’69 Datsun Pick-up

The only surviving shot of the “Sun”

This was another one of my rescue projects, purchased for $100 with a blown engine. The body was as straight as the day it came from the factory (a miracle for a truck that was more than 10-years old when I bought it) and every thing was there and working, except the motor of course. Didn’t really have anything in mind when I towed it home but as things evolved, I ended up pulling the lump and transmission out and selling them for twice what I bought the truck for and putting the money towards a nice Capris V-6 and transmission I snapped up at the local bone yard for $300 or so, quite a deal at the time.

For those not familiar with Mercury’s experiment into small performance sedans, these particular motors were very compact and could be readily built up into a real powerhouse. The combination fit into the Datsun’s engine bay nearly like it was born to be there. The rest of this build was relatively straight forward. The torsion bar front suspension made dropping the front end easy and pulling a leaf from the springs in the rear brought the back end down to level. Paint and body were also a breeze – all that was needed was to sand it down, prime and apply the two-tone paint. The interior was done with all new seats, carpets, and obligatory stereo.

When it was all done, it was a real tire burner. Ahead of its time in that department. The little Datsun quickly became my daily driver, it was just fun to drive. One day I was coming out of the office where I worked and there was a young guy standing next to the ‘Sun’ admiring it. He asked me if it was for sale and said it was not. He persisted asking, “If you were to sell it, how much would you ask?” Thinking the only way I was going to end the conversation was giving him a number, I made it a big one, figuring no one would be that ridiculous. Boy was I surprised when he whipped out his check book!

I signed over the title and called Paula for a ride home. First and only time I’ve ever done that. I still like that truck.