$4,000 W/ 5-Speed & AC: 1980 Datsun 510 Hatchback


Here’s one for you lovers of vintage four-door hatchback Japanese sedans (hello? Is this thing on?)..  This is a 1980 Datsun 510 Hatchback and it’s in Brooklyn, New York, know’m sayin’? It’s listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price right on the money at $4,000, or you can make an offer if you think you can sweet talk the seller down on the price. There are three days left on the auction.


The famous Datsun 510, the one that we all know and love, or at least we all know, was made from 1968 to 1973. This era of “510” is actually an A10 series Nissan Violet rebadged as a Datsun 510 for the US and Canadian markets. They were available from 1977 to 1981, about the same era when you used to wear that burnt orange leisure suit, remember that one? Like this 510 Hatchback, that leisure suit will definitely come back in style again and become a collectible; you should have kept it. I think the painted black wheels look great on this car and I like the whole boxy-era that these cars were born in, hopefully I’m not the only one who does.


No, this isn’t a V8-packed muscle car, but there’s something about these pedestrian vehicles that get to me. The ones that we all saw so often that they became invisible and now they almost are invisible because there aren’t many left. This Datsun 510 is in great shape for being 36 years old, and being a west coast car it shows its age very, very well. I don’t see any rust or dings or dents on the body of this 5-door sloper other than this dent on the roof edge above the left rear door and a bit of rust by the left bottom of the windshield. But, they mention that the right side of this car has been painted below the stripe. Oh oh.


The front seats could definitely use some help and/or some new OEM fabric, and the carpets need a deep cleaning, but the rear seats and the whole interior looks nice other than that. And, the best part is the famous Datsun dogleg 5-speed manual! This car has cold AC, another bonus. The hatchback bodystyle has been around for decades but it still isn’t as accepted in the US as the regular three-box car with an actual trunk is. I prefer hatchbacks, and this one looks great with an original and uncut (for speakers) package tray in the rear. But, I also see the value in being able to lock things away from view in a trunk, I just like the looks of a hatchback over a car with a trunk, in general.


This is Nissan’s Z20S (S = carbureted) 2.0L inline-four, 8-plug engine with a 2-barrel carb and about 90 hp. The seller has done a lot of maintenance on this one with new plugs, wires, cap, and rotor, water pump, coolant change, new fan belt, radiator cap, and thermostat, etc. The first thing I would do, and I would stop on my way home after picking this car up, is to get some new, non-blue plug wires! The seller only mentions two things that this car needs, and one is to clean and detail the engine, which I would love to do, and the other thing is to possibly change the AM radio to an OEM AM/FM radio that comes with the car. I think that these invisible, pedestrian cars will eventually come roaring back and will continue to become more and more rare and collectible. Maybe they aren’t quite there yet, but when do you want to buy something, when it’s at the top of its value or at the bottom? Have you ever owned a 510 of this vintage? Are you a hatchback lover or do you prefer a car with a trunk?


  1. Jim Mc

    One of the only two non-MoPar cars I’ve ever owned (both were Nissans) was an ’80 810 sedan with the straight six and four speed stick. It could be a deceptively quick ride if you knew how to row thru the gears, and was also surprisingly roomy. Got decent mpg$ as I remember, too. Sold it when the then ladyfriend bought a lemon BMW 2002 (after she sold her ’65 Pontiac sedan) and her dad & I could not debug the Bimmer. Went back to Plymouth & Datsun. Wish I had that 810 now….

  2. grant

    4k is about all the money for that car, IMHO

    • Andrew

      No kidding!

  3. Dan Bower

    The styling reminds me of the 1979 Chevette we bought new, and the profile and interior are strongly similar to our 1977 Plymouth Arrow GT.

  4. Jim Mc

    Scotty…check this out! Datsun 810 longroof, jalopnik brown, in freakin’ Minneapolis. You’re welcome.


    Like your posts, btw. The odder the find the better.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Dang you, Jim! I mean, thanks!.. If I drag anything else home I’ll be in trouble, but maybe I could hide it in a storage unit.. That’s a beauty, I’m all over brown cars.

      Thanks for the nice words, too, that’s great to hear!

  5. angliagt

    This one’s been listed at least three times already,
    with no takers.
    I like the styling of these,but are not overly exciting to
    drive,but I still like them.

  6. GearHead Engineer

    This brings back memories. I had two 510s from this era – first was an ’80 2 door with stick, second was a ’78 wagon with automatic. This was in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Loved them both. I preferred the wagon for its practicality. The two door was quicker because I could wind it out into the higher rpms. Both got good mileage.

    I wore out the first one via neglect and hard use – it had so many dents my friends called it the stealth car. I liked it so much I picked up the wagon as a replacement. Immediately drove it from upstate NY to Key West and back. Fun trip – one guy sleeping in the back while the other one drove. Drove it for a couple of years and then sold it when I moved to AZ. I should have kept it.

    I think if I found a wagon in good shape I would buy it. I never liked this four door hatch body style so this one doesn’t interest me. It looks like its in really good shape though.

  7. Chebby

    Fout thousand dollars? Here’s something the Brooklyn kids say: Ahh hell nah, son.

    • Chebby

      where did the edit button go??

  8. Stang1968

    My dad had one of these in red with black interior when I was little.
    I’d be a player at about $1000.

  9. marlon smith

    My mom had one metallic red on black solid car

  10. chad

    Unfortunately no B I G interest ($500 – 1500?).
    Now the brn wagon… $15 – 2,000?
    Thanks for the listing! GLWS

    Ah…$2,500! I like brn too!

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