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Li’l Hustler: 1980 Datsun 720 Pickup

Anyone who has owned a small pickup truck like this 1980 Datsun 720 Li’l Hustler knows how useful they are, not to mention just plain fun to drive. No, they aren’t fast or luxurious like your new four-door pickup or SUV but they are still useful and fun for errands. The seller has this example listed here on eBay in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona and the current bid price is $4,001.

I have mentioned too many times that I have a 1980 Dodge D-50 Sport pickup, which is basically a rebadged Mitsubishi. I could use six inches of extra legroom but that’s just because I’m taller than most folks are, for “normal” people these trucks are a great size for day-to-day errands and hauling duties. Are you going to haul supplies for building a house or strip mall in the back? No, probably not, but for some reason, a lot of people think that a particular vehicle has to be all things to all people. These little trucks are perfect for most of us.

The photos aren’t the best which is a common theme even into 2022, but this appears to be a nice truck from what we can see in the mostly-cropped photos. Datsun offered a trim level for their 720 pickups which were names Li’l Hustler – a name that would never fly today – and before that, for the 620 trucks, they were known as The Little Hustler. Of course, “Hustler” meant a hard-working, scrapping tough little truck, sort of like the pickup equivalent of Pete Rose. Ok, bad example.

The 720 pickup was made from 1980 through 1986 for the US market and this one appears to be in nice shape. The interior looks good with the usual wrinkled door cards, a common issue for Datsuns of this era. The dash looks like it’s in really nice condition and that’s fairly rare for a Datsun of this era. The driver’s side seat has some issues but that shouldn’t be hard or expensive to repair. This one has a 5-speed manual and the seller says that this truck is all original, as far as the paint and interior go and everything works, including the air-conditioning!

The original engine is Nissan’s L20B, a 2.0L inline-four which would have had just over 100 horsepower. The seller says that everything works as it should and I expect the bid price to go higher than four-grand for such a nice truck. Have any of you owned a Datsun 720?

Comments

  1. Cadmanls Member

    So what could you buy today that does what this little truck does. Sure radio is AM and you have to shift gears, roll up and down the windows. Lock the doors and use a key. I does have anti theft built in as few people could operate it. Seriously looks like a very good survivor and those sidewalls in the bed showing it never worked hard. Someone is gonna get a nice little truck.

    Like 11
  2. DON

    These little trucks ran like lawnmower engines, but the bodies dissolved the in the New England weather- I hope whoever buys it lives on the West Coast, its definitely a rare truck !

    Like 2
  3. joenywf64

    Even a cheap baby truck could be had with an all blue interior back then(& 2 door & stripped of options). I bet blue carpet was available, but this was meant to be a work truck – i guess.
    Today, i bet u can’t even get a Porsche or Italian exotic with all blue inside.

    Like 5
  4. chrlsful

    new mavrick? this’un, new maverick? this’un…
    Mav for the auto transmish…

    Like 2
  5. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    Once again, chrlsful speaks. Well, sort of.

    Like 10
  6. Kevin

    Until earlier this year I had an 82 king cab that I rehabbed. A little rust, not much. I MISS IT!!! Sadly, I needed a car to commute in (safely).

  7. Howard A Member

    You know, part of me wants to brand this truck as the vehicle that helped take down the US auto industry, and the other part of me says, we had it coming, kudos to the Asians. Oh, it was a tough sell, these little trucks had some mighty big shoes to fill, with our “squarebodies” and “XLTs” the norm. I think it was the Asians that eventually convinced us, big trucks were a huge waste, and these did the job for a changing time, no matter how awful they were, the bottom line was they got good gas mileage,,period. I’m confused during our latest “gas crisis”, that was similar to when these hit the market,, people just PAID THE PRICE, without any inclination toward actually saving gas.
    This is certainly an unusual find, especially for folks that literally had them rust away around them. I think it’s splitting hairs what mini-pickup was better, one thing for sure, it sure changed our world, for a while. Since we are so spoiled with the way trucks went, it’s going to take more than high gas prices for Americans to drive these again. It’s a great find, but be advised. It’s no new Ranger.

    Like 3
  8. Kevin

    I live neat Seattle. My truck was sketchy on wet pavement with the rear drums and being so light. No power steering, so it took some muscle to steer. I sold mine to a 16-year old friend of my nephew’s then bought an 05 Jaguar S-Type w a V8.

    Like 1
  9. man ' war

    I have an 86 Nissan 720 Kingcab 4×4 with approximately 143k miles. I picked it up on a trade for my 86 Mazda B2000 CabPlus. It has been in the shop for repairs recently. It’s got a new starter. The electrical was in shambles, so I had the inside wiring gone through to replace all the butt connections, the fuse box, the blower motor resistor and relay and extra wiring was thrown out. It also has a new radio, antenna and kicker speaker box installed. A new muffler was put on since that was AWOL upon me taking ownership of it, and it sounded like a fart bucket. Ironically, as I was about to drive off from the shop after all these fixes, it wouldn’t go into gear! So now it is getting a new brake master cylinder and a clutch slave cylinder. The engine is the 2.4L with headers and a Weber carburetor. The bed is rusted, but it has a tonneau cover and row-bar installed with aftermarket wheels to help in the looks department. Hopefully, it does not need any more clutch repairs anytime soon. I just had a full clutch job and front brake job done on that Mazda B2000 that I had traded for it. But as we fix them, we trade them.

  10. Howie

    Sweet!! Ends tonight.

  11. 19sixty5 Member

    I had a 79 King Cab, it was one of the best vehicles I ever had, and I’ve had over 125 that I can remember! It hauled and towed way more than recommended, never broke, never even had a hiccup. The bedsides at the wheel wells started rusting eventually, then the floor, it just got to the point where it was unsafe. But again, I can’t say enough about it. Beat on it, abused it, it just kept saying “is that the best you got?”

    Like 1
  12. George Smith

    Had a 620 back in the 70s. Ran like a top. 4 speed. I live in Michigan so it basically melted away. It was a great truck and had a lot of good times in it. Hugger orange with 15 inch aluminum mags on it.

  13. Pnuts

    I bought a brand new 82. Put 308,000 miles on it delivery news papers, nearly 400 start/stops a day, badly overloaded every Sunday. Put one clutch in it, bearings in the transmission once, bearings in the differential once. One head gasket. Junked it because it rusted down.

    Like 2
  14. Howie

    Sold $6,700, 28 bids.

    Like 3
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Thanks, Howie!

      Like 1

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