Mr. Miyagi: 1965 Datsun L320 46K Barn Find – SOLD!

by | Feb 2024 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Truckin Tuesday

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April 9, 2024, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “ClassiFIND” deleted their listing, so we can now call this one “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.

February 21, 2024 Update – The seller of this 1965 Datsun L320 pickup we first spotted in December replaced the second expiring Craigslist ad we are aware of with a fresh listing. The already reduced $10,000 asking price carries over.

January 21, 2024 Update – The seller of this 1965 Datsun L320 pickup we first spotted in December replaced their expiring Craigslist ad with a fresh listing. While the pictures and description pretty much carry over, the seller elected to reduce their asking price from $12,200 to $10,000.

It took the 1973 U.S. Arab Oil Embargo for truck buyers to take notice of the much more fuel efficient mini trucks Japanese automakers offered on American shores.  Prior to that, sales of Japanese mini trucks in the U.S. were quite modest as the Federal Government’s 25% “Chicken Tax” put off many buyers already reluctant to buy anything made by the Japanese at that time.  Datsun produced its 320 Truck series from 1961 through 1965 with numerous improvements made during each year of production.  For the 1965 model year, Datsun only managed to sell approximately five thousand pickups in the U.S. that year, with most sales concentrated along the Pacific coast.

This Green 46K 1965 Datsun L320 Pickup For Sale, first spotted on Craigslist in Rowlett, Texas in December 2023, is a 46K original mile barn find.  The seller reports they found the truck in a barn on a southern Oklahoma ranch where in it’s early days was a hard working farm truck until it was retired to teach the ranch owner’s children to drive and have something to play with on the ranch.

Last offered for $10,000 (the original ask was $12,200), Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask aligns with this guide’s five year results for all Datsun 320 Pickups produced between 1961 and 1965.  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 between this guide’s #2 Very Good” estimate of $9,900 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $14,400.

The 1965 Datsun L320 pickup truck stands as a testament to the innovation and craftsmanship of Japanese automotive engineering during the mid-20th century. This compact and utilitarian vehicle, produced by the Datsun company, now a part of Nissan, emerged as a reliable workhorse with a distinct charm that captivated both commercial and individual buyers.

Externally, the Datsun L320 boasted a design that embodied simplicity and functionality. Measuring 162 inches in length, the compact dimensions of the truck made it agile and easy to maneuver through crowded urban streets or rugged off-road terrains. The exterior design featured clean lines, rounded contours, and a modest front grille emphasizing utility over extravagance. A noticeable forward-leaning stance conveyed a sense of eagerness, while the rounded fenders added a touch of whimsy to the overall aesthetic.

One of the defining features of the L320 was its single cab configuration with a snug yet practical interior. The cab accommodated two occupants comfortably and provided a no-nonsense driving experience. The dashboard was straightforward, featuring a basic instrument cluster and controls for essential functions. Despite its utilitarian focus, the interior exuded a certain charm with its functional simplicity, a characteristic that endeared it to drivers who appreciated a no-frills approach to motoring.

Under the hood, the 1965 Datsun L320 carried a robust powertrain for its time. The heart of the vehicle was a 1.2-liter inline-four engine, delivering a modest yet adequate 60 horsepower. This engine, paired with a four-speed manual transmission, empowered the L320 with a reliable and efficient performance that suited the needs of both urban commuters and small business owners. The truck’s mechanical simplicity contributed to its durability, making it a favorite among those seeking a dependable workhorse for daily tasks.

The suspension system of the Datsun L320 was tuned for a balance between comfort and load-carrying capability. With an emphasis on durability and stability, the truck’s suspension could handle the diverse demands of various terrains, from smooth city roads to unpaved rural paths. The rear leaf-spring suspension further enhanced the vehicle’s load-carrying capacity, making it an ideal choice for those in need of a practical and sturdy utility vehicle.

Regarding payload capacity, the L320 demonstrated its versatility as a light-duty truck. Though not expansive, the bed provided sufficient space for transporting goods, tools, or other essentials. This made the Datsun L320 a popular choice for small businesses, farmers, and anyone requiring a reliable vehicle for transporting cargo without needing a larger, more cumbersome truck.

The 1965 Datsun L320 pickup truck was not just a utilitarian vehicle but a symbol of a bygone era when automotive design focused on simplicity, reliability, and practicality. Its unpretentious charm and dependable performance endeared it to a diverse range of drivers, from urban commuters to small business owners. Today, the L320 is a cherished classic, a nostalgic reminder of an era when Japanese automakers began making their mark on the global stage, laying the foundation for the success and reputation that brands like Nissan enjoy today.

The Petro Media YouTube Channel provides a modern review of two Datsun L320 survivor pickups:

With a reported one hundred of the five thousand imported to the U.S. in ’65, this Green 46K 1965 Datsun L320 Pickup is a rare treat, especially a survivor quality example with only 46K original miles.  Based on the seller’s description, this Datsun mini pickup for sale has been sorted well enough to run and drive. All that’s needed is a refresh of the original gas tank to eliminate the need for the temporary marine style tank currently in use.

If you are serious about buying this Datsun pickup, 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 rare L320 barn find featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Now this is not something you see every day….

Here we have an extremely rare to find, extraordinarily well preserved and intact Datsun 320 Pickup with its original 1200 cc four cylinder engine and 4-speed manual transmission. Acquired out of the barn on a southern Oklahoma ranch where in it’s early days was a hard working farm truck until it was retired to teach the youngins’ to drive and have something to play with on the ranch.

Since purchasing it we have been through the brakes, suspension, carburetor, electrics, changed the fluids and installed new tires. The original gas tank needs to be restorted and is included. It was swapped with a plastic marine fuel cell in the same location as the original, still feeding the mechanical fuel pump. It starts easy and idles smooth. It runs up and down the road just fine; shifts, steers and stops. Its remarkably original and still sports its original tools, jack and manual crank lever!

This 1965 320 is the second gen Post-War pickup model offered by Datsun. Riding on A-arm torsion bar front and leaf spring rear suspension it was good for 1/2 ton load capacity. Its 60 horsepower and low gearing gave it utility but it’s not a truck you want to run down the interstate highway.

Thanks to the Datsun 320 Group on Facebook, they are a great and ready resource for any 320 owner/fan, new or old. This truck cleaned up well; that’s not rust in the pictures, its genuine Oklahoma red dirt. The truck is currently serving up shop truck duty and being affectionately referred to as Mr. Miyagi.

Located in Rowlett, Texas the Datsun 320 is offered for sale as is where is with a clean title. Call, text or reply. 

Show or go: What would you do with this survivor quality 1965 Datsun L320 Pickup for sale for sale? Please comment below and let us know!

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