Beater Bee: 1977 Datsun B-210 Honey Bee

Scotty GilbertsonBy Scotty Gilbertson

This rough-looking 1977 Datsun B-210 Honey Bee has an asking price of “only” $1,900 or best offer. It can be found on Craigslist in Riverside, California. Thanks to Pat L for finding this Honey Bee!

Most of these cars that have come up for sale in the last couple of years have been in the $3,000-$5,000ish range, but they’ve been much nicer than this one is. I know that vehicles can and often do rust in California, but I’m surprised at the condition of this car. When the regular Datsun B-210 was too much money for first-time buyers, the Honey Bee was marketed to those folks with its basic-trim and lower price. Speaking of price, I wrote about a similar but worlds-nicer Honey Bee a few months ago that sold for a bit over $3,000 on eBay.

Screeeeeeech! Here’s where most Barn Finds readers move on to the next post.. Wow, yeah, this one is rough. Is it too rough to restore? Sadly, I may be leaning towards that end, even though I love these unusual, inexpensive-when-new B-210 Honey Bees. This one is, just.. dang. The Honey Bee was a low-spec car and this one has the correct wheel covers, or dog dish hub caps. They didn’t come with the honeycomb wheel covers that some folks have put on them, although they really do look good on these cars and they make a lot of sense.

Boy, the interior looks equally rough, doesn’t it? This car will never be restored, unfortunately, I think it’s just well past that happy, storybook ending. Every square inch of the body and interior will have to be restored and that will be probably 2-3 times what the car is worth. And, we haven’t even talked about the engine or drivetrain yet!

Er… well, since there are no engine photos, I’ll leave you with this photo showing probably its best angle. This was the two-door sedan body style, the Honey Bee wasn’t available in the classic B-210 hatchback body style. This one would have had Nissan’s / Datsun’s A14, 1.4L inline-four with 70 hp. A zipping bee it’s not, but for a car that only weighs one ton that’s not bad. The seller says that it runs great with no mechanical problems at all. Can this Honey Bee be saved?

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  1. Phil

    $500 winter beater at best

  2. grant

    This is a $500 car, at best.

  3. irocrob

    At least there is no low mileage claim. It looks just beat to me. Why would someone restore it !

  4. Jerry Long

    I sold a 1980 210 SL in 1987 that was in similar condition for $600.

  5. fretless58

    …but it’s missing those atrocious “honey-comb” hubcaps!

    • angliagt

      You’re in luck! If you buy it,I’ve got a set of those.

    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I remember the B210 having these “honey-comb” hubcaps. I found them to be the best looking feature of the car.

  6. doug6423

    Maybe it belonged to MC Ren from NWA and is worth the $$$ because it belonged to someone famous!!

  7. Ralph

    If it was cheap and you wanted a “do it yourself” car you could practice all those badass body work and a upholstery skills you learned from YouTube?

  8. whippeteer

    It has rust in both quarters just behind the door. At this point, it is literally rusting in half most likely. The same that mine did by ’84. Run! Run away! I sold it for parts a year after buying it, since the right front rotted away and was only held in place by the steering arm and strut. The guy who bought it said that mine was in better shape than his and might put it back on the road. I said that if he did that, please call me up so that I know not to be driving on the road that day.

  9. Ben T. Spanner

    Nasty, nasty, nasty little car. My neighbor had a new one while I had a Honda Z600. I think the Honda’s tailpipe was bigger. I remember the fart like sound as the Datsun tried to accelerate. One winter in Ohio and began to rust aggressively.

  10. James

    My sister’s first car was a Honey Bee. Hers had electric mirrors and cup holders. The first time I had seen either on a car.

  11. P

    Run it.
    Park it.
    Set it.
    Forget it.

  12. Car Nut Tacoma

    I remember seeing these Datsun B210s when I was a little boy. I had a neighbour who had a hatchback (liftback) body style. While the sedan may have been more comfortable, particularly if you have children up to five yrs of age, I found the fastback style more attractive.

  13. David Miraglia

    rode in one of those with my friend matts dad. Hard riding but sturdy. I’d say 100 dollars.

  14. Larry

    This was a $200 car five years ago. This is a $200 car now. This will be a $200 car five years from now.

    • Blyndgesser

      No. Five minutes from now it will be a pile of orange powder. Two weeks after that it will be a saucepan.

  15. Murray

    The only thing this is good for is the steering box…… Just the thing for an MG-TC steering upgrade…..

  16. ccrvtt

    These cars were unconscionably ugly when new and time has not made them any better. From the same people who brought you the Juke.

  17. 68 custom

    I would pay a hundred for it a if it was in good running condition and drive the wheels off it, which might take some time? these were generally good cars that only succumbed to rust…

  18. Oddimotive Cason

    I tend to agree that this would be a great $200 car (maybe $300?). Basically, this would be ideal for someone wanting to learn to do metalwork and with a good friend who actually knows how to to do it.

    The interior is a non-issue and one should simply find something in a junkyard to fit.

  19. Ralph Robichaud

    Someone should be kind, and give it one last ride… the boneyard.

  20. G 1

    Could have bought one new for $3500. Was thinking about my 100 mile commute. Didn’t do it . Don’t think I could’ve driven fast enough to keep ahead of the rust. Probably would be still running today.

  21. cidevco Member

    You all have it all wrong. This is a survivor, well maintained, no rust, California collector car. I see it going for much more than the asking price.

  22. KevinW

    Riverside is my hometown, but I’ve lived in Texas for years. I know the cost of living is probably much higher than here, but damn, that’s a $300 dollar car all day!

  23. Pat Housel

    I almost bought one of these back in 1977, but I really stepped up and got the F10 with a 5speed instead :-/.

    • sdwarf36

      F10? EWWWWW!
      A Datsun lover.

  24. Jubjub

    Oh but it’s a “Nostalgia Hero” now!

    Is this the one they drove in the movie “Go”?

    Got so much Bondo in that quarter, it must lean!

    I might’ve mentioned on another B210 post that I once painstakingly masked and repainted all the black on a set of those honeycomb hubcaps. BTW, Honey Bees blue got these poverty caps, presumably lids off of ice cream containers or some such.

    With all said, I do like these crude little machines, and yes $500 is foolishly and generously TOPS!


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