Small Project Pickup: 1964 Datsun 320

It’s hard to believe how far Nissan has come in small truck production, from the Type 14 pickup in 1935 to their current “small” pickup, the Nissan Frontier for 2019, which seems bigger than our house, and that’s their small truck! This actual small truck, a 1964 Datsun 320 pickup, can be found here on Craigslist in Albany, Oregon with a small asking price of $2,500. Thanks to Jermey for submitting this tip!

We have seen a couple of these Datsun 320s recently, but for me, and other lovers of vintage Japanese vehicles, there is no such thing as too many. They were made for only four model years, 1962 to early-1965.

For some reason, some of the photos were sort of half-and-half, as in cutting off parts of the truck, that’s why the last two have been partial photos. This does look like a pretty solid project other than a few rust spots. But, as always, when a person can see rust you’d better look underneath to see where the real rust may be hiding. But, the good news is that the “Only issue with rust is isolated to the passengers door. The rest is solid.”

The interior will need the usual, and then some. The steering wheel could use some work and there are companies that can restore those like almost anything and everything else on a vehicle. Instead of a solid-beam axle, the 320 had a torsion bar independent front suspension which was a nice upgrade.

Here’s where the work will come in, though. Squeezing an SBC in there will be a challenge… No, the “Engine is out, machined and ready to assemble, nothing is missing, carburetor, air cleaner starter, generator, radiator, it’s all here!” Get the coffee table ready, your winter project will be putting this 1.2L inline-four back together again and getting this truck in running condition. This example doesn’t appear to have power steering or power brakes (kidding!)… Seriously, this would be a fun project for anyone with an open garage stall. I love the way it looks now, just get it working like new and use it as a little hauler.

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Comments

  1. Paul Oberman

    I had one of these. Bulletproof.

    2
  2. grant

    This is too cool and uncomfortably too close to me. Wish I’d have thought about the future when Datsuns of all stripes were still thick on the ground. There’s still a few solid ones around the PNW but the prices are creeping up. This is a cool little truck.

    2
  3. Beatnik Bedouin

    This could be a fun project for someone (C’mon, Grant, we all know you want to buy it).

    Hope it finds a loving home…

    • grant

      I so so very do! But there will be none of that for a bit yet, I’m sending my youngest to college 😀

  4. John

    Frontier is still small, as of 2017, compared to everything else in the US market.

  5. BruceB

    I had one of these (a 1959) 20 years ago. It really was a tiny truck. Two adults would sit shoulder to shoulder. The previous owner had raised it an inch or two which made it really unsafe. I swear that if you were at a stop, cut the wheel hard, and popped the clutch, it would roll over. On the highway it was fine at 55-60, but if you hit a small bump at 20-25 mph, it would deliver a terrible shimmy, so bad, that you had to come to a complete stop to eliminate it. I jury-rigged a damper which got rid of the problem. The body on it was in incredible shape rust wise. I think I paid $250 for it, drove it a few years, and sold it for $250.

    It was a fun little truck, but at age 68 now, I’ll pass. Too tiny and bound to get crushed by an in-attentive driver in a behemoth SUV.

    1
    • FOG

      Bruce B, Had to let out a laugh. Currently, at age 67, I have four vintage (520-620) pickups. The 520 certainly is not designed for the interstate to travel at 75 mph. Even at 60 mph is akin to being a Kamakazi pilot screaming down the road. However, the pickups are great for going to town for a quick meal, parts run, and cruising during errands. The 521’s are being upgraded with 5 spd’s. To the guy who posted dropping a small block chevy, I have the headers for the swap.

      1
      • BruceB

        FOG, sounds like some interesting projects. I agree with your assessment. It’s kinda like the quote in Dirty Harry, “A man’s got to know his limitations” (substitute truck’s for man’s). It is great the folks like you are keeping these interesting vehicles alive. LOL…if I was as young as you I might be interested.

  6. Eric

    I’ve always thought that they had two different design teams working on these trucks. One team for the cab and the other for the bed…..and they never once compared notes.

    3
  7. stillrunners

    Cool survivor………

    1
  8. Kelly

    I would think a Nissan dealer would snap this up for the showroom. Great piece of history.

    1
  9. Del

    Yeah. Nissan needs more trucks without engines.

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