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Suggested Serving: This 1971 Datsun 521 Flies In The Face Of The Giant Pickup

Suggested Serving: This 1971 Datsun 521 Flies In The Face Of The Giant Pickup

Small, compact, nimble, useful, competent, efficient…this little 1971 Datsun 521 has a lot going for it before you get into it’s classic Japanese appearance or it’s modest mini-truck appeal. I’m known to be partial to the 620, the bullet-side Datsun that followed the 521, but for the same reasons I like the later model truck, I like the earlier model truck, the sum of which can be determined with the adjectives I started out with. I’m a fan of little trucks like Datsuns, Toyotas, Ford Couriers, Chevrolet LUVs and Dodge D-50s…they are what I cut my teeth on driving. Small little trucks that nobody had a problem letting the kid loose with because it made nearly no power and most people didn’t really care what happened to them.

The L16 four isn’t going to set your world on fire, but at least the four-speed will make driving fun…it’s the same mill that was installed into the 510.  The interior is a mix of different ideas, but it isn’t trashed. The wheels and tires work for useable stock, the paint looks like a recent respray, and the yellow-tint headlights and removed bumpers clean up the look. A tune here, a tweak there and you’d either be a mini trucker’s best friend or would have the attention of the local JDM fanboys.

You would also have a very useful little truck on your hands that doesn’t suck.

Craigslist Link: 1971 Datsun 521

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9 thoughts on “Suggested Serving: This 1971 Datsun 521 Flies In The Face Of The Giant Pickup

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    It is a good basis for a small pro touring truck with a modern Nissan turbo 4 cylinder motor.

  2. Gary

    I love mini pickups! I’ve had a V-8 LUV, a V-8 Courrier, and now, the Holy Grail, a V-8 Arrow pickup. Great liitle toys!

  3. BigDogSS

    I’ve owned a Datsun 521 and Dodge D50. Great trucks, 521 –> Brakes sucked and ride was very harsh. D50 –> it was pretty quick with the 2600cc engine and a little better.

  4. bob

    I worked at a place that had one of those. Slowest, most under powered vehicle I ever drove. The owner of this one should have put dual exhaust on it, then you could use it as a wheel barrow.

  5. don seamans

    The auto industry always takes what is great and makes it longer, wider and heavier (and more profitable). Remember when mini vans were mini and not land barges. Old Ford Rangers are much sought after vehicles all these years later. They surely didn\’t cost like the new ones at over $40,000.

  6. Threedoor

    A friend of mine had one. We swapped an 80s Nissan four (2.2l? I don’t remember) and a five speed into it and it was a lot of fun after that managed to squeeze four of us into it a time or two, all of us being over 6’.

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