Period Custom Time Capsule: 1977 Datsun Pickup


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This period custom 1977 Datsun pickup won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it sure represents the late 1970’s well! Customized when new after being driven off the dealer’s lot, this time capsule has been kept under cover in a garage since 1992 (or 1994, see details below) and apparently was taken care of well before that. It’s available in Simi Valley, California and is listed here on eBay.


I’m old enough to remember when there were custom car shows just for vehicles like this! It’s hard to believe that this one has survived the way it has. The fender flares are metal, although we don’t know if that applies to the front body modifications as well. All the paintwork was done by “Viny” at Color Me Customs in Orange County right after the truck was sold from the dealer. I like the louvers in the hood!


After a little searching, I found a site here where the same truck was previously listed for sale at a much lower price about 2,000 miles ago, wearing the same license plates. It also states that the engine was replaced with a new one at 72,000 miles, and that the back of the cab was cut away to give “walk-through” access to the rear. This other ad also says that it was stored since 1994, not 1992. There are some more detailed pictures there as well, although I don’t know how old they are. Unfortunately, I can’t make out the date on the license plates; maybe some readers have sharper eyes than I do?


If you’re into this type of custom, you’ll appreciate the mural on the glove compartment. I’m not too fond of the non-matching gauge on the left of the panel, and I’d ditch the Harley mats. You can see in the picture on the right how the rear of the cab has been cut away to allow access to the back. The blue tufted velour upholstery is so 1970’s!


Under the hood looks pretty much stock Datsun, although I’m guessing the aluminum radiator wasn’t there originally. I wonder if the body modifications in the front impede air flow? Regardless, if the engine has been left alone, and especially if it was replaced with a new one less than 10,000 miles ago, it should be good for a lot of service yet. I like the manual transmission as well. Are you interested in this period custom?

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  1. MountainMan

    Being a child of the early 70’s I find this really cool. For the right price I would love to have it

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  2. Donnie

    I was a kid in the 70s I remember vans like this but cant remember any trucks its kind of cool and kind of something else

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  3. George

    Seeing that is has 80K miles, I have some doubt about “Truck has never seen rain, only used for truck rallies and shows.” Especially since it was only on the road to 15 years. But it’s an interesting custom with a very funky front end.

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  4. Donnie

    the nose our grill what ever you call it looks like it could have started out from a 1979 to 1981 trans am our a 3rd gen camaro

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  5. mark

    Mental image delete button may be needed.

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  6. boxdin

    These were hot during that time. I owned a van conversion company and mini trucks/ vans were all the same to us. In 1977 I too bought a new King Cab Datsun and its horrible drum brakes nearly killed me one day. The next year they went to discs. I converted mine to a dually using the Appliance Wheel kit. This pic was taken around 1977 or so.

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  7. William H

    I remember the ’70’s and ’80’s customs well. They dominated the local Autorama every year and mini-truck were everywhere. One that stands out was a guy that grafted a BMW front end onto a Datsun, IFRR. The BMW interior was transplanted as well, pretty much anything that could be taken from the car and put on the truck was. I do remember that the work was well done and looked factory. He didn’t do a wild paint job on it though, it had a very basic, very clean, one color white paint job. I’ve always liked the ’70’s disco customs. I still like them to this day and would have no problem driving something like this.

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  8. Mark E

    I loved everything about this truck until I went through the auction pics and saw that 1980s K car-like front end. Quite honestly I threw up a little in my mouth… >_<

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  9. Snuffy

    There ain’t enough eye bleach in the world to erase these images…

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  10. Keith IH

    Compared to the roof-less Reliant Robin, I would rather have this. That’s setting the bar pretty low however. Seriously, it does have some charm. OK, who am I trying to kid?

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  11. Car Guy

    Holy Crap, this took me back to when I was 13 and went to my first car show, the paint the velour, the painted glove boxes with naked women( sometimes) made this little 13 year old get light in the head.
    This truck is right out that era, and I remember my Cousin had a two tone cream and brown ford van with custom graphics that had a stylized ” Brown Sugar” script on the side, Inside it had a fridge, a velvet tufted bed and 8 track stereo with get this 8 speakers and disco lights that lit up over the bed with a mini portable TV. Wow i thought that was the best, but then again I was only 13, when I asked him why he would need a bed in his van. He just smiled and said one day I will figure it out, and I thought he was the coolest cousin ever.
    Thank you for taking me down Mammary lane.

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