1977 Datsun 120Y 1.2 from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap reliability


A couple of flat tires caused by doubling up as a bash car.

Drivers side seat gave in.

Normal rips, tears and cracks in the dash and seats.

Universal joint blew at 400,000 km's.

General Comments:

Great reliable car, has often held up to 10 people!

Not a crazy performance car, but a good farm hauler.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th April, 2001

29th Apr 2001, 03:31

"Thinner bodywork than paint". That's what we say in England.

1st May 2001, 14:15

"Thinner bodywork than paint"?, well, yeah but it don't stop them being ultra reliable, ours is 21yrs old and never broke down. (JS - Birmingham)

6th May 2002, 22:55

My Datsun 120y still performs very well, its got a sports exhaust system on it so it's a bit louder than average, but has given it considerable power & acceration improvements.

I've even got the poor thing to 150k/h without too much trouble, but won't go over it. I love my beast.

9th Nov 2005, 10:53

""Thinner bodywork than paint". That's what we say in England."

Thicker than the Bacofoil that my neighbour's old Vauxhall Chevette is made out of!

1977 Datsun 120Y Coupe 1.4 from Australia and New Zealand


A great first car


Original 1.2 motor had no power, started blowing blue smoke. Probably needed valve stem seals.

Hitachi carb had a warped top. Seeped excess air into the mixture.

Vinyl seats have tears and cracks. Stuffing falls out the back onto the floor.

Cracked dashboard (typical of the period).

Tachometer is inaccurate (reads too high).

Car gets hot at constant highway speed or even at slow speed on hot days, but has never officially overheated on me.

Rust in the corners of the doors, quarters, and roof (originally had a vinyl roof so it trapped water underneath).

General Comments:

The original carb was completely stuffed so I replaced it with downdraught weber from a Cortina. Works heaps better, but had to downsize the jets because it was getting too much fuel.

When the A12 motor began to drink oil I replaced it with an A14. It now has bags more power and better economy because it's not having to work so hard.

Car gets hot so I fitted a thermo-fan, but this has not made much difference. I hear that a Gemini radiator is the perfect swap, it has the hoses in the right places, and once you have done this conversion it never gets hot.

There isn't much leg room in this car even in the front. Very uncomfortable.

They have the worst body roll in any car I've ever driven, but handle OK. Can be quite frightening for the passengers though.

Will beat Falcons and Commodores up hills - no joke.

I've never had any problems with this car except for general wear and tear and that godforsaken rust that all Datsuns seem to be plagued with.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2001

7th Oct 2010, 09:38

Those 1200 4 cylinders will bet 4L V8s? Hard to believe. Even on hills. Yes they are light, but they are ridiculously underpowered, and before you hit the top of that hill, your Dato overheated!

21st Sep 2012, 06:01

Ford Falcons blow head gaskets like they're going out of style. If anything is going to overheat, it will be the Ford.