B+ Honey Bee: 1977 Datsun B-210 Honey Bee

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Does anyone have a 100′ x 100′ garage for rent? I need more space; so many cars, so little time. Speaking of little, this little buzzer is a 1977 Datsun B-210 Honey Bee and it’s on eBay with a current bid price of just over $1,600 and there is no reserve! It’s located in Oley, Pennsylvania. There are still five days left to wreak havoc on that bargain basement price. Only two bidders are battling it out for this car, but they’ve each put in 3 bids. Maybe I should shake the bee hive a bit.

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The Honey Bee model was a low-priced Datsun B-210 for young buyers who couldn’t spring for the more expensive, “regular” B-210 and they only came in this 2-door sedan body style. They never, ever, ever came in the 2-door coupe body style and they also never, ever, ever, ever (just in case there was any doubt) had the classic Datsun honeycomb wheel covers, just plain caps as shown here; although not with the red centers. Although, from what I’ve learned, whenever a person says never, ever, ever, someone will come along with a story about how they bought a brand new Honey Bee 4×4 pickup with a winch on the front.

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This particular car is almost nice enough upon first glance to look like it just came out of a museum collection, but there are a few flaws. There is a tiny bit of rust rearing its ugly head and a scrape or three on each quarter panel. That’s too bad, for such an original car it would be a shame to have to mess with the original yellow paint to fix those. There are only 86,184 miles on this car and it’s amazingly well-preserved, especially for being such an entry-level car and one that’s almost 40 years old. It can’t originally be from Pennsylvania with only that tiny bit of rust on it after 39 years, can it be? This Bee gets a B+ from me, it’s in great shape for its age and location.

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There aren’t any really good interior photos, but from the two photos included in the ad, it looks pretty nice. If the front seats (only shown in the view above, just showing the backs of them!) are anything like the perfect back seats, this interior is a winner. But, the seller mentions one or two rips in the driver’s seat and doesn’t show any photos of them at all.

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The seller says that the “motor, clutch, transmission, brakes, drive train and cooling system seem to be sound.” It will need to have the carb adjusted to get rid of the popping after you let up on the accelerator pedal, but it doesn’t smoke or leak oil at all, which is more than I can say about myself. It has new brakes, a new water pump, and a new factory Nissan battery. The popping engine is Nissan’s A14 series 1.4L inline-four with 70 hp and it’s about as clean as it gets, I don’t really see much wrong in there other than some wear on the valve cover and general dust and dirt. Even with just 70 hp I bet that you could get the front wheels to let loose, but of course this is a rear wheel drive and if you’ve ever had a physics class you know that it’s harder to do that when the weight transfers onto those rear wheels and you only have 70 hp to work with. Even with a car that weighs less than a ton. Speaking of chirping wheels, this one needs new skins on those wheels. So, new tires, adjusting the carb and/or maybe rebuilding the carb, a tiny rust spot, a couple of scrapes, and a couple of tears on the driver’s seat is what’s keeping this car from being almost like new. Not bad at all. Vintage Japanese cars aren’t for everyone, we know that. But, Barn Finds isn’t just about a certain genre or make of car or country of origin, it’s a site for vehicle fans and fanatics of all kinds. For those of you who like these cars, and I know you’re out there, this will be one to watch.

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Comments

  1. Vin in NJ

    “they also never, ever, ever, ever (just in case there was any doubt) had the classic Datsun honeycomb wheel covers” – But should have!

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      HA, I could not agree more, Vin! I love those wheel covers.

      • Jubjub

        I once painstakingly masked and repainted the black sections on mine. I wish I was still so enthusiastic about projects.

  2. Luke Fitzgerald

    It’s funny – here, and not so long ago, you wouldn’t be able to shift a car like this, Never Ever. But now, that they’re all gone – their time has come – hopefully there are some more nanamobiles to be found……called 120Y in Australia

  3. Howard A Member

    These were about as basic an Asian car as you could get. Just dependable, economical transportation. Very serious rusters. Fact is, I can’t remember a car rusting faster in the mid-west. Amazing to see one like this. Being built during the 55 mph law, this may be fine, but these need a 5 speed to keep up today. These truly earn their name at 70, they buzz. Great for running around town, which is what it is intended for, it’s no Pontiac, for sure. Great find.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      You’re right on the thin metal, Howard, they saved weight and got better mpg but weren’t good for rusting. Or, actually, they were very, very good for rusting!

