PCH, Japanese Pickup Edition: 1966 Toyota or 1962 Datsun?

Illustration for article titled PCH, Japanese Pickup Edition: 1966 Toyota or 1962 Datsun?

The net-worth-eliminating cost of Porsche parts trumps the inherent unreliability of the Triumph V8, according to the readers who participated in Friday's Choose Your Eternity poll (though the margin was as thin as the cylinder walls in the Triumph's engine, with a 54% to 46% margin of victory for the German). If it had been based entirely on engine sound, there's no way even a Porsche six could have won, of course. But that was then! This is now! And now means we get to dive into Ancient Japanese Pickup Hell, with a pair of little trucks from the very early days of the Japanese import invasion vying for your love/fear.

We all know that Toyota pickup trucks attained legend status by the late 1980s, being perhaps the most reliable motor vehicles ever sold, et freakin' cetera. But how about showing some love for the earlier Toyota trucks, from back when they were still sorting out that whole build-quality thing and Toyotas were just plain cheap? Like, say, this here 1966 Toyota Stout pickup, which could be yours for just 800 Oregon dollars? Come on, it's impossible to resist a vehicle named the Stout! Imagine telling your friends: "I'll come by and pick you up in the Stout!" Sadly, this particular example might be more aptly referred to as the Malnourished, registering pretty high on the Beater-O-Meter. The seller doesn't offer up a lot of details about condition, but volunteers that perhaps some TLC will make it run. We're guessing rust is a factor, too. But hey, it's got a column shift transmission and it's been "undercover" for several years, no doubt as part of a witness relocation program.

Blah, blah, Toyota trucks, blah blah. Yeah, you're sick and tired of hearing about Toyota trucks and how they'll still be around long after the planet's last multicellular organism has long since perished. In that case, you need a vintage Datsun pickup, and what could be better than a virtually prehistoric 1962 Datsun 1200 truck? 1962! When's the last time you saw a Japanese vehicle that old in the United States? This one will cost you 450 more Oregon dollars than the Stout, but check out that styling! It's been in storage since 1994, so you can go ahead and count on a cornucopia of shrunken seals and fuel-system components fouled with petroleum decay products, but at least it seems fairly complete. It's going to be a challenge to find parts for this thing, and the pain of that challenge is inversely proportional to the number of components shared with later Datsun vehicles. We're pretty sure there will be some bits that can only be found in a Taliban parts warehouse near the Pakistani border, but that's what machine shops and large stacks of $100 bills are for!


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That Datsun is no challenge. If you want true Datsun pickup Hell try this one:


One slightly crumpled corner, "minor rust", windshield has been busted out for some unknown amount of time, been sitting long enough for the weeds to grow up around it. And best of all a later 5-10 drivetrain, so you get to worry if that install was done right, and what the heck year the drivetrain is.

THAT is Datsun pickup hell. And I'd buy it if I had the space.