Number 793: 1965 Datsun 1200

1965 Datsun 1200

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From Dustyn F – For better or worse, it is unlikely that small utilitarian trucks like this 1965 Datsun 1200 found here on craigslist will ever be made again. This truck shows the signs of years of use and given its condition would need a fair investment to be show ready. For the price ($3,500), a decent newer truck could be found which would be much more capable in every way. But, then again people who would be willing to pay the asking price for this truck would not be using it as an everyday beater. So is the simplicity and styling worth it or has the time for these small, simple, reliable, and horribly dangerous trucks come and gone?

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  1. Scotty GStaff

    Nice find! People use pickups for commuting these days instead of actually hauling anything; in general. This looks like a nice one, I would have guessed the price to be higher than $3,500. I love it!

    Like 0
    • Pamela

      It’s been over a year since you posted this comment. But thought you might be interested to know that I’m selling my 65 Datsun L320–all original complete truck. Only 50k original miles. Smooth running engine and working tranny. All chrome and glass intact and uncracked. It’s a true survivor. only a small amount of surface rust. Needs minimal restoration to be fully functional (gas tank cleaned and brakes fixed and a gas cap) Looks a lot like this one but in better condition. #186 or was it 183?

      Like 0
  2. Terry J

    What do you mean by “Horribly Dangerous”, Jesse? Terry J

    Like 0
    • Jesse JesseAuthor

      Actually, those were Dustyn’s words. They weren’t any more dangerous than any other pickup from the era. I wouldn’t want to get in a wreck in one today though.

      Like 1
  3. grant

    Near find. But yes, the old Japanese cars balled up like tinfoil in a crash. Wrecked a Datsun 210 one time, TBoned in the passenger side at an intersection by a Ford Ranger doing 30 and considered my self lucky to walk away.

    Like 0
    • BMW/Tundra Guy

      I disagree with the “balled up like tinfoil in a crash” statement!! I had the twin to this vehicle, in a Toyota brand. I got into an accident where a UHaul sized truck pulled out in front of me while I was running around 50 mph. Hit him smack in the back of the cab/front of the box. Tore the box off the frame, destroyed the cab and totaled my truck. The point is, I walked away without so much as a scratch. “Tinfoil” would not have allowed me to be sitting here disagreeing with you!!!!!!!!

      Like 0
  4. Nick G

    A very sane design for an increasingly mad world. ;-)

    Like 0
  5. Terry J

    Yup, Small and light. I’d not like to get T boned at 30mph in my little B210. Or on a bike, or my son’s motorcycle, or his VW bug or as a pedestrian for that matter. Glad you walked away OK Grant. New small light mini cars have crumple zones and 360 degree air bags. Plus a $30,000 price tag to pay for it however. Wouldn’t mind having one if not for that. I’d take the 1200 pickup in the meantime. :-) Terry J

    Like 0
  6. Bruce

    I had a 1959 Datsun pickup back in the early 1980’s. It was so tiny that two people in it sat with shoulders touching. It was a fun little ride for awhile, but was very unsafe. It was small and way under powered. It felt like from a dead stop, if you cut the wheel hard and floored it, that it would roll over. It would have been a good farm truck.

    Like 0
  7. stillrunners

    Nice PU….my honey hole “salvage yard” owner just restored one of these….really nice little pick up but yes smaller than a C10.

    Like 0
  8. M Hub

    I have number 000292 :-)

    Like 0

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