Hooniverse Truck Thursday – A Rare 1964 Datsun NL320 Sport Pickup on eBay

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Hooniverse Truck Thursday – A Rare 1964 Datsun NL320 Sport Pickup on eBay

Welcome to Hooniverse Truck Thursday, and for today, I uncovered a very rare pickup. This is a 1964 Datsun NL320 Sport Pickup, which is one of only 1,000 ever produced. The NL320 featured unibody construction, which meant the cab and bed are one piece, and the doors are approximately 2 inches longer than the standard Datsun L320. Its back half was, of course, greatly different than the standard model L320, with its traditional pickup bolt-on bed. There is even a web site that offers more information on these trucks appropriately named Datsun320.com. So, let’s discover this rare and wonderful little truck…

Apparently the Datsun L320 and the NL320 pickup trucks were produced between 1961 thru 1965 and were replaced with the 1965 520 model pickup. The NL320 series was only produced between 1963 and 1965. All 320s came equipped with a column mounted 4-speed stick, and were powered by a 1200cc “E1” engine that produced 60 HP. The engine was slightly different throughout the production cycle of these trucks, which is fascinating, but that’s not the point of this posting.

This is…. a rare 1964 model that is still registered and roadworthy, running around the state of Vermont. According to the listing:

Rust-free body. 70% – 80% original paint. Nice chrome and bright-work. Great glass. Original floor mat in nice shape! Hand-crank starter behind the seat. Factory parcel shelf behind the seat. Original seat has a fabric cover on the bottom portion. Radio delete panel still in place. No modifications. Bone stock.

Starts in seconds every time with two pumps of the accelerator and a bit of choke. Even after sitting for a month or two. Runs/drives/stops/steers/shifts A1. Everything works as it should except the heater/defroster which the PO disconnected. The 4-speed on the column shift is actually a joy to drive using the top three gears most of the time with your fingertips doing the gearchange.! First gear is extra low and non-synchro. Great for hills or when getting started carrying a load. The truck can haul a 1/2 ton easily. The gears are deep but it still handles traffic quite well and is a brisk performer off the line.

The truck shows 57,000 miles, has new tires, and has never seen snow or ice. The top bid right now is $4,100 with an unmet reserve. I have a feeling that this Vermont Datsun will soon be going back to California, or back to its birthplace at a price that is much dearer than this. What is your prediction as to the final price? Did you even know a truck like this was even produced? (I didn’t) See the eBay listing here.

By |2011-09-22T09:00:06+00:00September 22nd, 2011|For Sale, Hooniverse Truck Thursday|18 Comments

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  1. muthalovin September 22, 2011 at 9:15 am - Reply

    A pretty rad pickup. I am impressed it could haul half a ton.

    • dukeisduke September 22, 2011 at 9:52 am - Reply

      Are we sure it's not just a figure of speech? As in, it won't haul "a ton of stuff", but only half of that?

      • muthalovin September 22, 2011 at 9:54 am - Reply

        I like it. "Oh sure, lets load it up, it will haul half a ton of stuff!"

  2. skitter September 22, 2011 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Even though it might be awkward to move a couch, I still want one.

  3. dukeisduke September 22, 2011 at 9:50 am - Reply

    What makes it a sport pickup? The snazzy whitewalls?

    • James September 22, 2011 at 10:44 am - Reply

      I believe the fact that the bed and cab are a single piece.
      Datsun also sold a model with a separate bed. A much more utilitarian looking bed, looked like an afterthought.
      I had a chance to buy a nice green 320 (non sport) many years ago for $250. It was cute. I was a huge Datsun fan, the price was right. But even at 6' tall, I was too large to drive it comfortably so I passed. Oh how I wish I had grabbed it and socked it away.

  4. Alff September 22, 2011 at 9:54 am - Reply

    So they went straight from 320 to 520? Later Datsun designs would suggest that it took about another decade to get back to 420.

  5. nofrillls September 22, 2011 at 10:19 am - Reply

    "A brisk performer off the line."
    "Hand crank starter behind the seat"
    I suspect the seller is as interesting as the vehicle itself.

