Radioshack Receiver: 1968 Datsun 520 Pickup – Sold?

by | Sep 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Truckin Tuesday

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October 10, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “ClassiFIND” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Remember when trucks were realistically sized and could actually fit in the average American garage?  Today’s wave of compact, four-door-only pickup trucks are actually about the size of yesterday’s full-size models. One of the key products that helped Japanese automaker Datsun gain a foothold in the U.S. was their mini pickup offerings.  Much smaller and more fuel-efficient than the full-size trucks of the day, the Datsun 520 proved to be a reliable little hauler.  Unfortunately, like most Japanese vehicles of the period, the Datsun 520 pickup was very susceptible to rust.  Consequently, it’s rare to find a vintage Datsun 520 pickup that hasn’t spent most of its life in the drier climates of the U.S.

One example is this Gray 1968 Datsun 520 Pickup for sale, first spotted in September 2023 on Craigslist in Weymouth, Massachusetts (Boston).  Reported to have spent most of it’s life in Oregon, this mini pickup now features a number of upgrades designed to improve driveability. While an interesting piece of history that we’re sure provides a great story, we’re not sure how much the autograph of famed Nissan/Datsun racer John Morton on the truck’s center console adds to the overall value.

Last offered for $16,000, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is above this guide’s five-year rolling results trend for similar Datsun 520 and 521 examples produced between 1966 and 1972.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls slight above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $15,000.

The 1968 Datsun 520 pickup truck is a timeless classic that holds a special place in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts and collectors alike. Produced by Nissan’s Datsun division, this small yet robust truck made a significant impact on the automotive industry during its time and continues to be celebrated today for its utilitarian charm and enduring reliability.

The 1968 Datsun 520 Pickup boasted a functional and aesthetically pleasing design. Its compact dimensions made it ideal for navigating through tight city streets or tackling off-road adventures. The truck featured a classic two-door body style with a short bed in the rear. The front end was adorned with a simple yet distinctive chrome grille flanked by round headlights that gave the truck a friendly and approachable appearance. The overall design exuded a sense of rugged simplicity that was well-suited for its intended purpose as a workhorse.

Under the hood, the Datsun 520 was powered by a reliable and efficient 1.3-liter inline-four-cylinder engine. This engine produced around 60 horsepower, which was more than sufficient for the truck’s size and weight. The 520 Pickup offered a smooth and predictable driving experience, making it an ideal choice for both urban commuting and light-duty hauling. Its simple and robust design contributed to its reputation for longevity and ease of maintenance.

Inside the cabin, the 1968 Datsun 520 maintained its no-frills approach. The interior was Spartan but functional, with vinyl seats that were easy to clean and maintain. The dashboard featured a straightforward layout with basic gauges and controls. While the focus was undoubtedly on utility rather than luxury, the truck provided a comfortable and ergonomic driving position, making it suitable for both short trips and longer journeys.

One of the standout features of the Datsun 520 Pickup was its impressive payload capacity. Despite its small size, it could carry a significant amount of cargo in its short bed, making it a popular choice for small businesses, farmers, and weekend DIY enthusiasts. The truck’s versatility was further enhanced by its rugged rear leaf spring suspension and rear-wheel-drive configuration, allowing it to easily handle various road conditions and terrain.

The 1968 Datsun 520 Pickup left an indelible mark on the automotive landscape. It played a crucial role in establishing Datsun, now Nissan, as a reliable and respected automaker worldwide. Its affordability, durability, and ease of maintenance endeared it to a diverse range of customers, ensuring its continued popularity even decades after its production ceased.

Today, the Datsun 520 Pickup is a sought-after classic among collectors and vintage truck enthusiasts. Its timeless design, legendary reliability, and historical significance make it a cherished piece of automotive history. Restored examples can be found at car shows and museums, serving as a reminder of an era when simplicity, functionality, and dependability were paramount in the automotive world.

The 1968 Datsun 520 Pickup is a classic icon that continues to captivate automotive enthusiasts with its enduring charm and unwavering reliability. Its utilitarian design, robust performance, and lasting legacy have earned it a special place in the hearts of those who appreciate the beauty of a simple and well-built truck. Whether as a collector’s item or a reminder of a bygone era, the Datsun 520 Pickup remains a symbol of an era when workhorses ruled the road.

The Denwerks Vintage Car Shop YouTube Channel features a video of what appears to be the very truck featured here from seven years ago, just before the current caretaker purchased it:

This Gray 1968 Datsun 520 pickup for sale represents a rare opportunity to purchase a solid vintage mini pickup in such clean condition featuring sympathetic upgrades that do not detract from the truck’s look.

If you are serious about buying this vintage mini pickup for sale, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their Datsun 520 pickup featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1968 Datsun 520 Pickup
Part of a collection held in dry storage, started regularly, driven sparingly.

This rare 520 has been carefully modified to drive and perform better than the original.
The truck was tastefully and professionally repainted in grey with maroon (original color) accents. Upon purchase, the truck had been lowered slightly but has since been brought back to stock height. Suspension is torsion bars in front and leaf springs in the rear, lending this setup to being lowered or raised depending on taste.

The truck is fitted with a newer spec A 14-series Nissan inline-four with a five-speed manual transmission (over the four-speed original). Parts are available for the A 14 series power plant if needed. Recently, a new carburetor, a tune-up, and a new fuel filter have been fitted. The fuel pump was also serviced, and a new battery was fitted.

The truck spent much of its life in Oregon, where it was purchased from a highly respected dealer/collector over seven years ago. The underside remains clean and appears original.
The original chrome looks clean, and the fit is tight. The bed has been outfitted with a spray-in bedliner in the original maroon, accented against the gray exterior.

The interior is clean and appears original. The radio and speedo/odometer are currently not working. Noteworthy is a signature on the center console by famed Datsun/Nissan factory racer John Morton.

The seller is downsizing his collection. Additional photos and videos available upon request.”

Show or go: What would you do with this 1968 Datsun 520 Pickup for sale? Please comment below and let us know!

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