Rare 1965 Datsun Truck Spent 35 Years in a Barn, Engine Refuses To Die

You don't hear much about Datsun nowadays, but the Japanese brand that became famous for the 240Z built quite a few interesting and unique cars back in the day. The 320, a mini pickup truck from the 1960s, is one of them.
1965 Datsun 320 truck 6 photos
Photo: Restored/YouTube
1965 Datsun 320 truck1965 Datsun 320 truck1965 Datsun 320 truck1965 Datsun 320 truck1965 Datsun 320 truck
Datsun began making trucks in 1934 when it introduced the Type 13. But the series that the 320 is part of debuted in 1955 and remained in production under various names until 1997. The final generation, also known as the D21 or the 720, was actually sold by Nissan as the first-generation Navara.

The compact truck you're looking at, essentially an ancestor to the more iconic Navara was produced from 1961 to 1965 in Japan and Thailand. Datsun offered the 320 in four different configurations, including a panel van, all powered by the 1.2-liter E-1 four-cylinder engine. This mill was also used in the Bluebird and Fairlady.

The 320 is by no means a famous vehicle, but it's the kind of truck that you won't see in the U.S. anytime soon. Only a few of them crossed the pond from Japan back in the day and this 1965 example recently featured by YouTube's "Restored" is the only one I've seen in quite a few years.

The truck spent about 35 years in a barn and as a result, it was no longer running and had a few rust issues. But it looked totally salvageable so the folks over at "Restored" took it back to the shop to get it running and driving again.

That's a tough mission after more than three decades off the road, but these guys knew what they're doing so the Datsun's four-cylinder engine eventually agreed to fire up. Not only that, but it had just enough grunt left to take the old pickup truck on its first drive in 35 years.

Granted, the Datsun 320 is not the most valuable classic out there, but it's a unique and cute automobile that deserves a second chance at life. Hopefully, this little truck will haul again with a restored body and engine and a new paint job. Meanwhile, let's see it struggle to come back to life in the video below.

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About the author: Ciprian Florea
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Ask Ciprian about cars and he'll reveal an obsession with classics and an annoyance with modern design cues. Read his articles and you'll understand why his ideal SUV is the 1969 Chevrolet K5 Blazer.
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