In my mind, the best Van Halen is the David Lee Roth Van Halen. Similarly, I like my second biggest Japanese car producer to be called Datsun, not Nissan. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe BRE-homage 210 fits that bill, but will its price make you think the seller must be inhalin’?
Japanese economy cars of the early eighties ran the gamut from grody to great. That was a transition era when the major Japanese makers finally started to whole-hog it to front wheel drive for their small cars. The Reagan era proved the last days of the RWD Corolla, arguably the last interesting edition of that model, as well as of its across-the-aisle competitor, the Datsun 210.
Called the Sunny in other markets, and previously the B-210 here, the 210, was available in full line of body styles. That's something else that has changed since the eighties, most small Japanese cars today are being made available in just one or two forms - hatch, or maybe sedan - instead of the past's cornucopia of various body styles that spilled forth.
Screw choice I guess.
One of the Datsun 210’s sportiest body styles was a 6-light hatchback that preceded the Ford Sierra's take on the trope by more than half a decade. Today’s BRE-painted 1980 edition of that hatch represents plenty of lasts for the marque. This is the last RWD edition of the Sunny/210, as well as the last to be branded as either a Datsun or a 210. Two years after this car was built, the company shunned tradition and brand equity with the introduction of the FWD Nissan Sentra.
Screw us, I guess.
One of the reasons that I dig the Datsun name is because I own a '71 240Z. Another reason is I like the slightly racist joke about how the name came about. Yeah, of course I’m going to relate it, after all I'm your bud, right?
It seems that Nissan's Marketing Manager was tasked with coming up with a brand name before American sales could start. When he asked how soon the name was needed - and received the response that it was the next day - he exclaimed “Dat Soon?!”
Screw political correctness, I guess.
Maybe it’s that name that makes this 103,000-mile hatch so appealing to me, or maybe it’s the Pete Brock (nicest guy in the world, BTW) inspired Brock Racing Enterprises paint job. That over blue faux center two-piece alloys gives this little econobox a personality upgrade that moves it from possibly great to potentially awesome.
That is of course, if it’s not a total turd. The description in the ad leads to the impression that it is not so, noting that it has been a reliable daily driver - as a delivery vehicle - for years, and has seen regular maintenance. Obviously I could try and sell a ball-chomping dog by omitting that aspect of its behavior and boasting how it’s never bit anyone in the face.
Still, I doubt this Datsun would go for the nards, and with its meek but reputationally reliable A-series matched to a five-speed stick it should keep its next owner away from the pumps admirably.
Screw OPEC, I guess.
As you would imagine not everything is sunny with this Sunny, as there is a Grant steering wheel inside, which is a icon of Pep Boys sourced shlock. There’s also no tach in the dash and, in what might be a deal killer for some, the car comes with a reconstructed title.
Screw hope, I guess.
The current seller says that the tainted title came with the car when he bought is and was due to some fender damage. He avows that the frame is straighter than Jim Bob Dugger, but then again Frankenstein’s monster also came with a reconstructed title, and look how that turned out.
If that doesn’t have you firing up the torches and sharpening your pitchforks then you might want to also consider the car’s $2,000 price tag, as, after all, that’s why we’re here. What do you think about that price for this - one of the last of the Datsuns? Is that a deal that makes buying this Sunny a bright idea? Or, does aksing that much for this salvage 210 make you want to say screw that, I guess?
H/T to Civardi for the hookup.
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