Brown was sure a popular color in the 1970s, why was that? This brown 1978 Datsun 810 Wagon is as brown as brown can be. I’m surprised that the wheels aren’t brown. It can be found on Craigslist with an asking price of $4,500 and it’s in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The 1970s were also the era of the awkward, gaudy, gawky, huge bumpers. That’s unfortunate, but sometimes non-US-spec bumpers can be located in other countries and bolted on for a much nicer, slimmer look.
The Nissan/Datsun Bluebird 810 was known as the Datsun 810 in North America and they were sold from 1977 to 1981, with the 1981 cars being based on the 910. Confusing. The 810 would be one of the last rear-wheel-drive cars from Datsun, at least for the North American market. If the hood looks a little out of scale, it’s because they redesigned it to fit a 6-cylinder engine (think 240Z) in there for us Yanks. This car is in almost mint condition, it can not have been located in Minnesota since it was new unless it was never, ever, ever, ever driven in the winter.
I always automatically assume when something isn’t shown in an ad where the photos are free, that something is wrong. So, in this case, I’m assuming that the front seats are torn and/or in otherwise poor condition. Otherwise, why not show a free photo of them? I could be wrong and they could be in the similar great condition like the rest of the car appears to be in. The transmission choice is the biggest reason why I probably won’t be going for this car: yes, it’s an automatic. I love these unusual, even brown, vintage Japanese wagons and to find one in this fantastic condition is really something. But, I’d want to shift it for myself. This isn’t going to be a cross-country road trip car for anyone, it’s going to be an unusual, fun, around-town-grocery-getter and it’ll draw stares like nobody’s business. For that, I guess an automatic transmission would be ok. Most of these cars have rusted almost beyond recognition after almost four decades so it’s always great to see any vehicle this old in this fantastic, preserved condition: Japanese, American, European, whatever.
The seller says that this car is in “super mint cond. Everything original from the year. No wear and tear. Garage kept.” It sure looks perfect to me, even in the engine compartment. And, there’s that 240Z-like 2.4L inline-six with around 125+ hp. I’m not sure if you could squeal the tires with this car but it sure beats the heck out of 100 hp or less like a lot of these small Japanese cars had. This is still a 2,900-pound car so it has some “luxury” and they were relatively solid and quiet. The Datsun 810 competed with the Toyota Cressida and it was the predecessor to the Datsun/Nissan Maxima, in 1982. Have any of you owned a late-70s Japanese wagon? How about one with a 240Z-based engine like a Datsun 810?