Near Perfect Wagon: 1980 Datsun 510

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

“Near perfect” is a strong description for this clean 1980 Datsun 510 wagon, but it may not be too much of an exaggeration. Mileage is low at 47,000 and the seller claims there is no rust – a rarity on an early Japanese econobox. Matching hubcaps and working A/C are pluses, too. Check it out here on eBay with a Buy-It-Now of $5,500 and no bids. 

If you’ve watched the hit Netflix show Ozark, you’ll notice that the lead character drives a ratty 510 wagon upon his unexpected relocation to Missouri (if you haven’t watched the show yet, it’s worth checking out). This example is in much nicer shape and located in New Jersey, where it has either been relocated from a place like Florida or it was never driven in the northeast’s salt-lathered winter roads.

Inside, the high level of preservation continues. It’s disappointing to see an automatic inside the cabin, as this was already a slow car to begin with. This era of the 510 didn’t have the same enthusiastic following as its predecessor, but it did maintain that squared-off look so often associated with the earlier car. Seating surfaces, door panels are undamaged and the steering wheel all present well; the dash appears to have a crack.

Scotty G. did a previous write-up on a 510 hatchback of the same era, and did nice job breaking down the engine specs. With about 90 b.h.p. on tap, this 510 won’t get you there fast, but it will likely get you there given its low mileage and seemingly fastidious levels of care. Records would be nice and the seller doesn’t mention anything about maintenance history, but we’re assuming this one has been loved.

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Comments

  1. Matt

    Is this and the Caravan evidence that cream colored cars hold up the best?

    2+
  2. Phil

    Does the passenger door look to be a different shade or is it just me?

    3+
  3. AF

    Where is the rest of the car that the passenger door came from?

    2+
    • Sam Sharp

      The rest of the car was destroyed when a runaway chainsaw fell off of my shop wall, then went out into the street and hit the right front door on this 510.

      2+
  4. Gear Head Engineer

    I had a 510 wagon in the early ’90s. Same color too. Mine was a ’78 so it had the round headlights. Reliable, great gas mileage. I paid $450 for mine, to replace an ’80 510 two door that was dented on every panel. I put a lot of miles on it, and slept in the back many times.

    Not a fast or sporty car. But I have great memories of mine. This would make a great driver but I wouldn’t spend $4k on it.

    – John

    0
  5. angliagt

    I like the front end on these,but they were more
    like transportation appliances – reliable,but not very exciting.
    This would make a great daily driver,if the
    price was right.

    1+

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