Colin Chapman’s motto for car performance was; “simplify and then add diamond plate.” No. Wait. That wasn’t Chapman. That was a young Elon Musk — he was building his first electric car, a canvas backed quasi-camino and he needed a lightweight, space-age material to use for the front valence, rear bumper, bed liner, seat cover, and tail light surround…and he thought “I can’t afford anything light, so I’ll hack the roof off, add 2 tons of lead-acid batteries and use diamond plate wherever I can”. Diamond Plate Motors was a total failure, but he joined the guys at Tesla Motors when they were converting lightweight Lotus Elises to electric and the rest is history. Find this 1980 Datsun 310 offered for $1500 in Santa Cruz, CA via craigslist.
Tipper James sent in this next car with the subject; Please be real. I’ve have to agree that this car seems too good to be true…because a 1974 model year Datsun 260Z (that was the only year they were sold in the USA) offered for $10k, even if it is the less desirable 2+2 version with the later 1974.5 big bumpers, is a good deal. I guess it is a good thing for the brand (and maybe car preservation…but that is debatable) that Datsun’s Z is finally getting the price appreciation it didn’t see for decades…but today’s example is priced from a decade ago. Find this 1974 Datsun 260Z 2+2 offered for $10,800 in Brookhaven, NY via craigslist.
Nissan sold a pickup under the Datsun brand in the USA in 1964 – technically called the 320 Pickup, but many folks call them the 1200 or D1200 because that had a 1200cc engine and 1200 badges on the side. If you look closely you will also find a 60hp badge as well…which was never something to brag about, unless you were trying to drag race toddler on a tricycle, but the 60s were a strange time. Find this 1964 Datsun 1200 Pickup offered for $6,500 in Yucca Valley, CA via craigslist.
I saw this next car and the $5k asking price and thought to myself; either there is something fishy going on here, or tipper Cory has found a time machine…because this looks like one of the best deals on a 240Z I’ve seen in years. The only asterisk is found towards the end of a comprehensive listing, where the seller admits that the floorpans are shot. Now, floorpans are easy to replace, but if the rust is in the floorpans, it could be elsewhere as well, so, as the proctologist says to the resident, be sure to probe sensitive areas rigorously. Find this 1973 Datsun 240Z offered for $5,000 in Springfield, VT via craigslist.
This next car comes as a tip from Cosimo who writes: I was scrolling Facebook in my area and came across this listing for a 1983 Datsun 280zx Turbo 2+2 in the marketplace. It’s incorrectly listed as a Nissan 240sx, probably because FB doesn’t have the correct model in their dropdown box. Seller says they’re open to offers. Might make an interesting tip for someone in California. It is a little scruffy for my taste…ehh..who am I kidding, I’ll drive anything with wheels! Find this 1983 Datsun 280ZX Turbo offered for $6000 in Monrovia, CA via fakebook wreckingplace.
The Sentra name first appeared on a Nissan badged car in 1982 as a replacement for the aging Datsun 210. Nissan decided to ditch their “Datsun” brand for the USA…and while I do appreciate the vintage appeal of a “Datsun” badge on a car, it really didn’t make much sense as a brand management tool in 1982…so the car you see today is a Nissan and a sweet yellow wagon with a manual gearbox. Find this 1982 Nissan Sentra Wagon offered for $3500 in Alameda, CA via craigslist.
I know that I’m going to sound like some old cranky curmudgeon when I say this…but I remember a time when Datsun 510s were appreciated for being a cheap way to drive something that looked like a sedan but handled like a sports car. Time was not friendly to 510 — its thin sheet metal […]
This next car comes as a tip from JB1025 offered My neck is hurting just to look @ this ! But has Kewl Factor…Kewl indeed, you’ll need a sweet neckbeard and sleeve tatts to truly do this thing justice, but a few days of itchy neck and arm dermatitis is a small price to pay for […]
The 1974 Datsun 260Z was an evolution of the original 240Z that was first released in 1970 but it was only a one year affair before it was replaced by the 280Z in 1975. The difference between a 240Z and a 260Z is hard to see from the outside…unless you find a 260Z 2+2, which […]
Nissan’s athletic 240Z was sold in the USA with a Datsun badge and a silky smooth inline-6 to go with its ninja-like reflexes. For years, folks joked that Japanese cars would never be collectable, and 240Z prices hovered above scrap value, so many were (for better or worse) turned into hot rods. Today we’ve got […]