$2,500! 1979 Datsun 620 Extended-Cab Dually Pickup

080816 Barn Finds - 1979 Datsun 620 Pickup- 1

Here’s something you don’t see every day, or, ever. It’s a 1979 Datsun 620 Extended-Cab Dually Pickup! This unusual hauler is in Henderson, Minnesota, an hour southwest of Minneapolis, and it can be found on Craigslist. The seller is asking $2,500 for this cool rig.

080816 Barn Finds - 1979 Datsun 620 Pickup- 4

This 620 looks fairly normal from the rear view; just like an old work truck that’s in pretty good condition. The Datsun 620 was made from 1972 to 1979 and I’ve never seen an unusual configuration like this one before. Datsun made extended crew-cab pickups, but the ones that I ran across all have four doors like most pickups seen today. The extended-cab section on these models is fiberglass, which makes it even more unusual to me. Apparently, the crew-cab trucks with four doors are even more rare than this version is, but I have never seen a Datsun with both dual rear wheels and a full extended-cab so this one is rare to me.

080816 Barn Finds - 1979 Datsun 620 Pickup- 2

This truck looks like it’s in great condition, rust-wise, which is surprising if it’s a Minnesota vehicle. The seller says that it “runs and drives”, which isn’t a super confidence-inspiring sales pitch. It sure looks good to me. On the NicoClub website I ran across a post from someone who owned a ’79 Datsun pickup exactly like this one and they mention that the “rear cab section has a full bench seat with sliding side and rear windows.” You can see the sliding side window but, unfortunately, there are no interior photos included with this ad, or engine photos! Arrgggg.. Here is a black one exactly like the model for sale here.

080816 Barn Finds - 1979 Datsun 620 Pickup- 3

You can see that this truck appears to be in pretty nice shape. I don’t know what the underside is like, or the interior, or what the engine compartment looks like, but the seller has just put six new tires on it, so it’s got that going for it. This should have Nissan’s L20B, 2.0L inline-four engine with 110 hp. Depending on the gearing in this 5-speed pickup, that’s not a bad amount of power for a small truck. I like this truck. No, I love it! This would be a no-brainer for any collector of vintage/nostalgic Japanese vehicles, especially for $2,500 and in this condition. Have any of you seen both an extended cab and a dually version of a Datsun pickup before? How would you use this truck: would you restore it or just maintain it and use it as a work truck?

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Comments

  1. JW

    Never

    • distributorguy

      I personally looked at that truck, at half that price and walked away from it. Even the firewall was rusted out. The driver’s floor was missing in action. Its not a restoration candidate and whoever spent money to put tires on it truly has a disturbing sense of reality.

      The frame on this truck WAS reinforced when the conversion was done. Its not meant to carry any more weight than it was originally designed for, and that weight is still centered over the rear axle.

  2. JohninCM

    Just a quick note to point out these were aftermarket conversions and not factory equipped. A big concern with these is generally the conversion company did nothing to upgrade the weight capacity on the rear end other than bolting on an extra set of wheels with an extreme offset.

    In the Toyota world it became very common for these conversion trucks to break wheel studs or axles. The problem became such a big issue Toyota issued complete heavy duty rear end assemblies (true dually floating rear ends) at no charge to the truck owners (owners had to pay labor charges and that was it). Keep in mind Toyota had nothing to do with the conversion companies under engineered modifications. This is a very big part of why the Toyota cab/chassis went away.

    • The Walrus

      While I’m sure that story is accurate, and Toyota’s intention was to ‘protect the brand’, their efforts, in the long run/big picture were in fact duplicitous. Many a mid ’90’s Camry’s had their transmissions swapped unceremoniously during ‘free’ oil change promotions, for instance. Their deceit ultimately culminated in what was objectively an unfair accusation (ie Prius acceleration). But they laid the groundwork for this action for years, and frankly it’s a company I can’t stomach. Disgusting, actually.

      • 87 RX-7 Turbo

        Im not going to thumbs down this post like 2 others have, i just want to know what duplicitous means! Lol

      • Roger

        Walrus, could you please elaborate on the mid 90’s tranny problem you mentioned as I haven’t heard about this – thanks. I am currently messing with a 94 V6 Cary and it is having weird , bad transmission problems so would love to hear this story. It was bought new by my grandad and only has 40k miles but the transmission has been acting up since about 20k miles! Thanks again!

  3. AMCFAN

    I am pretty sure the axle problem originated on the camper conversions. There were more campers then pickups. In the 1990’s Uhaul had a fleet of Dually Toyotas. No axle problems more like brake issues.

    I like this! Most vintage unrestored vehicles I see I tend to want to leave them alone and maintain them. Different story here. I could see this restored and pulling a Featherlite trailer with a JDM Nissan Skyline GTR on it or even a Silvia.

    Rolling in to an import show this rig would certainly get respect from the 20-30 something crowd and beyond. Seems like a steal even if it didn’t run. Nice find.

