BF Auction: 1976 Datsun 710 Station Wagon

Bid to: $0View Result

UPDATE – The seller was able to send over some underside photos of the car! Those have been added to the photo gallery below, so be sure to take another look.

Many enthusiasts will pledge allegiance to vehicles from a particular manufacturer, and I have been no exception. From the early 1980s, my garage was never without a car bearing a Nissan or Datsun badge for over two decades. Such long-term exposure allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the marque and to appreciate its strengths and characteristics. That means that when I saw this 1976 Datsun 710 Station Wagon, I sat up and took notice. It is a one-owner classic that has been inactive for over thirty years. It needs love, but it is an unmolested, structurally sound restoration candidate. The time has come for it to find a new home, with the seller listing it exclusively at Barn Finds Auctions.

This Datsun belonged to the seller’s father, who passed away. Therefore, she has limited insight into the car’s history beyond the fact that it has been inactive for over thirty years. Its Code 019 Yellow paint is heavily faded, which is unsurprising considering its long-term exposure to the harsh Californian sun. However, the same conditions that baked the paint have done an excellent job preserving this classic’s steel. There is surface corrosion for the winning bidder to consider, but this Datsun has avoided the rust issues that consumed many cars wearing this badge. Prone areas like the tailgate, rockers, lower rear quarter panels, and the hood’s leading edge appear rock-solid. Panel damage is limited to a single defect on the driver’s side rear quarter panel, with the rest of the body looking pretty good. The trim is complete, and the glass looks good for a survivor. The Wagon undoubtedly needs a cosmetic refresh, but I can’t spot anything that couldn’t be tackled in a home workshop.

Classic cars from dry climates are often a “swings and roundabouts” proposition. The same sun that preserves steel can exact a high toll on interior trim and upholstery. This Datsun hasn’t been immune, although its condition is far better than I expected. The dash pad is badly cracked and could be beyond repair. A cover would be the most cost-effective solution at less than $80. However, I found a company that supplies reproduction pads for around $400. It isn’t the cheapest option, but it would help the interior to present to a high standard. The remaining upholstered surfaces don’t look bad, and it would be worth deep cleaning everything before compiling a shopping list. I’m surprised by the lack of crumbling plastic, with everything looking quite sound. If a close inspection reveals issues, reproduction parts are readily available. These little classics aren’t highly optioned by modern standards, but they have some standout features that improve occupant comfort. The fresh air ventilation system is one of the best from this era, helping to compensate for the lack of air conditioning. The heater is excellent for those in cold climates, with the electric rear defroster also welcome in those areas. An AM radio relieves boredom on long journeys, and it is refreshing to see no visible aftermarket additions.

The 1976 Datsun 710 is not a high-performance vehicle but features an exceptionally robust drivetrain combination. Lifting the hood reveals a 1952cc “L20B” four-cylinder powerplant that would have fed 100hp to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission. That combination may not sound like the recipe for excitement, but courtesy of a curb weight of 2,509 lbs, this five-seat Wagon could cover the ¼-mile in 18.9 seconds. That figure was largely irrelevant to most buyers, although some found the Wagon’s ability to deliver fuel consumption above 30mpg irresistible. While the L20B may not have been a muscle motor, it is one of the toughest produced by a Japanese manufacturer. With a dual-row timing chain and double valve springs, complete failure is rare. Timing chains can rattle as mileage climbs beyond 200,000 miles, and valve stem seals can leak with age, but both are easy to address. I’ve seen these engines clock 300,000 miles with nothing but regular servicing with no appreciable loss of performance or reliability. This Datsun hasn’t fired a shot in three decades, but if the engine turns, revival should be straightforward. The car comes with a rebuilt transmission, and the seller will negotiate on another engine and various parts.

