For $9,900, Is This 1979 Datsun-Based Chinook Totally Trippy?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Chinook camper is offering it for sale WHILE IN THE MIDDLE OF USING IT FOR A VACATION. Let’s see if that, and its price, means he needs a little more time off.

If you’re someone you likes to get noticed then yesterday’s 1988 Mercedes Benz 240GD, with its matte neon orange paint and inescapable presence is definitely the car for you. Unfortunately for its seller, 68 percent of you couldn’t see paying $28,000 for it and it fell in a Crack Pipe loss.


You know, that’s too bad seeing as the Atlantic hurricane season will soon be upon us, which means having a vehicle of such legendary prowess to ford flooded streets and battle against the winds would be of significant advantage.

Or, you could just pack up and leave before the first raindrop hits your cheek like a tear of regret.

Should you take that option of flight instead of fight, you might just want something on the order of this cool 1979 Datsun 620-based Chinook Class B Mini Motorhome. in which to flee. Not only will it let you get out of Dodge, but it will do so with some classic style and some semblance of the comforts of home tagging along.


Back in the day, Trail Wagons Inc., out of Orange California, took advantage of the ‘70s gas crisis to carve out a niche building smaller, more fuel efficient motorhomes such as today’s Chinnok. Typically based off of a small Japanese pickup truck platform, they oftentimes even included a manual transmission because who doesn’t enjoy a little row-yer-own when you’re home?


This one is just so fitted, with what looks to be a five-speed operated via a tall stick mid-cabin. That should be attached an L20B SOHC four, a carbureted 1,952 cc engine that the factory said was capable of 110 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of twist, and which should be pretty drama free.

How does all of that work? Well apparently just fine since the seller’s Craigslist ad strangley alternates between promoting the RV to sell, and Instagramming his trip throughout New England in it. Dufuq? Oh, and he’s also shilling some self-published book on Amazon that has photos of the Chinook’s restoration. I have to admit, I hate this new Gig Economy.


I mean, it’s not just me, right? That is pretty weird. This is perhaps the most un-self-consciously weird Craigslist ad I’ve ever seen that doesn’t involve meeting someone behind a gas station for sex. And before you ask, don’t ask.


What we can glean about the Chinook without having to drop three bucks on his book is that it was originally an Arizona truck, “where vehicles don’t rust” and that the seller undertook its restoration a little less than a decade ago.

That restoration converted the RV into something a little less sophisticated than your typical factory Chinook and I’ll just let the ad’s words fill in the blanks:

No appliances, no tables, no toilets.. Just a queen-sized grand sleeping coach, or picnic wagon—best suited for minimalists, vagabonds, or restaurant campers: red steel Coleman cooler, red Primus propane cookstove, 6 gallon water containers. Perc your coffee. Solar shower included... Camping is camping :)


Okay, so it’s a little primitive, but at least you’ll have a place to sleep and the ability to express your inner exhibitionist by showering outside in front of everybody. Your mom will be so proud. The truck comes with just 104,000 miles on the clock, but the seller’s adding to those as he samples all the seafood New England has to offer. I have to admit, dammit those fried clams do look pretty dang tasty.


It’s said to show some signs of age and use, and the interior would benefit from the removal of all the current owner’s personal detritus. On the plus side, it does come with a safe. Does your car come with a safe? No? I didn’t think so.

The asking price is $9,900 and the seller says he’s willing to deliver the RV anywhere in New England or New York—anyplace with “New” in its name. You folks in New Mexico might be SOL though.


What’s your take on this rare Datsun-based Chinook, it’s weird-ass ad, and that $9,900 price? Does that all add up for a win in today’s vote? Or, like the protagonist of a 1970s TV adventure, will this Chinook just need to move on to another town?


You decide!


Cape Cod, MA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Fauxshizzle for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.