While the rat rod fad may be fading, well-sorted cars that wear patina as their primary paint will always hold appeal. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Datsun is just such a car. Let’s see if its price makes it look like a clean deal.
When I was a little kid I had this odd idea that Royal Crown cola was somehow connected to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police—in the sense that they made it, or that it was their official drink or something.
Eventually, I totally forgot about the imagined connection. That was because my family chose to buy Shasta sodas since we were cheap… er, frugal. I was reminded of it last Friday, however—the memory triggered by the Vancouver-located 2008 Audi RS4 that we saw closing out the week.
Seeing Canadian cars for sale from the U.S. is always an interesting experience as they initially look excessively expensive but, owing to the exchange rate, actually come in at less than originally considered. On average, I don’t know if that realization helps or not. In the case of that $29,000 Audi, it didn’t as the car took home a narrow 56 percent Crack Pipe loss even when considered at its converted $22K in American money.
Speaking of America, is there anything more American than buying a Japanese car? There is? Oh well, let’s move on. In fact, let’s still take a look at this 1966 Datsun 411, a model that is one of Datsun/Nissan’s first wave of cars to play in the American market. Nissan introduced the Datsun brand in 1958 with initial sales that year confined to California. The brand expanded nationally the following year, selling a somewhat ragtag collection of Datsun cars and trucks and Nissan SUVs.
The 410/411 was derived from the Japanese market Bluebird and featured tidy Pininfarina styling and compact dimensions. Available in both sedan and wagon body styles, the car also served as the basis for the 520 pickup truck.
This 1966 411 wagon looks like it’s been around the block more than once. The bodywork suffers from only limited road rot, but features paint that might make you think otherwise. In addition to the mottled sky blue topcoat, the car offers some potentially faux business signage on the doors. Despite all that, there’s no denying the handsome Pininfarina styling beneath, nor that it works best in the longroof edition.
The seller claims the car to be “running and driving” with no major issues. Countering that, the ad does note a diff whine at speed, the need for a master cylinder rebuild, and some Alzheimers in the steering. There’s also a bit of rust on the rear rocker that should be addressed. That all seems to be the extent of the problems, however.
Making up for that is a litany of new parts, including a new wiring loom throughout and a refreshed interior. The 1.3-litre OVH four was rated at 71 horsepower out the gate and looks to sport a revised carb and air-cleaner. These engines are simple as a pimple and this one has seen some new parts to help keep it going for another half-century or longer.
Transmission duties here are handled by a four-speed manual—likely the same one that’s in my 240Z! That gets its instructions through a tall shifter which sits amid a nicely reupholstered interior. The brown vinyl throughout looks both tidy and era-appropriate. The Rising Sun flag headliner, on the other hand, may require some getting used to.
Back outside there’s a set of modern gold wheels that work well with the rest of the car. If you don’t concur, the original steel wheels and their center caps come along for the ride. The seller notes a number of additional parts as well. That should make getting the car home and sorting it out a lot of fun.
When you do get it home, you might want to remove the lowering blocks in the back. Yeah, it’s a sick look to drag your ass around like that, but it’s probably less than practical, especially if you’re carrying any sort of load.
The car comes with a clear title, however, it’s in the name of a previous owner, not that of the present seller. A bill of sale from each party does come along so that should be just a minor complication to getting it registered in your own name. Of course, you could just keep it in that previous owner’s name and after a while add to the pile by selling it with a third bill of sale.
Regardless of how you roll registration-wise, there’s definitely going to be the issue of cash that’s going to come up in any ownership switch of the car. The current asking is $4,500 and you now need to weigh in on whether or not that’s a good deal.
What do you think, is this Datsun worth that asking, patina’d presentation and all? Or, is $4,500 for a 411 just not the call you would make?
H/T to Who is the Leader for the hookup!
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