One-Family Owned: 1978 Datsun 620

Car or truck, big or small – we like ’em all here at Barn Finds. This one happens to be a small truck which I personally have a soft spot for these days. This is a 1978 Datsun 620 pickup and it’s listed on eBay in Gainesville, Florida with bids topping $2,500 and the reserve isn’t met.

The 620 came after my personal favorite, the 1300, and before the 720 pickups in Datsun’s history. Or, Nissan’s history, Or was it Datsun.. just kidding of course, it was both but the U.S. didn’t see Nissan badged vehicles until around 1983 at which point this Datsun 620 pickup was already well on its way to becoming a beloved family truck.

This is a one-family owned 620: “Father bought this brand new in 1978 and has kept it in great running condition the entire time. Title is the original title from 1978.” I wonder if they ever installed a rear bumper, I’m guessing not but there is no mention of that. There is “some patina around the body but no rust in the floor pans or any rot underneath.” The bed has a heavy coat of surface rust on it, probably as a 40-year old Florida vehicle should have.

The interior looks good other than having some fading on the plastic bits and the seat may or may not have been recovered at some point. They say that “Father is not driving it anymore as his age is limiting his doing so.” I can imagine that it’s hard for him to see it go, it’s not easy to sell a vehicle that a person has had for so many decades.

The engine is Nissan’s L20B 2.0L inline-four which would have had around 100 hp. The “Clutch has been replaced, engine seals have been gone thru and replaced, tires are less than a year old. It starts up every time and drives great down the road.” With some regular maintenance this 620 pickup should last for another few decades. Have any of you owned a Datsun 620?

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  1. Steve R

    There may be “no rust in the floor pans or rot underneath”, but it looks like there is plenty of rust in the lower fenders, doors and rear quarter panels. A thorough, up close inspection would be wise.

    Steve R

  2. Madmatt

    I used to drive one for about two months in high school.circa 85.,
    It was a great little dad used it like a 1ton…😁we at one time
    Had it loaded with about 6 v8 engine blocks…6 large transmissions..
    And 2 dozen cylynder heads…🙂… can’t believe we didn’t break a leaf spring
    Moving some of our shop….🤔☺️😀it was very affordable..,it was great on gas..,and was easy to work on….and could really be used like a truck…😎… something that i don’t think can be said for anything on the market today….sadly.😥 very cool find…😎

  3. robert

    yep I sure did own one of these and actually had two of them one was a 1978 and I swapped out the motor with a l20b block and put a sss (triple s ) head on it and a weber carb and it ran excellent had all kinds of power I was lucky and then put a aluminum flywheel from a z car 240z upgraded performance flywheel on it and the rpm s were finominal and response was amazing . the other one was a 1975 model and back in the 80’s I put a 3.8lit v 6 engine in it with very few modes to do it to. they made a motor mount kit for it and all you had to do is put a one inch body lift spacer on it to clear the transmission tunnel and the usual of modifying the drive shaft and it was a rocket back then loved the trucks with the torsion bar set up your able to raise the stance on it to what ever you desired .

  4. grant

    Had a 73 low rider with a side draft Weber, a header and a dogleg 5 speed for a bit as a kid. Lots of fun.

  5. Kenneth Carney

    Liked ’em but never owned one. Too bad
    the tinworms ate most of them from the
    inside out. Other than that, you couldn’t
    beat that bulletproof drivetrain that would run forever no matter how much you flogged it. I agree with the gentleman who said an advance inspection wouldn’t
    be a bad idea before you buy it as our
    climate here in Florida is quite damp
    and salty. Even inland, you find vehicles
    that are as rudty as those found in the
    rust belt. Hope the owners can keep it
    safe from Alberto until they sell it though
    That storm looks pretty bad on TV. And the season hasn’t even started yet!

  6. dave

    Never owned one but slid down an icy hill in a borrowed one into an early 80s Caprice!

  7. Nevis Beeman

    What a great wee runner to tour the Americas in….just chuck your swag & what have you, in the back, and set off down the road to ….wherever your heart fancies, pausing at night to set up your tent, to rest and be thankful.

  8. MrBZ

    I bought a 74 in 78, my 3rd vehicle. Had huge National Air-Float Commando tires and the torsion bars cranked up for clearance. 2 friend, who had a CJ and a Power Wagon, would try to get me stuck out in the Arkansas backwoods. That Datsun would go anywhere!

  9. Rustytech

    I believe these were the truck that spurred the development of the mid size truck market. They were slightly bigger than the Toyota and Datsun trucks of the time, and it wasn’t long after that GM came up with the S10, followed by Fords Ranger the Dodge Dakota. These were fun to drive, especially with the third pedal, and were a better truck than they got credit for, but were known to rust prematurely.

  10. Paul

    Had a 1975 620 with a 7 ft bed..drove the wheels off that truck it was bullet proof

  11. Daryl R Hice

    Dad bought one new in 1976 from Cliff Fields Datsun in Pensacola, FL. Orange with black interior, 2.0L/4 speed, short box. Had a Weber carb and a Thrush glasspack. It was awesome and really quick! Gave it to me when I started driving in 1984 as my 1st vehicle. Loved that truck. Friends called it “The Orange Crush” cause I never lost a race in it. Cranked the torsion bars down in front to give it stance, 15 inch wheels with P215/60R15 (F), P255/60R15 (R), removed the rear bumper as well. It was so cool and I miss it a lot!

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