1968 Datsun 510 Wagon: Not For Kids!


Those who know me know I like wagons, Datsun 510’s, and manual transmissions! Barn Finds reader Olaf E. sent in this great find, which is located near San Diego, California. The seller states that they purchased it from the original owner’s son in Denver and that it hasn’t been started since the original owner died. We don’t know how long ago that was, but I’m guessing it’s been a while. It’s hard to tell from these pictures if the rust is just surface rust and looks worse because of the car color or if it’s really pretty bad, but the seller states “it’s not for kids”, so I’m guessing it’s not pristine up close! I love the blue interior that we can see, but I can’t really tell how intact it is from the pictures. The ad is here on craigslist where the seller is asking $2,800. What do you think, is it worth it?


WANTED 1976 Dodge Colt ISO any condition 2 door 4spd preferred complete car. Located in FL will travel. Contact

WANTED 1974-75 Toyota Corolla E5 Yellow, Black Interior, 5 speed. Rust free, any location in US Contact

WANTED 1949-1952 Dodge Club Coupe Must be in mint condition. Contact

WANTED 1973 – 74 Pontiac Ventura Parts or entire car Contact

WANTED 1971-73 Mercury capri looking for rust free car with 6 cylinder and stick shift. early models with chrome bumper only Contact

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  1. blindmarc

    Was sold already.

    • Jason

      Why would the seller keep the ad up but edit it to add the buyer’s name?

  2. Cassidy

    I hope they got it for a lot less than $2800! That side window looks like it ready to leave the body behind. There isn’t much metal to these cars in the first place, so when it starts to rust out like this, its going to be expensive to repair!!

  3. Cory

    The market for old Japanese iron is red hot. 510s are booming right now. While there is some coolness because of the wagon, these have the solid axle vs the irs of the sedans. I prefer the later ones, with the newer dash. Although as hammered as this one is, $2800 wasn’t too much for someone

  4. Howard A Member

    I agree with Cory. It was the IRS that gave the 510 an edge ( poor man’s BMW), but the wagon, is just, well, a wagon. Don’t get me wrong, the 510 sedan , more than any other early Datsun, cemented the idea in American’s heads, that Japan made a good car that handled well. The wagon, not so much. Be that as it may be, these were serious rusters, and not many people thought of keeping a 510 wagon, however, there can’t be many around, especially in this condition, so yes, this was definitely worth it.

  5. Rex Kahrs Member

    A friend of mine gave me this exact model, after someone gave it to HIM and he used it for a few years as a painting truck. I used it as a carpentry wagon for a couple years.

    Mine was exactly this same tan color, and that car was one of the most reliable cars I ever owned. Yes, it was unglier than sh*t, but for a broke carpenter at the age of 26, it was all I had, and all I needed.

    Considering I received the car for free, this 2800 dollar ask seems high, but I would have bought it if it were closer, just for old time’s sake. Another great find.

    • George

      Why would anyone buy that rusty 510. It looks that it is trying to return to the soil. On my experience, it should be scrapped. If sold it would be worth $75 dollars.
      I can’t believe the crazy prices people are paying for low mile pristine American cars. The plain Jane 4 doors are selling in the high 30’s, but appear to be a fair buy at $600. A 72 LTD wagon in that hideous dark green interior and exterior went for $44K.

      I was looking at a 1953 Cadillac Coupe last year priced at $30K. It did not sell and the owner is back aain this year looking for $60K!

      Zounds, I am cut to the brains.

      • Doug Towsley

        I am glad it was not yours to scrap. I am also pleased to see another saved and hopefully on the road again soon. I guess the point is the old adage “One mans trash is another mans treasure” but i dont understand the negativity. If a project is not for you, then fine, let someone else take it on.
        I get this all the time, “Why would you want such an old car?”
        I worked with a family on a estate where the old guy who died, his daughter and her daughters were snooty PIA and trashed a lot of amazing stuff before i stepped in. The old man is spinning in his grave.

  6. josh h

    Hmm…guess I should have kept the beat up rusty ’73 610 coupé I used to drive and sold it for a couple thousand….

  7. Doug Towsley

    Bwahhhahaha!!! i Have the EXACT same car currently sitting in my front yard! Mines the same ugly tan color, different interior. Somewhat better shape (no real rust). Mines a grandma car i bought down the street less than 1mile at a garage sale for $300. 1600cc and Auto trans. I bought it 6 years ago as a econo ride to replace another old Nissan i had been racking up miles on. I have owned 6 510s over the years (2 other wagons, and 2dr and 4dr sedans) And have always loved them, I once had a BMW 2002 and crawled under both and realized that YES, the 510s are very similar. The beauty is Datsun/Nissan is like GM, Interchange thru the years is excellent. You can swap 200sx, 240SX 300Zx and some Z car parts swap out easily. I also have a 1980 200sx donor car sitting here and the plan was swap in a 240SX engine, the 5 speed and discs from the 200SX and some other upgrades. Then i got too looking what 510s are going for, HOLY COW! Wagons are especially popular. So,, instead I built a hybrid 72 Datsun 620 pickup with a later 79 king cab on it as my mileage machine and going to eventually sell the 510 later this year after bit more work, but not a full resto. If theres interest, Ill post or submit my own submission of my 510, however Ill try and attach a pix of what i was going to make mine look like, this other wagon was what i was going to copy. It was on FeeBay last year and I liked what he had done to it, and loved the color combo. Since I paint, im always looking at paint jobs, and just fell in love with this one (hope it shows up)

  8. Doug Towsley

    And heres another, I dont recall all the specs, but the seller on ebay had done a real nice job with this one, upgraded brakes, engine, interior, and paint. (personally I would go with a House of Kolors Kandy Brandywine over the cream, and 2 BRE slash lines to break up the cream) but regardless it was really nice IMHO. It was listed on Feebay multiple times as he had hard time getting a fair price. While 510s get good money, if you go hog wild building one, you better build it for yourself as you can easily sink a lot of labor into one. For me, I still paint, but only for myself, a few friends and family only and a full paint job if i WAS going to do for work, then start at $5000 and go from there.

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