Although Datsun produced sporting models during the 1970s that captured the buying public’s imagination, its bread-and-butter was affordable and reliable family transport. The 710 Station Wagon was a perfect example of that thinking, offering great comfort, impressive load-carrying abilities, and excellent fuel economy. It is easy to see why the 710 sold in significant numbers, but the “disposable” nature of vehicles of this type from this era means that they are rarely seen on our roads today. This is your chance to save one, and you could do so without breaking the bank. If a practical classic project is on your radar, submitting a bid on this Datsun could be the perfect starting point.

  • Location: Bakersfield, California
  • Mileage: 55,000 Shown, TMU
  • Engine: 2.0- liter four-cylinder
  • Transmission: Four-speed Manual
  • VIN: JHL710911201
  • Title Status: Clean

Bid On This Auction

Sold for: $500
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Ended: Apr 6, 2023 11:00am MDT
Winner: Tim B

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    1. TomP

      I like it. Back in the late ’70’s Datsuns were everywhere. My uncle had a 710, my sister had a 610, and her boyfriend had a 310, all at the same time.

      Like 5
    2. Rodney - GSM

      As much as I love 1970’s Japanese cars, (currently have two), I have seldom seen this much surface rust (and there is a lot) without its ugly brother tagging along, deep structural rust. A PPI is a must for this car.

      Like 2
      • Jesse Jesse MortensenStaff

        I’m sure there’s some rust but the seller isn’t expecting to get a ton of money for it. They just want the car to go to someone who can restore it or use it for parts.

        Like 1
    3. Kenneth Carney

      My Mom had a 610 sedan for a short
      time. It was lime green with a black
      interior. The drive trains were great
      but the bodies sure weren’t. Even though my folks had the car undercoated by Zeibwrt, it started rusting through. After 9 months, my
      parents threw in the towel and traded
      it for a Toyota 4-eooe sedan. That’s
      why they were considered disposable. These cars didn’t last long in the Midwest after the Tin Worm got them. Other than that, they
      were great.

      Like 3
      • bone

        They lasted even less on the East Coast , the salted winter roads ate these things up

        Like 0
    4. Melton Mooney

      I drove one of these in college except it had a/c. 100% stress free transportation. I loved it. Too bad it’s so far from L.A.

      Like 4
    5. George

      The 2 liter in the 710 brought back some of the performance of the original 510. Much better than the B210 (first gen) 1.4 L, and 610, 1.6 L. It was very tossable, and at the time, more power than most of its competition. I did have my mom’s comfortably over 110 mph on the highway, and routinely cruised at 75 on the interstate. With rear wheel drive and lightweight, they were a challenge on hills in the winter. On the hill we lived on, I had to build momentum to get up the hill, and put it sidewise to make the turn up the hill. A lot of fun to drive. My brother wrecked it a couple of weeks before they were going to sell it to me. Rust was a serious problem, but it was for all of the Japanese cars of that vintage.

      Like 2
      • Slomoogee

        Comfortably over 110. Even 30 years ago Comfort would escape me in a 710 at anything over 80.

        Like 1
    6. Ward William

      I’d buy this if I were in the US. We grew up with “dados” down under right back to the 1970s. This does not have any rust that would concern me and it is sooo complete. The plastic interior is my biggest concern. While it is intact, I am betting it will crumble when you touch it. 1970s era plastics were not what they are today. Still, this would make a great project for anybody who knows how to use even basic tools.

      Like 3
      • George

        True. They were easy to maintain. Although to fix the radio, you have to pull the entire dash out in one piece. So to fix the cracking on the dash pad, it all has to be replaced as it’s a single unit.

        Like 0
    7. Troy

      Believe it or not one of my first jobs was delivering washers and dryers with on of these little wagons, when I was14-15 I would help my neighbor who would find broken washers and dryers and haul them off for free and he would fix them and resell them in the little nickel paper in Snohomish County Washington, if my neighbor was busy with another delivery or other things I would load one into the back of the wagon with room for the appliance dolly and deliver it to the address I got a lot of funny looks from people when I showed up in that little wagon. Yes I didn’t have a license at that time but if you don’t drive crazy you generally don’t get stopped

      Like 3
    8. Walt Reed

      I believe Datsun was the top selling Japanese brand in the 1970’s. Great bulletproof cars at reasonable prices. I love my 1990 Maxima. With 90k miles on it. Bought for 3k 3 years ago- 10k later I have a really nice $1,500 dollar car…

      Probably be the same with this car.

