Live Auctions

17k Original Miles! 1975 Datsun 620 Pickup

This L’il Blue Beauty really caught my eye. Datsun owned the “minitruck” market in the 70’s and you saw these all the time. But I can’t remember the last time I saw one, much less one this well-preserved and with only 17,716 original miles. I figured there is an interesting story behind this 620 time capsule and there is. Located in Clarksburg, West Virginia, it’s for sale here on eBay and had generated 20 bids topping out at $9,600 as of this writing. Another thank you to Barn Finds buddy, Larry D., for sending this tip our way.

In a 1975 print ad I found, Datsun boldly let the reader know that it was America’s #1 selling small pickup and delivered the best gas mileage of any pickup – big or small – in America: 31 mpg. The ad finished with “No matter how you figure – economy, dependability, overall value – you’ll be hard-pressed to outsave the 1975 Datsun Li’l Hustler.” (Li’l Hustler was the name used in advertising here in the States, most people just called it a Datsun truck or by its 620 model number.) This one-family owned 620 was purchased new in 1975 by a coal miner to drive to work (there’s still a Consol Coal license plate on the front bumper reading ‘Consul’s Goal No Accidents’). Unfortunately, the owner suffered a heart attack a year later and was restricted from driving, but kept his L’il Hustler in the garage and would “sneak it out on occasions.” When he passed, the truck went to his son who drove it very little. Sadly, the son has passed away also and his wife has decided to sell the truck.

This 47-year-old pickup isn’t a perfect time capsule, but it’s darn close. The original paint (I believe it’s called Datsun True Blue) still looks very good as does the chrome, trim, glass, bed, and there’s no rust to be seen. The rear tires are new but the front tires and spare are original.  The seller describes and shows photos of a scratch and some dings in the tailgate and a few other places but it’s nothing major. Inside, the interior is near perfect. The photos show no visible issues (although we are told there is a seam separated on the driver’s side seat bottom), and the seats, door panels, dash, steering wheel, and headliner all look remarkably good.

And you gotta love this photo of the area behind the front seat housing the original red jack. It’s as clean and tidy as the rest of this little blue time capsule. Under that old-school blue full floor mat, we can assume the original blue carpet is as well preserved as the rest of this pickup.

According to advertising and other literature found online, Datsun pickups received a little larger power plant in 1975, so I’m assuming this is a 2000cc overhead cam engine that could generate 110 horsepower when new. This one is mated to a 4-speed stick shift manual transmission and there’s documentation showing the 17,716 miles on the odometer are original. The seller shares that “the truck seems to run and drive well although it was not driven very far” and that both the carburetor and radiator have been replaced, but the originals come with the sale. The 620 also has holes in the muffler and tailpipe that will need attention. But that’s it. I’m sorry the original owner wasn’t able to enjoy his new Datsun pickup longer, but I’m glad he pampered it and garaged it all those years for the next owner to enjoy. True survivors like this one are still out there, folks. This is about as fine a one as you’ll ever see.

Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Sounds like the truck was more of a survivor than it’s owners. Sounds a bit creepy, but I buy clothing at thrift stores, who cares about its past. I had a friend with a truck just like this, had an unusual electrical problem. It would start fine cold, he’d drive about 10 minutes, it would kill. Knowing nothing about cars, he would open the hood, take off the air filter cover, blow into the intake, close it up, “slam” the hood, it would start and continue running until it sat overnight, and the same thing. I laughed and said, blowing into the carb wasn’t the cause, turns out, it was a loose wire, and slamming the hood made, it contact again.
    Absolute game changer for Datsun/ Nissan ( that name change alone made many wary), mini-pickups were all the rage, and didn’t matter what brand, they all did pretty much the same thing. It was bottom dollar, best gas mileage, their biggest draw, and all the Asian mini pickups did well. Trouble was, everyone of them melted away in rust areas, none survived. It left a bad taste in many peoples mouths, not to mention, they were cheap, tinny vehicles to begin with. Amazing find, this reminds me of my ’74 Toyota pickup, I bought from my ex-BIL, equipped the same way,,nothing. Fact is, he went to 3 Toyota dealers then, saying he wanted a pickup with NO options, before he found one. I’m sure this guy did the same thing.
    And for gits and shiggles, no “Howard” post would be complete without complaining about the price. It’s an outstanding find, but this was made for when the speed limit was 55, without a 5 speed, it won’t do well at 70, the Toyota didn’t, I can only assume, same here. Someone going to spend 5 figures on this, bound to be some remorse, eh?

