1980 Datsun 720 Pickup With Only 25,236 Miles!

Datsuns from 1980 don’t generally jump out as genuine classics, but vehicles like this 1980 Datsun 720 Pickup break the rules. This fantastic survivor presents superbly and has a genuine 25,236 miles on its odometer. It has never seen rain or snow, and apart from one minor flaw, it is close to showroom condition. It needs a new home, with the seller listing it here on eBay in Larchmont, New York. They set a BIN of $27,000 but may entertain offers. I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Larry D for using his precision classic radar to spot this absolute beauty.

The story behind this 1980 Datsun is unclear, but the seller indicates it has never seen rain or snow. Its Code 807 Rallye Red paint shines beautifully, cloaking panels that are almost perfect. One listing photo reveals a slight dent in the passenger side front valance that has cracked away some paint. The damage isn’t severe, and a panel shop would have no problems addressing it for a few dollars. However, when you consider how far above the market average the BIN figure is, many people could justifiably expect perfection. The rest of this Datsun appears flawless, and I don’t think the bed has ever carried a load. The seller supplies a vast selection of photos that confirm this classic is rust-free. The underside sports its original paint and undercoat, with nothing beyond the occasional spot of dry surface corrosion. The chrome and trim are immaculate, and the glass is flawless. The 720 rolls on its factory steel wheels wrapped in the original tires.

Datsuns from this era developed a reputation for interior upholstery and trim that could deteriorate, crack, and crumble. This beauty has no such problems, with everything spotlessly clean and free from issues. There is no wear on the seats, wheel, or mat, and no cracks on the dash. This Pickup features an AM/FM radio, but I believe this is an aftermarket Panasonic unit. Otherwise, the buyer receives a mini console, a heater, and three-speed wipers. It isn’t high on luxury, but there’s no questioning its practicality.

Datsun’s 1,952cc L20B OHC four-cylinder engine might not be the most exciting on the planet, but it is renowned for its longevity. I’ve had a few of these in my life, and apart from the fact that you can almost completely dismantle them with four spanners, the company designed the L20B to be tough. It features an iron block and alloy cylinder head with a dual-row timing chain and double valve springs. In my long experience with these motors, I’ve only ever seen one drop a timing chain (and it wasn’t mine!). When they wear and stretch, they’ll rattle pretty loudly. When they reach that point, they’re providing plenty of warning that they need attention. The valve stem seals can leak as they age, resulting in a puff of smoke when accelerating after running on a trailing throttle. Otherwise, I’ve seen these motors clock 300,000 miles with no work beyond essential maintenance. This L20B should have none of those issues since this classic has a genuine 25,000 miles on the clock. Its 92hp feeds to the rear wheels via a five-speed manual transmission, and while it is not a muscle car, the 720 should happily cruise all day at freeway speeds. The seller indicates they recently replaced the battery, water pump, coolant, fan clutch, thermostat, belts, valve cover gasket, and plugs. They selected NGK plugs, which I’ve found work the best in these engines. It runs and drives perfectly, and they supply this YouTube video of a cold start. That little four sounds excellent, with no smoke or odd noises.

At the time of writing, twenty-seven people were watching the listing for this 1980 Datsun 720 Pickup. We can not be sure whether they are seriously considering making an offer or they’re motivated by curiosity. The harsh reality is that the BIN on this classic is well above market expectations, but that is driven by its originality, condition, and the odometer reading. That begs the question of what the new owner would do with this little Datsun. Its creators designed it to be driven and enjoyed, which most owners did when they rolled their new purchase off the showroom floor. However, a significant part of this Pickup’s inherent value rests in the odometer reading, and every additional mile will potentially impact its value. My instincts tell me its next stop will probably be a museum, although someone may hit the BIN button and trailer their new purchase to shows. Something tells me it will see limited active duty, but I guess that’s what it has become used to. I think that’s a shame. Do you?


  1. RGSmith1 Member

    I bought a new 1980 King cab version. While it lasted it was a great truck. Unfortunately, I was stationed in the northeast. Rust did it’s thing rather quickly.