      Like 2
      • Car Nut Tacoma Washington

        Two of my favourites are Toyotas and Datsuns.

        Like 0
    9. AutoArcheologist AutoArcheologistMember

      If, If, If… One of the more powerful words in the English language … LOL
      and IF this wouldn’t cost me 20X the current bid to get her across the country, I’d be explaining to my better half why I needed another AutoArcheologist wagon..the 2000 Volvo Turbo wagon isn’t “classic enough”.
      BUT… IF this car was here in New England, it would be oxidized dust.

      Like 2
    10. George

      In perspective, the 710 was a sporty sedan. The 2 liter was as good or better than the competition. It was also very tossable, and quick. I had my mom’s ‘76 over 110 mph on the highway, and routinely cruised comfortably at 75.

      Being light, with rear wheel drive and skinny tires compared to today, traction, especially in winter, could be a challenge. Without four wheel drive, you couldn’t get up our street in the snow and ice. The next street over was slightly less steep. There was a dogleg at the bottom where the two streets met. Build up as much speed as you could. 45 was the target so that you had enough momentum. Near the cross street at the top, you had to put it sideways to make the turn, and then go down my street to get to our house.

      Please don’t tell my mom. My brother wrecked it a couple weeks before she was going to let me have it.

      Like 0
    11. chrlsful

      almost perfect.
      The wagon looks better and has the utility.
      Upscale w/the ‘700’ series too (bigger engine I assume?).

      Just needs a 5 speed (or better, a 4 sp+ auto = OD), FWD, and a lill more room (merican compact or ‘mid size’ -106 inch WB) to reach perfection.

      Like 0
    12. Car Nut Tacoma

      Awesome looking car. I remember these Datsun cars and early Nissan cars. Assuming it’s merely surface rust and no rust holes to be found, this would make an awesome resto to be done, at least enough that you can enjoy driving the car. If you know how to drive a manual shifting gearbox, this would be perfect.

      Like 1
    13. Rob

      I had a 71 510 wagon Great common sense little car. In the top 5 out of 45 cars I have owned.

      Like 1
    14. Car Nut from Tacoma Washington

      I’ve always loved these old-school Jap cars. Assuming there are any left in decent condition, I’d buy one for close to $5,000, including inspection, license and insurance.

      Like 0
    15. Tom Wasney

      Had a 77 red wagon with a stick… Great running car but here in the northeast it rotted away. Got it used, one amazing feature I discovered. I had to change the exhaust system from below the manifold. Again to my amazement it was fastened with brass nuts at the manifold. About the only thing that wasn’t rusty on it… Sold it still running well but rusting badly

      Like 0
    16. parallax_ca

      is there a way to connect with the seller… REALLY need some underside photos… camera/phone on ground aimed up will be a start. seams on doors, hood hatch, jambs. ty! gord

      Like 0
      • Joshua MortensenStaff

        Underside photos have been added to the photo gallery. We will work on getting you the other photos ASAP!

        Like 0
      • Joshua MortensenStaff

        More photos have been added!

        Like 0
    17. George

      My only concern is the rust in the A pillar. They had a tendency for the windshield frame to rust through. At least a few times driving my sister’s 610 in, or after a heavy rain, turning a corner, and getting a lap full of water.

      Like 0
    18. Corvair Jim

      I had a thought about this little guy that most readers would have my head for: 24 Hours of LeMons! Cheap buy-in, low enough miles to still be in OK condition mechanically, decent, tossable handling, and not powerful enough for my inexperienced co-drivers to get in much trouble with. Imagine it painted up like one of the 1970’s BRE team cars…

      Please don’t hate me for this thought. But I still think that it would be a great, fun little car for the series

      Like 0

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