Live Auctions

Sunny Sedan: 1981 Datsun B210

With the recent news of Datsun’s demise, and Nissan retiring the name for a second time, today’s find was released the first time that they retired the brand. The car was manufactured at the time of the gas crisis, and these frugal series of cars were a huge hit, with millions sold thanks to their cheap price and high mpg. Given current gas prices, would you like to drive this classic Datsun as your daily? It’s available on eBay here for $5,450 with 6 days left and no bids in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina. Big thanks to Larry D. for the tip!

Datsun has a very potted history, and the Sunny or B210 was made in a number of variants. The coupe was the most popular model and was cheaper than the sedans meaning this version did not sell as well. In fact, this car in this specification was only sold for 3 years from 1978 to 1982. It’s powered by a 64hp 1.4l engine, paired with an automatic transmission so probably won’t be the most exciting drive in the world. However, it came with over 40mpg which at the time was exceptionally good.

Economy was the name of the game in the early 1980s and although this Datsun is low on features, it does come with air conditioning and a lot of the consumables have been recently replaced. It has a new distributor, plugs, and oil fuel filter among others.  It has 147,328 miles on the clock but it wears these miles well. The interior is a little tatty, with a few stains on the seats. It comes with its original radio and tuner which are very period correct. AC controls are basic, and the only other dash features it has are a cigarette lighter and an ashtray.

On the exterior, the chrome is in good condition, but the vibrant burgundy paint is a little flat and could do with a polish. It also sits on its original wheels sporting a ‘D’ logo in the center. There is not a great deal to talk about with the design of this sedan, it’s one of the plainest classic cars on the market but at least this one is in good condition. So would you pick up this Datsun to save money on gas or keep it in the garage and start restoring it?


  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    Pilot Mountain – “Mount Pilot” on the Andy Griffith Show.
    These 210s used to be everywhere,but not too common anymore.
    I still have to remind myself that these aren’t $500 used cars

    Like 7
  2. Bick Banter

    I love the way the seller avoid mentioning the autotragic. Not just in the listing and descriptions but in all the photos too, haha! Seller must understand that significantly lowers the value.

    Like 3
    • Wayne from Oz

      You obviously didn’t read the ebay description. Seller mentioned it shifts well. I guess you can’t fix dumb.

      Like 1
  3. Brad460 Member

    Now this would generate a lot of conversations at any local cruise in simply because it’s the type of ordinary car that were once so common they would blend in, but now so rarely seen.

    Check this car over for rust as this era Datsuns rusted profusely in short order. I had a 79 210 sedan at one point that ran great but was so rusty that it bowed like a banana when put on a chassis hoist. Even the front suspension mounting areas were essentially gone. Of course it probably wasnt safe to still be on the road, but at that time, things like that didnt concern me much!

    Like 5
  4. Proffa

    I’ve owned 2 of these, sold as Datsun/Nissan 140Y in Finland. 1st one was -78 with round headlights, 2nd one was -80 with those rectangle headlights. 1,4L with 4 speed manual and 2 door body in both. Very economic and reliable vehicles, also hot winter cars, warm would be an understatement.

    The most confusing point in this story is that coupe was cheaper than sedan in there??? It was other way around in here…

    Like 1
  5. theGasHole

    This would, indeed, be popular at a car show. When I was in high school in the early 90’s, we were all rolling clunkers, but even we made fun of B210’s….literally nobody wanted to be caught in one of these. This is the nicest one I’ve ever seen though, nice to see at least one nice one is still around.

  6. Loren Ratzlaff

    This is not a B210, just a 210. I had one of these, and it was fun even though mine was a 1.2l with four speed on the floor. It had vinyl upholstery that could make the passenger slide onto the floor. Small, light, and available as the two door I had as well as the four door, fastback and wagon. No convertible.

    Like 2
  7. Troy

    If not sold in 7 days he’s keeping it, is that supposed to scare me into dropping $5k on a $800+/- car?

    Like 2
    • sYc

      I agree it isn’t exciting or significant, but no matter how you slice it, that’s not an $800 Datsun any more. I can appreciate its condition (let alone the fact that it’s still in existence as they certainly did rust). To me, it seems priced fairly, but the market will tell us for sure.

      Like 5
  8. Lothar... of the Hill People

    It is going to achieve over 40 mpg w/ an automatic tranny? Really? That would be impressive.