  6. dukeisduke September 22, 2011 at 10:24 am - Reply

    The taillights remind me of the Chevy/GMC Cameo pickups of the mid '50s.

  7. LTDScott September 22, 2011 at 11:25 am - Reply

    I'm surprised that I haven't seen any "Double cab" trucks imported over from Japan. I think they're really cool.
    <img src="http://www.earlydatsun.com/datsunu220.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://www.autowp.ru/pictures/datsun_nissan/1300_pickup/autowp.ru_datsun_1300_pickup_2.jpg&quot; width=500>
    <img src="http://images.wikia.com/tractors/images/b/b2/Datsun_620_622.JPG&quot; width=500>

    • FЯeeMan September 23, 2011 at 8:03 am - Reply

      Those aren't "double cab trucks", those are sedans without trunk lids!
      Wow, never knew such beasties existed…

      • ZomBee Racer September 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm - Reply

        Aren't they cool? Believe it or not, they are all actually on truck chassis es!
        I was once under the mistaken impression that the 520 pickups and 411 sedans used same bodypanels because they look virtually identical at a glance. I went to check out a parts truck and was surprised how much bigger the 520 was when compared side by side, which dashed my hopes of finding an alternative source for my broken windshield (7 years and counting). Not even close.
        The 311/320 series sedans & trucks may be closer, but the underpinnings are still quite different.

  8. ZomBee Racer September 22, 2011 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    As an early Datsun nerd an NL320 has long been on my short list of vehicles I must own. I've had the chance to buy several regular L320s but am holding out for the right Sports version. That and a bigger garage/driveway/lottery jackpot.
    About the only thing I can think of that is even rarer is the V320, which is the "van" derivative of these trucks. And the ultimate hen's tooth would be the panel-wagon version. I have old Nissan brochures in Japanese that show it in the product lineup, but I've only seen photos of one or two actual vehicles in years of searching. (Hell, they may even be the same truck!)
    Interesting factoid: There were at least two E1 engines, which were completely different from each other. The Japanese at the time had a LONG way to go for documenting, error-checking and keeping track of things for future reference, which resulted in much of what is known today being at least 50% wrong, 50% conflicting and 50% completely made up. This makes even the most basic parts hunting an adventure and no part books can be 100% trusted.
    Plus, most of the Nissan "history websites" out there just copy each other's stories, all parroting what some guy wrote in Australia that might not be true in other countries. Thus, all the early-Datsun internet nerds have figured out EXACTLY how it was but no two actually agree. It's an exercise in futility.
    The vehicles however were all pretty cool.
    <img src="http://pds.exblog.jp/pds/1/201009/25/38/e0201938_16434090.jpg&quot; width="600">
    <img src="http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/mm219/ddgonzal/Datsun%20Misc/Bluebird/V320/1.jpg"&gt;
    <img src="http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/mm219/ddgonzal/Datsun%20Misc/Bluebird/V320/2.jpg"&gt;

  9. Greg Childs January 2, 2013 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    Hi guys – Greg from datsun320.com here.
    I own an NL320 as well, and just to help clarify a couple things I saw here… there were actually FOUR variations of the E1 engine, which was a pretty direct copy of the Austin/Morris B-series engines. They did have a hand crank (which stowed behind the seat), and acceleration in 1st gear was pretty brisk, considering the 5-something-to-1 rear end ratio… True "granny gear"! All but 1st gear had full synchros, which was rare for that time, and the 320's were a true half-ton pickup. The small size and "dainty" appearance hides a beefy frame and stout suspension.
    The NL320 has a 6" longer cab, which is nice for people over 6' tall (like me). I don't exactly fit in a L320, but the NL is comfortable.
    If you get a chance to find and rescue one of these, you won't regret it. They have a ton of personality, and they're getting rarer by the minute!
    Best wishes, Hooniversians!

  10. Alex July 2, 2013 at 2:17 am - Reply

    Nice car. Shop for nice car http://www.zipport.tu

  11. Alex July 2, 2013 at 2:18 am - Reply

    Site for car http://www.zipport.ru

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