30 Years in Storage: 1966 Datsun 411 Wagon

Here’s a nice project for you vintage Japanese car lovers. This is a 1966 Datsun 411 Wagon and it’s on craigslist for $1,250. The body actually looks pretty good on this car, no really! There are a few dents and a few little pieces missing, like the rubber for the bumper over-riders, but there doesn’t appear to be that much rust, which is rare. This car is located in Woodburn, Oregon.

I can not wait to see the engine! They must have had the hood popped open in preparation for taking a vast quantity of engine photos, right?! (not a one) Even with surface rust, the body on this 51-year old 411 Wagon looks good. You’ve seen worse things turned into sparkling gems in 48 minutes on a tv reality show, this one will be easy! Well, maybe it’ll take more work than I thought, there will be a lot of metal-massaging to do here. But, rust-wise, it sure looks clean.

Datsun made the 411 for the 1965 to 1967 model years and the US only got the four-door sedan and four-door wagon body styles, the two-door never made it here. The inside rear portion of this car is the only place that looks iffy to me, rust-wise. Or, maybe that’s more rodent than rust? The seals will most likely all have to be replaced, and there is no question that it will be a challenge to find some of the needed parts and pieces to restore this one.

But, you may be spending more time and money on the interior than you are on the exterior; or at least as much. Front to back it all needs to be removed and restored. This car was last licensed and driven 30 years ago, in 1987! That probably explains the relatively good condition of the body. That won’t have helped the plastic and rubber parts, and also the soft parts that may have been rodent bedding. In an odd turn of events, I ran across another Craigslist ad for this car with more photos!

And, here’s the engine: Nissan’s J13, a 1.3L inline-four with 67 hp. And, a photo of the dashboard, and one of the front seats, with missing door cards all around. It looks like a great project car to me. Most people would modify it into an SS or SSS, and I would probably consider that if the parts were available. What do you think of this 411?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Well, not an Asian car fan, but this ( type of car) I like. It seems to have much better styling than the boxy 510. This particular car is pretty shot. And not well suited for our roads, like the 510 is. If you want one of these, I can’t imagine this is the best you could do. Sorry, parts car for a better one.

  2. DRV

    Wish I could have a project!
    I really like the size and looks.
    Anybody know what newer motor would fit?

    • Scotty Staff

      It’s funny you should ask, DRV! I ran across this one, too:

      http://sacramento.craigslist.org/cto/5941374589.html

      • DRV

        Have to laugh at the hood scoop Scotty! Thanks.

      • GOPAR

        I wonder if the “WHOOPING” gas tank was an expensive option?

    • bill

      sbc

  3. Jim Mc

    I like it but would never take it on as I’m sure proper replacement parts for every aspect of it are nigh unobtanium. Restomod might have to be the way to go to make it roadworthy on even 50 mph two-lanes.
    Looks like the hood is bent, too, about 6-7 inches in front of the windshield on the left side.
    Love the “face”, the grille & headlights. Hope some rescues it and puts some miles on it.

  4. Adam T45 Staff

    Believe it or not, these are not a car that are prone to huge amounts of rust. My brother had one of these as his first car and it was virtually indestructible. He rolled it, he set it on fire….and it refused to die. A lot of the missing parts (bumper rubbers, etc.) are available through sellers on ebay. They are a great little car and will cruise all day at 60 mph. They will never be worth a pile of money, but if someone wanted to restore it as a daily driver, it would be a great little car.

    • Hannes Els

      I had the 66 4 door . Great little car you could and I have driven it all day long.
      I once went on a 1000 mile trip. Great memories. The seats were not as nice as today’s cars.
      In Georgia there is a guy with a 63 or 64 Datsun pickup truck with a 2l motor with 5 speed transmission.

  5. Al

    On the West coast there is less of a problem for parts. On the East coast you probably find very few if any parts. If fixed up, it can get about 40-45 mpg at 65 mph.
    I had one once and loved it, took it to the East coast an spent a week trying to find parts to fix the carb. The float in the carb is cork.

  6. nessy

    I have no idea why I like this little thing but I do.

  7. Ed Gilfilen

    Wow! My first car exactly: the paint, the seats, not the transmission(mine was an automatic)! I spent many a day with my head in that doghouse putting bandaids on that crazy Japanese tanks’s engine, It was very fun driving it through the fields on our farm in Southwestern Ohio. I’m also afraid it would be to hard to find parts. It was hard enough to find them in 1981! It’s also way too far to transport it back here to Ohio anyway.

  8. Paul b

    This car looks good because the 410/411 cars were styled by Pininfarina. As everyone else above says, these were very reliable. I never owned one, but several friends did, and I rode in them a lot. My friends said you could not wear them out. The ride is choppy, with fairly unsophisticated Japanese suspension of the day. Interior is not cramped for a person of modest size (I’m 5’9″ and under 150 lbs. and recall there being plenty of room, in front and in back). This would be a labor of love. It would be hard to get one’s money out, ever. But a refurbishment to whatever level as a driver could yield lots of fun and years of relatively trouble-free driving, so long as you could find basic parts. I liked these and the first 510s and hope this goes to a good home, for restoration or for parts.

  9. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    rare survivor there….I’s a like it…..

  10. Al

    I bought mine 4th or 5th hand, put on additional 103, 000 miles and sold it for what I paid for it, $250.
    I loved that wagon, carted a 16 foot canoe into the back-country and never got stuck.

    • j

      Do you still have contacts with the person you sold it too

  11. coachgeo

    Too bad it is not a SSS version. Those had the drivetrain of the SPL311 roadster

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