    Sweet Audiovox FM adapter…

    Like 2
    • Mika Saarinen

      Might be a gallon mixup…

      Datsun 210 4-Door Deluxe automatic (aut. 3 speed):

      U.S. EPA city/highway (combined):
      29 / 37 (32) mpg (U.S.) (unadjusted)

      34.7 / 44.3 (38.3) mpg (imp.)

      8.1 / 6.4 (7.3) l/100km

      12.3 / 15.7 (13.6) km/l

      Like 1
      • Lothar... of the Hill People

        Mika Saarinen good work. What is the source of that info if I may ask? My site only goes back to like ’84 or something.

  9. Melton Mooney

    It’s surprising to me just how few Datsun branded ‘non-Z’ cars are left. I bought new Datsuns in 74 and 81, and was not disappointed with either one, but it seems now that they have just about become extinct in the universe.

    Like 2
    • bone

      Like most imports of the time, they rusted horribly and quickly. They would still be running when they came into our junkyard , but so rusty they were unsafe to drive anymore.

  10. T. Pond

    I bought a new Datsun 110 4sp in 1972 and got dependable service for several years and could drive it for over 400 miles between fill-ups. Paid $1800 for it and traded it for a Toyota truck later.

  11. Conrad A

    I had a next door neighbor in Commack NY who LOVED these cars. He had a 79 2 door coupe like the featured car, and liked it so much he bought the station wagon version a couple of years later. Considering that his daily driver before the coupe was a 72 Ford LTD 4 door, these must have been pretty good cars to satisfy someone used to something so much bigger.

    And I rather suspect that the rapidly escalating gas prices of 1979 in the wake of the Iranian Revolution also factored into his decision to downsize…

  12. George

    The 210 was a major redesign from the B210. It was also much better built. My ‘77 B210 rusted in half, literally. It was held together by rust and coat hangers. A friend used them for welding rods on it. Eventually, the front leftt suspension was only held in place by the steering rod and the top mount for the strut.

    Like 1
  13. theGasHole

    I wouldn’t kick the wagon version out of my garage

    Like 2
  14. Lothar... of the Hill People

    Questions for those of you who know more than me (and that’s perhaps most of you):

    re: the rusting of these old Datsuns: If the frame was badly rusted, would the body look this clean? I know one has to check to make sure but what is your best guess?

    re: the automatic transmission: How hard / complicated is it to change over to a manual, assuming you can source a working one? Anybody have any experience w/ that?

    Like 1
    • bone

      This one does look very solid, but like any car, you would need to inspect it. As for changing it over I dont think it would be a huge deal, assuming you have a decent manual trans car for the parts, which may be hard to come by.

      Like 1
      • Lothar... of the Hill People

        thanks bone.

    • George

      Frame? These were unibody. My body looked fine. But they tended to rust from the inside to out.

      Like 2
  15. Lothar... of the Hill People

    Auction ended by seller; 0 bids. I guess the guy can keep it.

    I still have a little trouble believing “over 40 mpg” w/ this car w/ an automatic. A 1990 Geo Metro w/ 1 Liter, 3-cylinder and a 3-speed automatic is listed @ 35 or 36 mpg HIGHWAY, 33 or 34 average, by Anyways, moving on…

    • Proffa

      Well the manual was pretty fuel efficient but automatic at that time tended to use quite bit more. I think there’s a mixup in units, here’s some fuel consumption data I found:

      U.S. EPA city/highway (combined):
      29 / 37 (32) mpg (U.S.)
      34.7 / 44.3 (38.3) mpg (imp.)
      8.1 / 6.4 (7.3) l/100km
      12.3 / 15.7 (13.6) km/l

      Like 1
      • Lothar... of the Hill People

        Good work Proffa! What’s your source of info for a car that old?
        You should write for Barn Finds!

    • Proffa

      Have to reply to this comment, cannot answer to your latest since no Reply button there. Data is from here:

      Like 1
      • Lothar... of the Hill People

        Thanks Proffa… you’re a wealth of info and so is this website. I’m bookmarking it. :)

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.


WANTED 1960 Buick Lesabre Looking for a Lesabre or Invicta Wagon, Minimal rust/runnable preferred Contact

WANTED 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner Looking for parts for this project. Especially seats Contact

WANTED 1979 Ford Thunderbird Looking for a 1979 Ford Thunderbird Heritage Edition, maroon in color. Thanks Contact

Submit Your Want Ad