    Like 6
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    Looks like it’s a long bed,which will turn off some buyers.
    Once again,looks like a flipper (dealer) got this one.I’m tired of
    these kind of vehicles being bought just to flip,rather than sold
    directly to a buyer who’ll keep it,use it, & take care of it.
    I once found a ’68 Cortina 2 door Deluxe,automatic.It had
    34,000 miles on it,& was almost like new.I almost passed on it
    because it was an automatic,but ended up buying it.I would have
    kept it,but it got totaled when our Son was driving it,& a girl who
    he knew pulled out in front of him.
    I paid $800 for it,but the insurance company gave me almost
    $3000 for it.

    Like 11
    • Ron

      That’s the beauty of a free market, nobody can tell you who to sell to, the seller can sell to whomever they want without somebody meddling in their business, wouldn’t want it any other way.

      Like 3
  3. 19sixty5 Member

    I owned a 79 King Cab that was one of the most reliable trucks I ever owned. Aftermarket AC, 5 speed, it refused to die despite the abuse it received. Rust eventually consumed the floors and the bedsides, but it was still running strong as ever. Great little truck. This one is nice!

    Like 8
    • Lothar... of the Hill People

      19sixty5- How did the aftermarket A/C work out and did you install it yourself?

      Like 1
      • 19sixty5 Member

        I bought the pickup from the original owner who installed the AC. Typical underdash “box” that was mounted on the passenger side. The small cab size resulted driving a mobile freezer. It still ran well with the AC on, I towed a lot of cars using a tow dolly back then, with the AC on. Towing or grossly overloaded, 5th gear wasn’t used as much. Normal everyday driving, 5th was used as normal. I should also mention that the original smog pump and components were also deleted when I bought it. I registered it as a “truck” with over 6500 gross vehicle weight in VA back in the day, so it was emissions exempt. Loved that truck!

        Like 1
      • Robert Awford

        You don’t see these come up for sale too often. Cute little reliable truck. The BIN price is ridiculously high at $27,000. He’ll be sitting on this rig until he drops his price. You can get alot more and newer truck for that kind of money.

  4. Stan

    Is this the twin spark plug/cyl motor ?

    Like 3
    • Gary

      That was later I have a 85 with that engine

      Like 2
    • Brad460 Member

      I think the twin Plug one was what Nissan called NAPS-Z, and it came out in either 84. I know 85’s had it as I was considering one at the time with it. I absolutely love these old throw away vehicles that have managed to be kept. It’s no nice to see something that was once quite common and workaday now sitting proudly in more rare form than truly rare cars.

      Like 1
  5. Rbig

    Love this, wish it was 4*4. Don’t see the price as realistic. Maybe someone well off that has some sentimental reason to overspend like their Dad owned one in the same color and they went on their first date with their wife in it. Otherwise, the price is just not in the ball park of reality.

    Like 5
  6. RMac

    Bought one of these for my wife in 88 same year same twin spark engine and five speed long bed but hers was powder blue and had AC (we lived in Orlando at the time) she loved that truck and we put over 100k miles on it still ram and looked perfect 5 years later but had to get and suv when we had kids so traded it in on a new 93 Jimmy 4.3

    Like 1
  7. Car Nut Tacoma Washington

    Wow! This is the nicest Datsun pickup truck I’ve seen in a long time! This looks brand new, like it just hit the dealer showroom floor. Or possibly has never been driven. Which is it? $27,000 is way too much money to ask for, even for such a nice truck. I’d be willing to pay close to $20,000.

    Like 3
  8. Gary

    The 2.4 has two plugs per cylinder, also has two coils

    Like 2
  9. Howie

    Wow!! What a sweet ride, but yes overpriced, no rear bumper.

    Like 2
  10. Homer

    I had an 86 Nizzan extra cab long bed that I really liked. One morning I went out to drive to work and someone had broken the drivers window, released the hood latch and absconded with the hood!!

    Like 3
    • Lothar... of the Hill People

      I can’t believe some hood stole your hood…
      Sounds like it was a nice truck.

      Like 1
    • Car Nut from Tacoma Washington

      What the hell?! How the hell does one make off with a car hood?! Even if I wanted to, there’s no way I’d be able to do that without special tools. And certainly not without help.

