Rare Find: 1960 Datsun Pickup

We at Barn Finds take pride in presenting to you the truly rare and special pieces of Automotive history. This particular vehicle just happens to be one of those, and it’s up for sale here on eBay from South River, New Jersey,  with a short time left and a very affordable bid at the time this was written. Even if it’s over before you get to see the sale link, do check this out!

For those unfamiliar: One of the vehicles which introduced Datsun to the American public was a pickup truck similar to this one. Datsun had been producing trucks since 1934, but had not dared to dream of getting their foot into the door of America. Skipping ahead a few years and a large world event, Datsun introduced its products to the West Coast of America in the very late 1950s. As one might imagine, they were met with skepticism, and only a few handfuls were sold, but they saw enough interest to keep going, and have today become a major player in the world Automotive environment. For 1960, approximately 250 of these four-cylinder, column-shift four-speed mini-trucks were ever sold in the States, so this particular one is definitely not a common sight.

We can see, and the seller tells us, that it was a barn find and only has 57,000 miles on the clock. It is highly original and has been put back on the road with good paperwork, and it has apparently had a laundry list of things repaired or replaced recently. We can see a vehicle that is obviously not perfect, however its blue interior, 48-horsepower 1200cc engine, and overall condition are rather fascinating. I found an online thread from almost 10 years ago here at Datsunminitruckin, which has a couple of Fact Sheets about them.

I personally love this thing. It ticks all of the boxes for me, save that it wouldn’t keep up in today’s world, and I’d be quite concerned about it getting damaged by an errant, inconsiderate stranger. If you’ve read this far, let me know what YOU think of it!


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  1. Bear

    Nice Find! (y)
    These early “Son of Dat” pickups are actually quite attractive to many early Datsun fans. Myself included.
    I used to drive a ’71 Datsun (521-series) back when I was in my early 20’s. It was only a 12 year old vehicle back then, but the style of these trucks had already evolved 3 times since their initial roll-out & many of my friends thought that my ’71 looked “dated”. I didn’t agree. I preferred the earlier style of my ’71 over the style of the 620-series (’73-’79) trucks, and most definitely over the boxy style of the 720-series (’80-’86) trucks.
    I personalized my ’71 with a set of American Racing VECTOR wheels & 60-series BFG Radial T/As. I also made a custom front grill for it out of black expanded aluminum. This grill sat flush with the leading edge of the hood & fenders & also covered the headlights. (…but the headlight beam was not significantly blocked by this grill because of the downward angled orientation of the expanded metal.) This really served to create a more “modern” look for this 521.
    Inside I installed a set of cloth bucket seats (donated from a 720-series), a Grant GT steering wheel, and a Concord stereo.

    I loved that truck. :-)
    & I would have kept it for many many years, but the financial demands of funding my college education forced me to sell it much sooner than I would have preferred.
    Perhaps THIS truck could be a long-overdue replacement?? :-O
    (…we will have to see how high the bidding gets!) :-P

    Like 9
  2. Will Fox

    I think Datsun entered our shores in like July of `59, and sold nearly nothing. The very few sold of cars/trucks stayed in CA., and didn’t expand their market until like 1962-63. A friend in Fresno owns a VERY early Fairlady roadster, which by now should be fully restored & running. This little pick-em-up is one rare item!
    (I have to wonder where parts for something like this can be sourced…)

    Like 4

    I attended CCNY from 1959 forward. A friend of mine at school father owned a plumbing business and my friend commuted with a Datsun pickup just like this one. They are truly tough little trucks.
    Good to see these coming up on Barn Finds from time to time.
    Billy Boots

    Like 3
  4. ron trainor

    In 1968 I had a 1959 Datsun 4 door (looked like an old Anglia in the back end) I drove the guts out of it on our farm. 4 speed on the column. never broke down and I put it through hell. Front end looked the same. I would love to find another.

    Like 3
  5. Darrell

    I had one just like this…great little truck…but Good Luck finding parts if you ever need em!

  6. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Like and yes rare….one of my salvage owner/buddies restored one last year….parts as you know are easy to come by but this one looks good to go !

  7. Vince

    Cute little 223.
    I just picked up a 63 223 with an L16 motor with 5spd. It’s a runner and could be a daily driver after I get it checked out.
    Has exactly the same exterior

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