It’s easy to wrap automotive desires in the prophecy of a V8-powered roadtrip. Yet, when reality crashes the party, our imagery is forcibly diversified by the contents of our bank balance. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
There are loads of DIY-friendly classic cars for sale within the boundaries of budget. Reaffirm your automotive endeavour with hefty realism and you’ll stumble across a retro gem offering more than just cruising ability – underrated machines like this 1977 Datsun 200SX S10.
Rolling out the factory in December 1976, this first year ‘77 Datsun may not radiate the grunt of Chevrolet’s Camaro or the styling of a Charger, but neither does it offer fuel consumption of the USS Enterprise.
Furthermore, when it boils down to real slices of nostalgia, chances are your parents, first partner or best friend didn’t travel round in a Corvette Stingray; contrary to Hollywood’s image of the 1970s. They would have had something like this.
Small, humble imports generate more nostalgic pangs than any pedigree-stuffed muscle car. Granted, the modest 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine may crank out the same gusto as a modern lawnmower, but this was how we lived. Unless your second name was Trump.
Back when Diana Ross stalked music sales and bouffant hair was the order of the day, it wasn’t the Jaguar XKE or the Ferrari GTO spotted on the streets. Rather, little Datsuns and their ilk took over the neighbourhood. Affordable and dependable, sadly with time’s onward march nearly all of them have been recycled or run into the ground.
It took the current owner of this 1977 example no-less than three years to track the perfect example down as so few remain. Retaining its three-speed automatic gearbox, original radio, black interior, and air conditioning system, the acquired S10 was the real deal.
Having lived in Southern Oregon all its life, the 42-year old Datsun remains well preserved and has only had three owners. There’s no major rust and the mechanicals continue to boast steadfast Japanese reliability.
The interior isn’t perfect, with window strips missing and slight tears on the seat fabric, but trim shouldn’t prove difficult to source. The heated rear window has ceased functioning due to perished glue on the metal brackets, but the seller has confirmed that this will be repaired before a sale is agreed.
So, it’s cheap to run, utterly retro and rare enough to vaunt serious exclusivity. The Datsun isn’t fast and certainly won’t buy you street cred, but for turning heads and reliving a decade so often penalised for styling woes, nothing comes close for only $6500. Get a closer look here.
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