1973 Custom Datsun Sunny
The Datsun Sunny Truck was a simple, durable, and useful light-duty pickup, designed for the Japanese Market. Through its near quarter-century of production, it remaining largely unchanged throughout its production. These utilitarian mini trucks were built as city-friendly workhorses designed to tackle anything thrown its way. The simplistic styling is timeless and grows better with each passing year. While factory is good, custom is freedom, and this example first-generation example doesn't disappoint. Introduced in 1971 the B120 was based on the B110 passenger car chassis. The B120 used the same wheelbase and running gear of the Datsun 1200 sedans of the same time making stock parts rather easy to source. Right out of the gate you'll immediately note that this car is not what originally came from the Datsun factory in '73. Custom coilovers have the front end dropped around 5" while a 3" drop block paired with 2" drop leafs handle the back end. As many have noticed we're big fans of slammed cars around here at Classics however, everyone knows it's not just about the height, the wheels are what complete the look. Proper, vintage, 14" Hayashi Streets with stretched 155 front 165 rear have the Sunny sitting perfect. Just low enough to turn heads at any car show, yet tall enough to drive it there. The factory white paint is in excellent shape and helps to carry the two-tone scheme throughout the entire truck. The early generation trucks came with the classic metal grill which is complemented by a hakosuka style lower valence. Most all of the brightwork shows great like the correct bullet-style fender mirrors and trim, however, the front bumper does show it's age with some pitting. The body itself is in remarkable shape considering these were designed to be throw away work vehicles. A new spray-in bed liner was laid down partly for looks, but largely to ensure that the bed stayed in as good of condition as it currently is. A keen eye will also notice that all of the factory bed tie-down hooks have been shaved to a more streamlined look. At the end of the day, there's no denying that this truck looks cool from every angle.
The interior follows the same theme as the body, subtle enhancements that make a profound statement. The original low back style black vinyl seats make for an unobstructed view right through the cockpit which is uncharacteristic in this day and age. While the seats have held up reasonably well they're not perfect. The passenger seat has a separation along the seat bottom and there is an opening at the top of both seats from where the factory headrest was removed. The flimsy factory wheel was replaced in favor of a much nicer (and matching) Nardi Turino. The vintage Datsun wooden shift knob looks right at home next to your left leg. Due to the humble origins of these, a tachometer was a rather uncommon factory option. Due to that, a nice period-correct Omoni tach was fitted in its place which is a great addition due to the performance upgrades. The only new, and slightly out of place upgrade, is the Carrozzeria head unit located in the glovebox so it out of sight for all intents and purpose. The radio does the function and has the main kill switch located on the face of the glove box that you can catch in the photos. While generally sparse the cabin of the Sunny is really surprisingly nice. It takes you back to the simpler times when we didn't need all the complicated electronics that break and plastics that fade.
Under the hood is the monster Datsun called the A12. The little 1.2L made around 70hp in stock trim, so naturally, that had to be changed. A very hard to find, and extremely pricey, set of dual Solex side draft carburetors. The carbs give the truck a wild sound under load, unlike any of the previous ones we've sold. The other reason for that comes from the long tube headers paired with a full custom exhaust. It makes all of the awesome mechanical sounds that you want to hear in an old racecar. An aluminum catch-can helps to assist in keeping the A12 running well. The capable 1200cc will get you up to highway speeds and handles better than you would anticipate with such a simple suspension design. The upgraded coilovers upfront offer a much more stable ride than what came out of the factory. The lowering blocks and springs out back do make it a bit stiff, but what would expect with such a drop. To help tie together the suspension an aftermarket strut tower brace runs atop the engine bay. The brakes on the Sunny are more than capable for the light little truck and offer ample pedal feel. The 4-speed shifts with ease and the little 1.2 liter is rather rev-happy. Kicking around town in it is a blast, and with its current modifications it turns heads absolutely everywhere it goes. Due to the 5 digit odometer the mileage could not be verified,it's currently reading 36K miles. With its iconic styling and more than capable drivetrain these are the perfect all-around truck. Whether your excuse is that you need something to make dump runs or you simply want a slammed turn-key show stopper, the Sunny has you covered.
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.