I remember going to the junkyards after school and finding them littered with old Coronas, Carinas, 810s, and Colts. Now a decade and a half later, they’re barely in scrap piles let alone rolling down the road. Finding such a period correct example of Japanese-American iron that hasn’t become either part of the landscape or someones drift muse is indeed a rarity. Find this 1978 Datsun 810 Wagon for sale in Marietta, GA for $5,900 via craigslist.
Though most of us can barely think of the tans, browns, and greens of Thankgiving leftovers, the color palate in this case is tantalizing. It looks as though the brown has been resprayed a shade or two lighter than factory, at least evidenced by the comparison to the under-hood paint and the shading of the door jambs. Many of the most obscure Datsuns on craigslist are missing lots of their hard-to-find trim bits so it’s good to see one flash with its factory gilding.
Though the pictures don’t suggest it, the 810 was advertised as a sports sedan with the guts of a Z-car. The L24 straight six cylinder motor features Bosch licensed L-Jet fuel injection and about 125hp when new. Though available with a 5-speed manual, this 810 has the substantially less inspiring but more fitting 3 speed JATCO automatic.
Rather than the bold tartan plaid featured on many more compact Japanese offerings, the 810 sports more of a tweed pattern, surely intended to draw on the upscale sensibilities of its target market. I don’t really care to guess what was spilled on that driver’s seat but it certainly wasn’t a pleasant experience for the occupant.
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Matt is currently ‘that neighbor’ with a yard full of early Broncos, Toyotas, Lexi, Holdens, and Falcons in downtown Charleston, South Carolina.