Cherry Wagon: 1978 Datsun F-10 Sportwagon

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Vintage Japanese Car fans, here’s one for you; and I know you’re out there, somewhere, hopefully.. hello? This is rare bird: a 1978 Datsun F-10 Wagon. It’s located in Thornton, Colorado; just north of Denver, and it’s listed on Craigslist for $1,200. Thanks to.. someone.. for sending this tip in! If it was you, please let us know in the comments section.

The seller only included two photos in the ad and, believe it or not, they provided even fewer words describing this car! They mention that they’re “pretty firm in my price but will surely listen to any serious offer and I LOVE to “horse trade” ! Gun’s….a 77-83 Datsun 4×4 Pick up……..Would be of Great interest to me !” For some odd reason, I would never think that anyone interested in guns and pickups would be interested in a Datsun F-10, but it’s good to know that the seller is open-minded about such things. And, as we all know, it’s not good to assume anything about anybody because you’ll usually end up being wrong.

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The F-10 was Datsun’s first front-wheel-drive car in North America. Or actually, the second-generation Nissan Cherry was, which this car is. Confused yet? Me, too. This car was sort of the first born love child for Nissan and Prince Motor Company after the two companies merged in 1966 and in 1970 the Nissan Cherry was born as the combined company’s first front-wheel-drive car. This model didn’t make it to North America until the second-generation came out in 1974. These cars are extremely rare and finding parts won’t be easy, like the hood and headlight trim which may or may not be in the seller’s possession.

The ad literally doesn’t mention one thing about this particular car as far as if it runs, how the interior is, are all four wheel covers there, rust, dents, etc. But, considering how rare these cars are, $1,200 ($1,000 cash?) seems like a good price considering the condition of the three sides shown in the two photos. The interior should like this, minus the seat covers. And,  the 1.4L 70 hp four-cylinder engine should look like this. The wagon only had a 4-speed manual available so we know that at least. It would have been nice if there would have been even one word spoken about this car by the seller! I guess that’s why they put phone numbers in want ads. This car obviously won’t appeal to muscle car fans or to American-cars-only fans, and probably to most other vintage car fans. That’s exactly what makes it appealing to me, you will not see another one at the car show that you drive it to. Are there any fans of these unusual, rare vintage Japanese cars out there?

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  1. Jeff G

    I had a ’78 F 10 standard model in the mid 80’s. That thing was ugly but nearly indestructible. It had 140,000 miles on it when I drove it from Michigan to Salt Lake City and back without a hitch. It was my first winter car after buying my Spitfire. Still have the Spitfire but a lot of daily drivers have come and gone.

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  2. Fred

    I think a lot of people have fond memories of these Japanese econoboxes as I do. No one ever gave a thought to saving them so they are now few and far between.

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  3. jaymes

    uglyist car ever made bar none

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  4. Schwag

    I love older Japanese vehicles, but I’d pass on this one, though the price is right.

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  5. LD

    I had a beautiful red one I ice raced in northern NY in the late 80’s. Beauty enhanced by an incredible art car paint job by a friend who’s a world renowned artist. Enjoyed daily driving it between races to my day job at an ultra-conservative pharm company! LD71 :D

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  6. HoA Howard AMember

    While generally, not an Asian car fan, I thought this car made the most sense at the time. Hatchback, phenomenal gas mileage. They weren’t around long in the rust belt. I just remember they were few and far between, and the ones that I did see, were horribly rusted. A few winters was all it took to get it started. IIR, the front shock towers would rust clear from the body, deeming them undriveable. Many of these motors found their way into primitive APU’s for semi’s. I’m also not a fan of front drive cars either, so there’s no way. Still, kind of cool to see at least one survived.

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  7. Tim Flynn

    My first car. It was ugly, but fun to drive, provided incredible economy and those rear leaf springs took a lot of cargo. Bought a used 76 sportwagon (gold and woodgrain) in Edmonton in 1983, and drove it home to Toronto the following winter (through two blizzards and one transmission). Still remember the dual-plate clutch – ordered a new one from the local auto parts store in small Alberta town, and waited months for it. “They keep sending the wrong one,” I was told. So, the shop kept changing the order to other Datsun _10 models (510, B210, 710…). I finally went in and pointed to a dusty box on the shelf – “What’s that?,” I asked.
    “That’s the first one they sent us,” came the reply. “Doesn’t look like any clutch we’ve ever seen.” I took it home and it fit perfectly.

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  8. RoughDiamond

    Owned a dark blue F-10 hatch with a 5-speed and it was one of the most dependable cars I’ve ever owned.

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  9. Brendon

    My parents bought one of these new in 1978. White hatch with a brown interior and 4 speed manual trans. I was maybe 4, and still remember the ride home from the dealer (Hoselton Datsun, for you upstate NY residents) They had it 6 years or so, and it went through a lot of brakes and didn’t hold up well against the upstate NY winters. Each winter my dad would be out there doing body work and spot painting the car to fight the rust. Needed head work, too, if I remember correctly. My dad sold it to a family member who crashed it shortly after. That was the end of our F10.

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  10. Jay

    Used to laugh at these because i thought they wete ugly, but I’m not laughing now.

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  11. Hunter

    I own this car in the pictures now, I live close to Charlotte NC.

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  12. william shoemaker

    do you know of any datsun f-10 wagon for sale , bough one new in 78 and had over 200 thousand miles on it before it blew an engine.

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    • Hunter

      Hey William, I no longer own this car but there is a pretty nice f10 for sale in Oakland california on Facebook marketplace right now. It’s the same blue color. Only wanting $1500 for it.

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