Short Bed Bargain? 1985 Nissan 720

Made in Tennessee, this 1985 Nissan 720 pickup is one of the early Japanese vehicles built in America. For most of us 1985 isn’t exactly early, but 33 years is older than a decent percentage of Barn Finds readers. This l’il truck is listed on eBay in Salt Lake City, Utah with a current bid price of just over $400 but the reserve isn’t met.

In the overall photos this truck looks like it’s in fantastic condition. It isn’t until a person starts picking things apart (why do I always do that?) and really looking at the details when the potential flaws show up. I don’t know for sure but some portions of the truck look like they’ve had bodywork done and have been repainted. I could be mistaken, what do you think, is it original paint? The seller says that it has “a lot of original paint on it that is thin, some dings and scratches. But it’s solid and clean looking and needs nothing.”

But, then you look at a detail photo like this one of the left rear wheel and it looks fantastic again. And overall this really looks like a great example of an all-around very useful, usually-reliable truck. It even has the original took kit. It also has new “coolant/thermostat, Oil change, new windshield, tires are near new, new fuel pump, recent brake job.” And, of course it is first and foremost a pickup truck made for working and hauling, it doesn’t have to be a Pebble Beach beauty, just so it’s reliable.

The interior appears to be in similar nice-looking condition. The floor mat looks new and the upper portion of the dash looks crack-free. It appears to have some sort of coating on it but I can’t quite tell. The seller has provided a great YouTube video showing this truck and it really does look like a nice example.

The engine is Nissan’s 2.4L inline-four which the seller says has 112 hp. It sure looks good in there compared to a lot of engine compartments that we all see while searching for old vehicles. I don’t know what their reserve is but they “intend to sell it” so I’m guessing that if it gets close they’ll drop the reserve. Are any of you looking for what may be a good little basic truck for not a ton of money?


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  1. Rube Goldberg Member

    The condition of this truck is unheard of. Very few looked like this. I don’t get it. We all wish they made trucks like this again, and here one is, and current bid is $530 bucks? I complain about classics costing too much today, this the other end of the spectrum. Something not right here.

  2. JoeBazots

    Wow! Nice and clean. Someone’s going to get a great little truck. I’d DD the heck out of this bad boy.

  3. irocrobb

    I am just going to guess it brings 2500 bucks but I could be a mile out. Looks good to me and I would drive it daily.

  4. On and On On and On Member

    Tires alone seem to justify the price, somebody out there needs to check it out. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  5. JW

    Nice find. Never owned a Nissan but I could love this truck.

  6. Wade Anderson

    I had one that when I first got it seemed to be underpowered even though it ran good the guy I bought it from said he had just replaced all the plugs in it I checked and he had put in 8 of the same thing in all 8plugs the exhaust plugs are supposed to be a higher range I changed them and it had a lot of power then

    • JW

      Never owned one so my question is, are you saying these engines used 2 plugs per cylinder intake / exhaust ??? Just confused by your comment.

      Like 2
      • Todd Zuercher

        Yes, some of these engines has 2 plugs/cylinder.

      • Wade anders O

        Yes they had 8plugs two coils

      • Dan-O

        Twin spark, another said friend had one & was boring.
        I bought new 85 w/5spd.
        I came out of dealership wide open & kept that way for 7 years. My little truck would fly & I beat everybody I raced (road racing) 5.0 mustangs,toyota Supras,firebirds, & all others. My dad had a 66 Chevy that had a hot 350 & we came off local mountain into town & I stayed beside him all the way. Him & guardrail,I was on shoulder & Pop said nobody ever stayed w/him like that.
        They did not either,it was hot 66 Chevy.
        Maybe all the ones I beat just could not drive or willing to push it the way I did. Dad taught me to drive & he was best around. They will run,high geared so have to keep high rpm or takes mile or 2 to stretch it out.
        Had a blast. Actually wrecked it racing a guy & he lost control of his & I went off in gravel & grass to miss him !
        State Trooper said the other guy said it was my black marks on road & ask how fast I was going guy lied, was his sliding sideways. I to
        D Trooper they were not mine, How do you know, I told him because I never touched my brakes. Ha Ha !
        He just looked at me. Could not get back on road quick enough because of grass. Hit a concrete culvert.
        Did not total. They can be Fun Though ! InJoy !
        Be Cool✌️ Dan-O✌️

  7. Beaver

    I find it VERY funny that I can not contact the seller I live 40 miles from the listing and want to go look at it but they can not respond?? What say you??

  8. gtyates

    A friend of mine bought one of these new, same year, when he moved off for college. It was reliable, but as he said, very boring to drive. He had a camper shell on it, so when it was loaded he said it had no power. His was a burnt orange color, with automatic and a/c. For $2k or less this will be a great little truck for someone to putter around in, but not a serious work truck..

