46k Mile Survivor! 1978 Datsun 810 Wagon

When was the last time you saw one of these, let alone one in good condition? I certainly cannot remember, and that’s part of what makes this 1978 Datsun wagon stand out among the rest. It’s listed here on craigslist from Cedar Rapids, Iowa for $6,500. Big thanks to reader Greg M. – Let’s look closer!

The 810 series of vehicles were known to much of the world as the Nissan Bluebird, but the United States saw them enter the rapidly-growing market for smaller, more economical cars in 1976. Not known as the highest-quality vehicles in the world, they still found at least some audience, particularly on the West Coast. I had little or no idea about these cars, other than seeing them back in the day, so I had to really do some digging. I learned that the 810 shared quite a few components with the 280Z, including the six-cylinder L engine and by 1978, the Z cars had 2.8 liter L28s, but the 810 got the 2.4 liter L24 out of the older 240Z. These new, small cars would see 1977 through 1980, and would then bear a more familiar moniker “Maxima” from 1981 to 1984.

This particular car has an automatic transmission, apparently having only covered 46,000 miles, and we can see that it wears its brown paint and beige interior pretty well. The seller tells us that it belonged to someone in their family who has sadly passed away and that it runs and drives well. We can see also that it has aftermarket speakers in the rear compartment, and that it rides on some period slotted wheels. We don’t notice any major issues that can be visually identified, just some smaller nit-picky things.

Let me tell you, I’d have this in a second. I’d have it, get it serviced, and absolutely daily drive it in the warm months. Call me crazy if you will, but I really dig it. What say you, automobile aficionados of the world?

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Comments

  1. Chebby Member

    This has everything I don’t like in a car and yet it’s awesome. The slot mags make it!

    9
    • Steve R

      It’s hard to go wrong with the right sized slot mag on any late-60’s or 1970’s car or truck. They may not be stare of the art, but they work. The same can be said for vintage Torque Thrusts and Cragar SS’s, both of which are easily distinguishable from what’s currently available.

      Steve R

      3
  2. Mark_K Member

    We inherited one of these from my Wife’s grandfather. It was low mileage and once we repaired the rodent-chewed wiring under the hood it was a great car. Lots of room in the back, rode nice and was relatively good on gas (at least in my mind by 1980’s standards).

    5
  3. Fred W

    I used a similar wagon to deliver Ms. Pac Man and Galaga to locations in the early 80’s!

    4
  4. ArchetypeDatsun

    I have one and love it, especially the 5 speed and inline 6.

    5
  5. Eli

    Had one back then. It happens to be a thirsty car. Even in those days!

  6. Mitch Ross

    That it survived is amazing. While the sedan version had the independent rear suspension of the Z, the wagon had leaf springs.

    1
  7. Dave

    I’ve never ridden with Mrs. Pac Man – that would be interesting.

    3
  8. Gay Car Nut

    Lovely looking car. It’s nice to see a rare original survivor, one that hasn’t been heavily modified. I remember seeing cars like this when I was a boy in the late 70s, early 80s. I find it more attractive than the later Datsun/Nissan Maxima.

    3
  9. lc

    You Are Crazy Cool! – drove and maintained my buddies ’78 810 wag in NYC in the early 80’s from one gig to another with its rusted out front fenders flapping in the wind!!! A hammer is all you needed to wake these up in the dead of winter and I had a lot of practice swinging! A Japanese Model T that never missed a beat…after the swing that is. Sweet Example!

    2
  10. Mountainwoodie

    These seemed to be everywhere in NorCal in the seventies….what a difference forty years makes in car development…………I know thats obvious..but this is like a Model T compared to a modern day Nissan toaster. The slushbox though…………..

  11. chrlsful Member

    perfect 4 me, just what I seek, auto’n all

    1
  12. Gay Car Nut Tacoma

    I agree. If I were to buy a classic Japanese car, this would be it. For the price, and given its rarity today, the price, I think, is more than reasonable. I’d want it to be original, unrestored, and most importantly, driveable, and everything on it works like they should.

  13. JLS

    Love it, drove an early 70s toyota celica, and wish I had that car today. Before that a Capri, before that a Pinto, before that a Ford Fairlane 4 door (granny’s)

    1
  14. Car Nut Tacoma

    Given its conditions and its rarity, I think $6500 is a good price. Anyone who wants a collectable Japanese car could afford the price

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