      • 19sixty5 Member

        No special tools required… if there is an inside release, you have to access that and all you need is a socket or wrench. A friend of mine years ago in the DC area had the hood stolen off her 1969 Camaro Indy Pace Car from her apartment parking lot, facing a busy road. 396 4 speed car!

        Like 1
  11. Car Nut Tacoma

    Although I was way too young at the time this truck was on the market, I remember when trucks were like this. Nothing fancy, compared to the Nissan Frontier today. I also find it way more attractive to look at than today’s Nissan.

    Like 3
  12. Todd J. Member

    I’m suspicious of low mileage claims on 40+ year old vehicles when there’s nothing to back them up, but, after scrolling through the photos, the purported mileage here looks legit to me.

    Like 2
  13. Robert Awford

    You don’t see these come up for sale too often. Cute little reliable truck. The BIN price is ridiculously high at $27,000. He’ll be sitting on this rig until he drops his price. You can get alot more and newer truck for that kind of money.

    Like 1
    • Car Nut from Tacoma Washington

      You’re not kidding. It’s a nice looking truck, but I wouldn’t pay that much for a brand new car, never mind a 40 yr. old truck, however rare it is or how nice it is.

      • Matt c

        I literally got the 2nd one brought into the country. They werent too rare back in the day,it was around the time that GM did their diesel Debacle of converting the 350V8. As I said I would still own it if the body didnt melt. Another of my friends bought the king cab version of the diesel too. His sat in front of his establishment for about 20 yrs with painfully large rot holes in it .he finally found a diesel explorer in ohio that was supposed to be shipped out of the country or was shipped here. He still has that and prefers to find oil tanks in peoples basements that converted to gas for fuel.

        Like 1
  14. Matt C

    I bought a 1981 720 diesel, brand new, first and last brand new vehicle I ever bought. Garaged from day 1 waxed over 25 times the first year of life, Didnt put it on the road for 4 months because a 20 yr old can afford one or the other right away. Factory auto armor guaranteed for life rust preventative . Within 2 years there were rot HOLES in the body and bottom halves of the bed were literally falling off. These were made from reconstituted rust filled metal. If it had a decent body I probably would still own it. It would manage 100mph and 33 mpg (not necessarily at the same time) 6 lug wheels (one ton) tried in vain to keep the body from falling apart. Ultimately I sold it to a guy from Guatemala who shipped it there. (Probably still going) It was a love / hate relationship. That engine in a different body would have been outstanding. I would steer clear of this unless youre in the sunbelt and have a garage for it.

    Like 2
    • Car Nut from Tacoma Washington

      Datsun Diesel? Damn! That’s rare as hen’s teeth here in the US! Why they weren’t sold in large numbers is beyond me. I’d buy a Datsun Diesel if they were available.

  15. Matt C

    Great engine, worst body ever

    Like 1
    • Car Nut from Tacoma Washington

      My stepfather had a 1978 Toyota pickup truck. It had a 2.2 litre 20R gasoline engine. While it may not have won any street races, it more than made up for in durability and low end torque. it had 96 hp and 122 lbs.-ft. of torque, maybe more than that. It could tow or haul whatever the hell you needed, and all without fuel injection. Probably the worst thing about the truck was the body. It eventually rusted to the ground.

  16. chrlsful

    love any (like) of these (Japanese import p/u minis of old).
    Great motors, the single sheet thickness beds, size, basic mechanical nature, MPGs, just extended cab either same for bed (if on rd) or ‘shortie’ (if off rd) & both 5 speed on either & discs up frnt for modern traffic. Last, a ‘topper’ for my region (NorEast). BUT…
    at this price / condition I’d hafta take it off the rd 3 mo (winter starts in Jan now) due to rd salt.

  17. Connecticut mark

    Say it sold for 27 grand, can person get it insured for that much? Say they get into an accident and it’s totaled, what would insurance pay, no idea but book value on 2wd Datsun can not be much no matter how many miles .

    Like 1
    • Car Nut from Tacoma Washington

      I agree. That’s a lot of money to insure a truck. The most I’d be willing to pay for a truck like this would be close to $10,000. I don’t know exactly what the insurance would be worth for a vehicle like this.

  18. Matt C.

    You can insure it as an antique for an agreed upon price , it can be
    $1000 or $27000 but you pay the price for that amount and limited milage

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