Sunny Suprise: 1977 Datsun B210

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This sunny little thing is a 1977 Datsun B210. I’m surprised that it’s not in California, but instead it’s located in beautiful Surprise, Arizona; just 40 minutes northwest of sunny Phoenix. It’s listed on eBay with a current bid of just over $1,300, but the reserve isn’t met. Come on, if you guys don’t bid this thing up I’ll have to buy it and then I’ll be in trouble, again.

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These cars were known as the Nissan Sunny in other markets, but they were the Datsun B210 in North America and they were produced from 1973 through 1978. The B210 was the third-generation “Sunny”. Unfortunately, the US versions got the horrible 5 mph bumpers, otherwise these were super “cute” cars, if I do say so myself. Of course, having huge bumpers doesn’t always mean that the ends of the car will be protected. This one has a ding on the LF fender and hood, but it looks like it would be a fairly easy fix and that color could most likely be matched much easier than a metallic finish could be.

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This is such a happy-looking little car! Those cool louvers, that bright yellow color, those honeycomb wheel covers, those bumpers.. er..  And, look at all the stuff that you can cram in the back! I absolutely love the shape of the B210, and especially the “Honey Bee” edition, although it doesn’t have the classic B210 hatchback shape. This car has 84,000 miles on it and it was the current owner’s daily driver for a while, but now they aren’t using it as much as they used to so they’re letting it go. They completely “went through the braking system and it is all new (including the master cylinder and brake booster). Upgraded the points to electronic ignition.”

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The interior looks perfect. The seller says that they bought this car 3 years ago and they have driven it trouble-free for 10,000 miles. They do say that the driver and passenger seats were recovered before they bought the car. The hatchback floor looks like it’ll need a little work, probably due to the sun beating in there, despite the louvers on the huge rear window. And, YES, it has a 5-speed manual transmission! So often we see great looking little Japanese cars in a fine state of preservation, but most of them have automatics which probably helped to preserve them because they weren’t easy candidates for modification. I would bring this particular car back to bone-stock showroom condition, but that’s just me. This car also has AC, believe it or not!

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This would be Nissan’s A14, 1.4L, OHV, inline four cylinder with around 70 hp. The current owners have “taken it to car shows and it was a show winner at last year’s MultiState Datsun show in Williams, AZ.  Car was driven to the show from our home, almost 400 miles round trip.” That’s just cool, in my opinion. I really, really love this car. I’m so tempted to jump on this one: a nice odd, funky Datsun with a manual! These don’t come up for sale too often. I wonder what this one will sell for, $5,000? $7,500? This is a super nice little car, do any of you have any guesses as to what it will sell for?

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  1. mark

    $3500 at the top end.

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    • Scotty GAuthor

      I like your thinking, mark! I’ll take it at $3,500, no question about it.

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  2. Barzini

    The Internet is full of negativity and I don’t like to contribute to that. But I will make an exception for the 1977 B210, the worst new car my family owned by a wide margin.

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  3. Rando

    Meh. A friend of mine traded his 73 Chevelle for one of these. I was unimpressed. Wheel covers look like they fell off and got run over, then hammered back to a shape resembling a hammered out hubcap. Stylistically, to me they just look like UJC – like the UJM (Universal Japanese Motorcycle, but a CAR). I guess my disdain comes from the friend trading a Chevelle and I was so disappointed in the Datsun

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  4. sparkster

    Had a friend in high school who had one of these in the summer after I graduated . His had a four speed manual and wasn’t fast but a blast to drive. I wish his had the later model five speed. Ten years later I would ride to work in a friends automatic model B210. Now that was a gutless wonder

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  5. DolphinMember

    These low end Japanese econo sedans served a purpose back then by putting people on the road with cheap transportation, but as a collector or vintage car it doesn’t excite too many people.

    The bidding on this one has inched up from $200 to the current $1,525 after 19 bids by mostly 1 bidder. It’s like watching paint dry.

    I hope someone gets a car that means something to him by the end, but the reserve hasn’t even been met yet, so I’m not holding my breath.

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  6. Allan

    My wife had one of the B210 (long before I met her) and she loves telling me that the local Datsun dealer had massaged the engine a fair amount, making it a really fun car to drive. I start laughing when she gets to the part about racing a Corvette….. As for this one on eBay, a) I can’t show it to her or it will end up in my driveway. b) I just don’t see the appeal in the 70-80’s Japanese cars. To me, it’s worth about the current bid of $1500 as a daily driver and nothing more.

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  7. 68 custom

    that drivetrain is near bullet proof, good basic transportation.

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  8. Doc

    Heh, these cars could barely get out of their own way! But dig the honey comb hubcaps.

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  9. Jerry L

    I had a 1980 B210 SL 5 speed. It was an excellent car. It eventually fell apart around me (body and interior). However, the drive train soldiered on.

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  10. GerryMember

    There was a factory option on the A14 cars that had twin SU carbs that is rare even in Japan they have no problem keeping up.
    I had one of the Sunny trucks with A12 and it did fine in modern traffic just needed a fifth gear though.

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  11. Bob S

    All I can think of when it comes to the 210 is that the 510 is older and so, so much better.

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  12. billy de Hulst

    Great downhill car.
    I need the 210’s five speed transmission for my soon to be Morris Minor 1000 project. Its either that or put a Suzuki Swift GTi engine with a two wheel drive Tracker 5 speed into it. Since it would then have 4 times the original horsepower we might have to do some rear suspension modifications and increase the payout on my life insurance by a factor of 4.

    The 5 speed box is about all I admire about any 210. I hate to go against the boss of this lash-up’s opinion concerning the styling of this yellow peril, but the fastback is much worse than the notchback. To each his own, but not necessarily for me.

    Heck, if you want it, buy it. But I think you are going to find the reserve unpalatable.

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    • Doc

      I have always wanted to stuff a 340 into Morris Minor. Why not give that a try?
      Can you say, “sleeper”?

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  13. Dean

    In nz these were called the Datsun 120y. Have to say they were not good looking cars in the day. 120y, y for yuck.

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  14. Paul R

    They would run forever.
    When my repair shop was full of american cars of the same age and mileage with flat cam lobes and burnt valves, I rarely had to do much to a Datsun or Toyota.
    A hydraulic clutch master or slave cylinder was about it. I can’t ever recall replacing a starter or alternator on one, or suspension work other than shocks or struts.

    They were damn good little cars, and I have always preferred and driven american cars for the most part.

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  15. MiniCini

    First car I raced. Atco NJ on a Friday night. Went 22 seconds, forget the speed. I lined up against an early 70’s Camaro. He told me in the runoff lane he thought he
    red lighted as the dial in was so much different, freaked him out. And my Mother never knew. Ahhh…

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    • Doc

      How did you finish the night, gigantic dial in helps a lot! I had a 1964 4 door Valiant W/ 273 2bbl V8, 904 automatic turned 17.47 also forgot MPH. Geez, 1975? Just ran it once, it was my only mode of transportation at the time, so, couldn’t afford to break it!
      Pretty good.

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  16. peter

    I learned to drive a stick shift in a 76 b210 coupe! My dad bought it from the original owner with 95000 miles and always garaged. If I wasn’t an idiot high schooler it would have liked to drive it a little more.

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    I had a B210 hatchback somewhere around 1982-83 traded by gran turismo convertible in for it (a mistake???) it was a problem-less fuel efficient car, one of the best I ever owned. I am on this site wondering if one was available because nostalgia hit me with some memories of happier and better times in my life. With all the beautiful cars that are available nowadays i’d be quite happy to get my hands on one these ole Datsuns. Doesn’t look very promising though.

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