1971 Datsun 1200 Coupe 2 door hatchback 1.2L
So simple, fun, practical, unbelievable, need to build it again
In 6 years had to replace: Fuel pump, muffler and tailpipe, head gasket, rear diff. pinion seal, points and plugs.
Best car for the money I've ever owned. Would buy another one just like it right now if still available. Simple, cheap, and fast.
Would run over 100 MPH very easy, with four adults. Had a 2 barrel carb. and would outrun any Ford Pinto or Vega, or any other small car out there. I raced any that would, and never even got close to losing. Would smoke the tires off in first and second gear. Also only held 10 gallons of fuel, but would get 42 MPG highway with A/C. Had the A/C added at the dealership after purchase. Would drive 92 miles to visit my brother, and it would hold 2 gallons of fuel. Hard to believe, but I documented every mile. That's with points and leaded fuel. No emissions or fuel injection or fancy electronics.
Only paid $1,600.00 brand new, out the door. Then $400.00 for the A/C a couple of years later. Was only 16 and working at Western Auto after school for 35.00 a week.
I drove this car like a race car every time I got into it. The little 4 speed trans. and clutch were bullet proof. Should have broke a thousand times, but was amazingly redundant. Was 15 when I started driving it. Times were different in the 70s.
Was just like driving a go cart with a car body. Had 12" tires and wheels, reclining bucket seats, as well as the rear seat would fold down for more luggage space. Very sporty looking with side vents, and small enough to wash and dry in 30 minutes, which I did about every other day.
I could go on forever about how much fun this car was, and I have owned many new ones since. My next car was a new 1977 Trans Am, but none as enjoyable as the Datsun.
Just as I started out this review, I would buy another one just like it today, if it were available. Never will be anything so simple and practical ever again.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th August, 2018
11th Aug 2018, 12:21
I was driving some pretty potent cars myself the same year you bought this in 1971. I wish I could have had a place to store them til now. Had the exact same passion as your review.
12th Aug 2018, 03:43
Datsun had great quality. Nissan's track record is less impressive - particularly after Renault bought them :(