  4. Chebby

    More popular than the Honey Boo-Boo edition.

  5. kenny

    It brings me back to high school. Had a couple friends in the early 90’s that owned one. They were the perfect $1000 or less car in great shape, got like 40 MPG. Most had a boom box in the back seat. Where we popped in our Depeche, Skinny Puppy, early Sinead O’connor, Cure, and Joy Division tapes.

  6. Rustytech Member

    I wonder where it spent it’s early life, certainly wasn’t in PA. I bought one of these in the late 70’s as a commuter car. It was slow, it was noisy, and it was tiresome, but when commuting from Baltimore to Harrisburg every day with rapidly rising gas prices I learned to appreciate it. Allowed me to keep gas in my 455 Buick Centurion conv for use on the weekend. I think the price is already over what it sold for new!

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, Rustytech; drive what you have to for commuting duties so you can drive what you love later on for the fun of it. I do the same thing now. Most of us dream about having a daily-driver that’s a classic, muscle car, or exotic, but that’s not too realistic for the majority of folks.

  7. angliagt

    These are finally getting some love!
    Now that the prices are going up,maybe it’s
    time to sell my ’78 coupe,so that I can work
    on the ’60 Anglia 105E.
    If I do decide to sell (or if anyone’s interested),
    I’ll list it here,&/or make a donation to this site.

  8. Tom Driscoll

    Buzzer is right, buzzes right past the gas station!

  9. Paul B

    Really depressing little cars even when new. Poor driving, poor performance, choppy ride and just screamed cheap. Still, this should be preserved as a piece of history by one of the two bidders!

    • Dan

      Exactly right! I remember being stuck behind these slow pieces of junk and wondering why anyone would have bought one back then. And I also remember that the tailpipe looked liked a soda straw it was so tiny.

  10. the one

    it is what it is

  11. Another Bob

    To me, that was the bottom of the barrel till we got the even worse Hyundai Pony in Ontario. We also had a lot of Ladas trying to drive around… Gross . The smart scrounger just bought a used Valiant back then.

  12. Jubjub

    I bought a B210 sedan from a neighbor for $75. Needed a freeze out plug. They were funky but I always liked the styling. The defogger switch on the dash has great illumination.

  13. Eric Dashman

    The popping on decelleration is probably the anti-afterburn valve not working. This was a common problem with them, as I recall from my 5 years of shade-treeing back in the early 80s.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Eric, I agree. My MGB did that until one day, it magically stopped,,,the air pump froze. I bet you pull that belt off the air pump ( as long as you aren’t in NY or Cal.) and VIOLA!

  14. Karl

    They were rusters, but, boy, was that drivetrain rugged. One knucklehead I knew blew the radiator hose off on the Interstate and drove it for miles to the mechanic shop next door to where I sold auto parts. Once the block had cooled down from approximately the temperature of the Sun, they pulled off the head, scraped off what was left of the head gasket, slapped a new one in and torqued the head back down. Damned if that little thing didn’t crank right up and run fine. That’s tough.

  15. Jason T

    My dad had a new one in 1977, it was a lemon so he traded it for a 1971 Datsun 510 that we had until around 1981. Great little car, wish I had it now!

  16. Sean Stevens

    I had a ’77 B-210 given to me that was named “The Roach” because with it’s faded brown and fastback it resembled a roach. It had a burned valve so it had a serious miss. I took that little car up to the hills, cut the top off and proceeded to treat it really badly on logging roads. I could not kill it. I tried and tried but no matter how hard I drove that car it would not break. To this day I am in awe of how much abuse that car took! BTW it had honeycomb hubcaps.

  17. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Boom! This car just sold for $3,050, a heck of a deal.

  18. John b

    I rolled a 4 door B-210 sedan at an autocross in 1975. My dad drove it home and no, he didn’t know about the autocross until after I rolled it. The sponsoring club didn’t know I was only 17 until after I rolled it. Amazing how much unhappiness can be unleashed in a parking lot!

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