    • JohninCM

      @AMCFAN,

      The Uhaul trucks were built on Toyota’s uprated 1ton (maybe 3/4ton?) chassis that was factory equipped with the stronger floating rear end. Still the Uhaul’s went through exhaust manifolds and brakes like crazy.

      Very few of the conversion campers, RV’s, flatbeds and whatever else were built on the higher rated cab chassis units. At one time the dealer I worked at looked like a Home Depot with all of the contractor and landscaping trucks waiting on new rear end assemblies.

    • TJW

      I’m not part of this forum, but actually buying it this weekend, a simple bag system and just drive it, I have a convert b2200 currently in summers but the new gf n her kiddo make ;, which is why I am grabbing this awesome 620 crew!

  4. JohninCM

    @The Walrus,

    “Toyota’s intention was to ‘protect the brand’”

    Without a doubt that was the intent. While self serving I don’t believe many other manufactures would take the same path. And who knows what went on behind the scenes? It is possible Toyota got reimbursed somewhere along the line (not that I am aware of … as a dealer employee at the time).

    “Many a mid ’90’s Camry’s had their transmissions swapped unceremoniously during ‘free’ oil change promotions”

    This one has me scratching my head. Can you provide a little more insight? That’s a pretty good trick if a tranny can be swapped in the time it takes for an oil change. What did Toyota have to gain with this? I was no longer working at the dealerships after about 1992.

    I will say Toyota lost their way in the quest to become #1 in the USA and worldwide. Too many corners were cut and quality suffered in a big way. I don’t believe the issues were intentional. Seems like the bean counters were put in charge of the world domination objective.

  5. AMCFAN

    Walrus,

    This truck is a Datsun/Nissan to be clear. Since bringing up Toyota and your disgust . What about the owners of Tacoma’s and Tundra’s with the rusty frame issues? Do you think that was handled properly? Most owners I know hated to part with their trucks despite getting double the value for it. Those that took the money turned around and just bought a new one. Others getting a complete frame replacement. In fact a guy I work with not only got a new frame on a truck with 160K miles received new suspension components where needed as well at no extra cost.

    As far as runaway acceleration issues it centered around the Camry. Not enough space here to debate only to say other companies had this issue most recent Tesla. Only Toyota was fined millions and no real reason was found. No volume automaker is perfect but in regard to overall quality economy and resale they are about the closest.

    It should be noted as many have said before me Toyota being the company they are along with Honda have made everyone make better cars today.

    • JW

      I agree our 2002 Tundra was one of the best most dependable trucks I’ve ever owned for a 150K and my son enjoyed it for another 100K before a 18 wheeler put it to rest. The only issue we ever had was it had a recall for ball joints and Toyota replaced them quickly with out any hesitation.

    • Roger

      AMCFAN , as I asked Walrus in earlier comment, could you too elaborate on the Camry tray issues? Thanks a bunch!

  6. racer99

    A 3/4 or 1 ton payload with 110 HP is not a good match. I know that some of these were upgraded to 6 cylinder motors which would seem to make more sense (I’ve seen a couple but I don’t know if it was a factory or customer upgrade). Ad leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Can’t see a real use for it.

    • Trev

      92 @ 5600 rpm actually, according to the vin tag

  7. Ernie the Dancing Weasel

    JohninCM stated:

    “I will say Toyota lost their way in the quest to become #1 in the USA and worldwide. Too many corners were cut and quality suffered in a big way. I don’t believe the issues were intentional. Seems like the bean counters were put in charge of the world domination objective.”

    Too true. And the same could be said for a number of auto makers over the last few decades. Mercedes during the Daimler Chrysler era springs immediately to mind…

  8. HeadMaster1

    @AMC FAN, the Toyota acceleration issues were REAL and caused by a crappy floor mat and MORE IMPORTANTLY a lack of software that would automatically close the throttle if the brake and accelerator were BOTH depressed for more than 3 seconds, as most companies have always done. It was a huge safety oversight on their part…………and people were killed………

  9. HeadMaster1

    This Datsun would be much cooler without the extended cab, ALL of those aftermarket conversions end up leaking and causing problems. The back of the factory cab is cut out, the frame is cut in half and then extended. the principal of doing it is easy, but the workmanship is always suspect, esp. after a decade, let along 4 decades. BTW- even with a fetherlite trailer, this thing won’t have the power or brakes to really haul anything more than a lawnmower….but with an Infinity V8 under the hood……….

    • racer99

      These year Nissan trucks are actually hot tickets here (the older the better) — kids are buying them and putting upgraded drivetrains (mostly 240 – 280Z in-line 6’s), big stereos, etc.. Junky regular cab trucks not running with a zillion miles are bringing $1000 to $1500 and disappear quickly. Last car show I went to had one with a RX-7 rotary motor in it.

  10. Perry

    I know this is an old article, but that black dually was mine at one point (2004-2008). It was a great little truck that I used for construction and hauling the family around. It topped out at around 75 and had plenty of power due to the low gearing. I eventually sold it to a guy in southern nevada who said he was turning it into a phantom (topless). He also had a true 4 door 620 brought in from mexico

    Like 1

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