 40S OR 42S DETROIT AVAILABLE 538  FOR $10K MORE. HAS 22 X 12 WHEELS WITH 38S ON IT NOW. INTERIOR IS A 10 WITH $1500.00 HEAD UNIT. BODY REALLY NICE A FEW SMALL SCUFFS FROM BEING IN THE SHOP FOR 5 YEARS. I AM NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN ANY TRADES I AM NOT HAPPY WITH MOST PEOPLES WORK I HAVE BEEN A DESIGNER FAB GUY FOR 30 YEARS. THIS TRUCK CAN BE LINKED AND RUNNING IN A FEW WEEKS IN THE RIGHT HANDS. I WILL EVEN THROW IN [16] $1000.00 WORTH OF CHROMOLY 1″ HIEMS AND BUNGS. IF YOU ARE A JEALOUS MORON PLEASE KEEP YOUR COMMENTS TO YOURSELF THIS RIG IS NOT FOR EVERY ONE AND CAN BE CAPABLE OF ANYTHING IF LINKED UP RIGHT AND YOU WANT TO WORK IT. THE FRAME IS HUGE BOXED FROM THE FACTORY. IT CAN BE TRIMMED UP MORE FOR REALLY BIG TIRES. IT IS SET UP FOR 40S. HOW MUCH KOOLER OF A TRAIL RIG CAN YOU BUILD? A JEEP LOL [ SORRY I AM TIRED OF SEEING JEEPS] THIS IS A HARD TOP CONVERTIBLE ENCLOSED BED. FULLY LOADED 4 X 4…THX FOR LOOKING I CAN SEND MORE PICS JUST ASK. THE UNDER CARRIAGE IS FACTORY PRIMER SPOTLESS. TRUCK IS DUSTY IN PICS CLEANS UP PERFECT.

Custom Flatbed Loader

What do you do when you have an old Chevy 4×4 pickup, a Kubota loader, a Farmall tractor hood and some wood lying around?  Make a homemade loader!

Did we mention the unidentified bench seat?  Regardless, this is a cool, funky Frankenstein that might actually be useful for just the right buyer. Be weird most of the year, then feel like a genius when it snows and you have your own plow!

Special thanks go out to reader H.C. for this find.

Click for Craigslist ad
Losantville, IN, USA
$4,900

A lot of Chevy, some Kubota and some Farmall.  Why not?

Front looks almost like a regular tractor.

From this angle, this looks 60 years older than it is, save for the wheels.

Gauges are mouted in the Farmall hood…cool concept.

With all this wood, this must be a luxury interior!  It’s not clear whether this has working seatbelts, but we do see webbing going through a notch in the floor.  Maybe that’s how one shifts the transfer case?

We guess this shot is here to prove it runs…?

Ad text:

I have a custom built loader truck, It is a 1974 chevy truck frame, 4×4, 6″ lift kit,33″ tires on 16.5x 10 rims, motor trans rear ends chassis are all in excellent shape, home made cab and bed with painted steel and stained and cleared wood, M farmall tractor front nose, Kabota front loader that works very good and no leaks, 350 chevy engine, 400 turbo trans, 3/4 ton axles 8 lug, all lights work turn signals brake lights head lights 4 ways, 4 core aluminum radiator, dual exhaust and headers, power brakes, power steering, and yes it will still run 100mph. This would be a great machine to move snow with this winter or haul mulch in your yard, what ever you want to do and you will be using the only one like it. $4900.00 cash OBO. Push snow or do yard work or keep your drive way maintained , drive to the grocery store or feed livestock like no other person can , this is the only one like it CALL ONLY DO NOT TEXT OR EMAIL Tags snow plow, front end loader, kabota , farmall

Psuedo-HMMWV Custom Off-Roader

The seller claims this was built for desert warfare at a cost of over $100K; but doesn’t say by whom nor how that adds up to a $9,900 asking price today.  Regardless, it’s certainly odd.

This was apparently built to be seriously durable and the images back that up, what with beefy axles and suspension.  Power comes from a Jeep Liberty Diesel – not huge displacement, but likely torquey enough.  Oddly, the seller claims front and rear air conditioning; so one can participate in desert warfare in comfort, if not style.

There’s no way this will be street legal; so how can we assess the value?  Perhaps $10K seems like a good deal if you have lots of private land on which to enjoy this thing…

Click for eBay ad
Kailua, HI, USAs
$9,900 BIN price

Ingress/Egress much?

Top-hinged front doors are, well, distinctive.  Overall styling is purposeful.

An inverter system is included in the sale and we guess that is/was hooked up to the outlets on the rear of the vehicle.

Interior is mostly cage; so this won’t carry a lot of people and maybe not even a lot of stuff.

Gauge ‘cluster’ is an all-in-one unit.

Here’s that rear.  One could construct a flat floor atop the tubes…

Presumably, this diesel is in the front.

Ad text:

selling a experimental humvee that’s in new condition. Its an extreme 4×4 built for the war in afghanistan and iraq its all custom built from the ground up. The frame is all steel pipe baja racing frame made in califonia, Currie axles with 4.56 gearing and air lockers front and back. It has 4 link suspension front and back with race runner air shocks and air bump stops, holley electric fuel pump, aluminum fuel cell, Drive train is from an 06 2.8L CRD turbo diesel 24mpg jeep liberty with automatic trans and 242 transfer case that has 2wd,part time 4wd,full time 4wd and low gear 4wd, Hydraulic steering,  Racepack UDX display dash, Quick release steering wheel, A/C front and back,Horn, headlights, Blinkers, Brake lights, Windshield wipers, Willow disc brakes front and back, Hutchinson bead lock rims with 315/75r16 bf goodrich m/t tires, It was hooked up with the Auragen 5000 watt alternator powering system but I removed it to put in a regular alternator but it comes with the humvee if you ever want to hook it back up again also comes with a spare hutchinson bead lock rim and tire. Everything on vehicle is almost like new and built very heavy duty. There is no vin# or ownership papers for this is a custom vehicle i can only provide a bill of sale not sure if you could make this street legal Ive never tried. This vehicle cost well over  $100,000 to build for sure I was told the frame alone was 30k. I will take it to matson for you to help with the shipping process I believe it will cost around $1500. to ship to long beach califonia from hawaii.  I have thought of every thing I could if you have any ? I’ll try to answer them as best i could..thanks