1971 Datsun 1200 Coupe 2 door hatchback 1.2L from North America


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.

General Comments:

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 :(

1978 Datsun 1200 1.2 from Guatemala


Tough, but not for me


Acquired in payment of a debt. Recently (crappy) painted before acquiring it, no door seals, paint is already falling apart.

Electric problem (poor wiring), keeps blowing fuses and coils.

Rain comes in through floor (corroded).

Gauges are not working.

Replaced auxiliary brake pumps.

Replace auxiliary clutch pump.

General Comments:

I accepted the car with the intention of using it as a daily commuter, but whatever I do, I can only use it once or twice, and then it goes bad again.

I usually bring my wife with me, and she seems really uncomfortable in the vehicle, which makes me feel bad too, so I have decided to sell it. I just hope I get at least the original price back.

Overall it's a good car. Being a classic, you get people's attention everywhere, which is no longer funny when you're stranded.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 27th July, 2012

1970 Datsun 1200 1.1 from North America




Went through several had gaskets. Engine finally blew at 76000 miles and was replaced.

General Comments:

Bought the car in 1970, and kept it until 1981. What a fun car to drive; great handling, economical, sporty and fast. Great for darting in and out traffic, quite simply put, a great car. Would love to find another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th October, 2010

8th Oct 2010, 17:20

This was a very popular car in Singapore, where they were used by most driving schools to teach people how to drive, replacing the ubiquitous Morris Minors, which were then getting on in age.

They were compact, easily placed on the road, had a sweet clutch/gear change and were frugal on petrol.

Shame that this practical design was replaced by the horrid 120Y/B210 from late 1973. Although the 120Y/B210 used carried over mechanicals, they just weren't the same, as they were fussily styled and detailed, and garish to look at.