1974 Datsun 120Y Reviews

1974 Datsun 120Y 1.3L from Australia and New Zealand

Model year1974
Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 1.3L Manual
Performance marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired80000 kilometres
Most recent distance112402 kilometres

Summary:

Most reliable, economic car ever made

General Comments:

I'm 19, and a 1974 120y was and still is my first car. My dad, being a mechanic, gave me the car when I got my license. Personally I don't think there will ever be cars as good as the 120y. 3 years back I had trouble with over heating, and I had the radiator core replaced, and it's never been better. I also have a spare water pump, but I haven't needed to replace that yet.

Mine has the A13 motor with a alloy head, and it performs beautifully. It does have good low end torque and performs exceptionally for a 1.3L carby. However on the freeway in fourth it revs quite hard, so fuel consumption doubles with freeway driving.

Few months ago, I could hear a knocking in the rear, it was the rear axle bearings, so my dad and I replaced them. It was a very difficult job, the old bearings had to be cut off with an angle grinder, and we then pressed the new ones on. The front tie rod ends were also replaced.

The car is quite small in the rear, however it wasn't made for a family. One minor issue mine has is the headlight fuse always blows, and now I have spotlights on it, it blows more often, every month or so.

With petrol prices 140c or thereabouts these days, my car from empty costs about $38 to fill. Which means it's less than a 30 litre tank, and it achieves 450km on average off one tank of fuel. AMAZING fuel economy.

I've also since put a nice head-unit under the glove box, 6" & 6x9" speakers, so my Datsun 120y is a great everyday car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th May, 2006

29th Aug 2006, 06:50

Presumably a larger headlight fuse is required ;-)

1974 Datsun 120Y Coupe 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership1983
Most recent year of ownership1986
Engine and transmission 1.2 petrol Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired54000 miles
Most recent distance78000 miles

Summary:

Cheap and reliable small car

Faults:

Was already starting to rust when I bought it.

By the time it was 12 years old, rust got the better of it and it headed to the scrapyard.

General Comments:

Mechanicals were faultlessly reliable, but its rusty bodywork let it down and killed it off before its time.

With just a 1.2 petrol engine the 120Y didn't have much in the way of performance, but its fuel economy was hard to beat.

Was a bargain at £390 for a low mileage nine year old small car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2006

1974 Datsun 120Y 1.2 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.2 petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired89000 kilometres
Most recent distance120000 kilometres
Previous carDatsun stanza

Summary:

Very reliable fun car

Faults:

Acclerator cable broke, fuel cap leaked, leaks from gearbox, seats and dash cracked and broke away.

General Comments:

The car was in average condition when I bought it, came home fix it up and little , eg. spark plugs, airfilter etc., after that it was thrashed for the next 2 years of it life and not a thing gone wrong with the engine, very very reliable little car and great fun to drive also makes a good car to do up because of the mean looking shape of the body.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th July, 2004

1974 Datsun 120Y Coupe 1.2 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 1.2 petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired154000 miles
Most recent distance155000 miles
Previous carFord Laser

Summary:

A great car turning classic

Faults:

Carburettor had problems.

Paint is peeling on bonnet.

Seats have started tearing.

General Comments:

Car had bad body roll, but after being replaced with Monroe Shocks it is 100% better.

Having an old lady has owned having the car since 1976 the 120y is in the most original and best condition I have seen so far.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th February, 2004

1974 Datsun 120Y Coupe A 1.4 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.4 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired965300 kilometres
Most recent distance985300 kilometres
Previous carHolden Commodore

Summary:

Economical beast

Faults:

Front suspension springs failed.

Original engine A12 was gutless, so I replaced it with a A14.

Was originally automatic, converted it to manual, put in 5-speed sunny gearbox.

Front seats extremely uncomfortable.

General Comments:

120ys are truly a strong car, unlike new cars these days which seem like they are made out of tin foil. After I replaced the engine and box I found the car to be much quicker and economical especially with 5-gear.

Seats became extremely uncomfortable on long trips so I replaced with 1985 Honda Accord seats.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st May, 2003

Average review marks: 7.1 / 10, based on 7 reviews