    Like 10
    • Steve RM

      The starting bid was only $1,000. The bidders took it from there. I agree it’s more then I would pay but where else can you buy a genuine small truck.
      I want to replace my 91 Toyota pickup because of rust. I live on the ocean
      and park it outside. It has over 220,000 miles and still runs and drives great.
      The problem is that no manufacturer will sell a truck in this country that gets as good gas mileage as this truck. They have made them so big and heavy that even 31 years later they can’t equal what they built back then.
      I had a 72 Datsun pickup before that and freeway driving was no problem.
      It did sound tinny but driving at 65 to 70 was no problem.

      Like 10
      • Michael Berkemeier

        *then

        I agree, awesome truck and 4th gear is still a 1:1 so, how would a 5-speed fair any better at highway speed, lol?

        Like 6
  2. Kevin

    We had 3 Southern California they did fine at 70. Tough little truck

    Like 11
  3. Melton Mooney

    When the original gas crisis occurred sometime in ’73, it drove prices to an orbital 45 cents/gal. or higher in some places. In response, everyone with poor cost/benefit analysis skills and passable credit ran out and bought Datsuns and Toyotas to soften the blow. Dad bought mom a Datsun station wagon, a 710. She didn’t like it because she was spoiled. I loved it because it was a stick shift. So mom got something else and dad kept the Datsun because it was cheap and he had no real nose for money management.

    I drove it a lot for a couple of years, then finally bought it off the old man when I left for school. For the next year, it was my capable and reliable commuter, party barge, motel/makeout spot, dune buggy, and beach house.

    Eventually though, gas became plentiful again and the price dropped a bit, so I swapped all that versatility and 200 barely earned dollars for a Mulsanne blue, four gear 71 z28, which, in hindsight, was only good at being a blue, four gear 71 z28, but which at the time, was enough.

    Seeing this pretty blue Datsun made me, for a moment, ponder; which one of those cars would I rather have back if I could? …the hugely versatile and efficient purple Datsun wagon or that gorgeous and quick blue metallic, white striped and spoilered Camaro?

    BTW, the little wagon had no trouble running 90+ on level ground.

    Like 6
  4. Bill West

    Never a fan of these tin bombs, but there is no denying that these were excellent trucks. As a kid delivering auto parts we babied it…NOT! The manager couldn’t understand why it went through a set of tires every month, we couldn’t explain either…but that sucker never quit!

    Like 4
  5. Johnmloghry Johnmloghry

    Mini trucks are still finding people who want them. This one is one of the best looking ones I’ve seen for awhile. It’s at $10,100.00 as I write. I think that’s about top dollar for any model of these little trucks. I’m rebuilding a 76 Luv at this time, it’s fun but will never be a show truck. I’ve got under $4,000.00 in it at this time, but still need to do some more work. When it’s finished I hope to trade for another project or two. It’s therapy for me and I love doing it.

    God Bless America

    Like 5
  6. Howie

    Mighty cool and mighty clean.

    Like 2
  7. Cadmanls Member

    These did absolutely what they were designed for. Basic affordable small and versatile trucks for small loads. Farms, delivery and low speed commutes. They were everywhere for a while, even remember when the custom crowd played with them. Paint, suspension and those crazy lifting and spinning beds. Couldn’t get close to passing a crash test today. But drivers were a little more attentive then too.

    Like 2
  8. Chris

    Had the identical truck in 84. Bought it off a neighbor for $200. Was a fun first vehicle until I rolled it 3xs on St.Patricks day.

  9. DON

    Wow, this thing should be in a “world of the 1970s” museum ! Seriously though , I hope the buyer lives no where near the East Coast ; this little gem will dissolve like an Alka Seltzer tablet in a glass of water

    Like 1
  10. chrlsful

    better’n da new maverick.
    Fine vehicle in fair shape thnx to the luv given by op.

    Like 3
  11. nlpnt

    Anyone who buys it should be preservation-minded; there aren’t many of these left and it’ll require a certain amount of active conservation. These rusted in the bed within a year once exposed to road salt and all over within two years.

    You’re right, that floor mat is pristine. You’re wrong about the carpet though, this came from the factory with that floor mat and there was never any carpet in the first place.

    Like 1
  12. Miminite

    I was in the Navy when these were out. A shipmate bought a ’74 version of this and remember when he went to the dealer, you got what you got. Maybe pick the color (his was orange) but other than that, take it or leave it. They were a hot seller at that time.

    Memories fade, but seem to recall he put orange shag carpeting in it first thing. Sign of the times I guess. It was a pretty good little truck as I recall.

  13. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking Datto! I remember seeing these Datsun trucks when I was a boy. At 17k original actual miles, that’s crazy low for vehicle close to 50 yrs old. It looks brand new, like it came from a dealer showroom back in 1975.

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