  9. BarnfindyCollins

    I see some comments regarding the two spark plugs per cylinder on this. That started out as the NAPS emissions control system after 1968 and was used on the home market Datsun/Nissan engines first.

  10. Adam T45 Staff

    Thanks Scotty. I was scrolling away looking at cars when I came across your comment on a fair percentage of the site’s readers being younger than this car. When this car was being built I was in the throes of planning my wedding! Oh the joys of discovering that you’ve graduated from young whipper-snapper to elder statesman!

    • Beatnik Bedouin

      I’m with you, Adam, being of the older demographic here. When this truck was built I’d been married for over a year.

      The 720 was a popular truck in NZ during its production run, albeit equipped with an L-18 SOHC and four-on-the-tree. They’re almost nonexistent now, as they rusted away fairly early in their lives.

      There are a few second-hand Datsun-badged Japanese imports running around, but even they’re starting to disappear.

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha, sorry about that reality check, Adam! When this truck came out I was already 5 years out of high school and could have been married with 4-5 kids already.

  11. SunbeamerStu

    We (USA) need a small new pickup like this today, and I’d be first in line to get it. Simple and economical.

    Like 1
  12. Bill Walters

    I wouldn’t hesitate to have another one of these again.

    Like 1
  13. GearHead Engineer

    My father had one of these, purchased new. Auto trans. Struggled at highway speeds, even when unloaded. Any kind of hill and it would be hunting between gears and drive you crazy.

    He loaded it up with paving stones once. Way, way, way beyond the rating. He pumped up the rear tires and that little truck made it home with no issues.

    – John

  14. Chris Londish Member

    I had the model after bought with 240k on clock drove it for 5 yrs before I replaced with a Ford Ranger but a great little P/up the Z21 engines are great goers, only had minor problems despite it’s age that was over 3yrs ago as far as I know it’s still going

  15. Chris in WNC

    I bought an ’85 Nissan SportTruck in ’88.
    great truck, handled like a sports car on the highway.
    would love to have it back…….

  16. Rustytech Member

    Hey Scotty. Thanks for the reality check! When this truck was built I was 15 years out of high school, and raising two teenagers. My truck was my sanctuary. This looks good, most have returned to dust.

    • Steve

      I still drive a 82 king cab every day my 2010 silvarado sits with 40.000 on it

  17. angliagt angliagt Member

    I just missed out on an ’85 King Cab,with under 70,000
    miles on it.Seems it was a “Grampa’s truck”.It was on the local
    craigslist,& they were asking $4000 for it.
    I called the seller,& he couldn’t meet me right away,& when
    he called me back,he told me that it had been sold – to a dealer.
    I’m so bummed out,as would have probably bought it to
    replace my ’96 F150.

  18. DJ McMackie

    THIS IS THE SAME YEAR, COLOR, MANUAL TRANS that my father bought me for my first car. Wow brings back memories. Think we got mine for 1500 bucks in 89 or ’90. Thanks dad, I miss you!

  19. Matt

    I have this same truck with a ton more rust. Picked it up for $250. Pulled the Hitachi carb and 19 feet of emissions hoses and stuck a Weber on it with the bowl drain hose zip tied to the frame. It has license plates from 4 different states patching holes in the floor, a patched together exhaust made from cutoffs from a an old Volvo. It was lowered 3 inches when I got it and will still haul more mulch than it should and never complains.

  20. Rob K

    Dang I love this little truck. I was just out of the Army in 90, I found a used 85 cable install truck for about $1500. 76K miles and loads of dings and some surface rust but I was poor and needed a vehicle to get back and forth to school 30 miles each way (mostly highway). Six years later it locked up the 4sp trans on I-95 at 65mph in Ft Lauderdale about 2 months after I had graduated and gotten a job. It had 212K miles on it and had been flogged everyday at 75 to 80mph back and forth the 30 miles each way. I changed the oil, replaced the clutch once, and did the brakes, other than that it was bullet proof and I was sad to sell it for $100 scrap. No air conditioning in your vehicle in Florida for 6 years will teach you about delayed gratification.

  21. dan

    It’s at $3000 and the reserve has been met.

    Looks like a sweet little truck.

  22. Daniel Mix

    I wish they would still make trucks like these, small, medium, or large, but not all loaded up with fancy interiors that you would be afraid to use as a truck (isn’t that the intended use?). I mean, Lincoln and Cadillac pickups? Chevrolet pickups that shames my Mercedes E class?

    Anyway, did you note that it may be possible it had its transmission replaced as the hole on the floor mat for the original shifter is covered by a square piece of vinyl?

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