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Suggestions for a small/weird pickup truck? Datsun maybe?


KFunk
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OK, I hate to start another project.... but I need something thats a little more comfortable in the winter time than my Miata, and with a lot more utility.

I want something small, reliable, good mileage, cheap, old, and different. It'd occasionally haul a motorcycle if necessary, furniture, scuba gear, small engines, etc. I'd like to get my girlfriend involved in this project, and so it would be especially nice if it were 'cute.' She actually likes old truck better than cars, so this could be good.

I'd like to save some money and maybe pick up one by fall. We might be able to hook a trailer to her Subaru Outback and go for a road trip to pick one up.

At first I started looking for a Subaru Brat, but it seems like most of them have rusted back into the earth at this point. If I wanted, I could probably grab one for free if I excavated it from my buddy's backyard. I haven't gone back there in the woods to look for it, and doubt it would be worth even takin the machete out to go look.

Not to mention, Brats are ugly as hell (I like ugly, but the lady does not).

Other option is a VW Caddy. Seems like it would be perfect option, but a couple of my friends already have them (so its not that different). Also, they look pretty plain and dumb looking.

But now I'm thinking a Datsun might be quite nice... I'm just now starting to learn a little bit about them. I was thinkin of a 70's 521 or 620 if I can find one reasonable and nearby. I showed her a picture of a 521 one on craigslist, and she highly approved.

39016904001_large.jpg

But then I made the mistake of showing her what the 60's Datsun trucks look like, and she really liked that a lot more....

vintage-datsun-truck.jpg

I've already found a few reasonable ones thru the Jaxed sitemash, CL, etc., and dug thru a few forums for classified ads. This decision will have to hold off for a while we do research and save money, though.

Any ideas on other trucks I should look at? It seems that most domestic trucks are a lot bigger and too common. I haven't seen too many old toyotas that look interesting. A Mazda rotary truck would be cool... but probably not that practical...

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Be careful going down the "old, different, cute" road. It could be a huge money pit. Stay true to what your needs are. If your needs are a new project, then follow the signs towards the cute aisle.

Early Subaru's were similar to the OLD datsun pick up in the first set of pics. You could go for a utility bed. Not much comfort. Think about how far you'll be driving in the truck.

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Be careful going down the "old, different, cute" road. It could be a huge money pit. Stay true to what your needs are. If your needs are a new project, then follow the signs towards the cute aisle.

Early Subaru's were similar to the OLD datsun pick up in the first set of pics. You could go for a utility bed. Not much comfort. Think about how far you'll be driving in the truck.

Yeah... I'm aware of these conflicts. I want to stay in $500 to $2K range so its not too major of an investment, such that I would worry about its safety. I'm goin for driver quality (get that old thing off my lot-style), and not showroom quality. I figure it'll be a perpetual project just like my 02, as I'm OK with not everything being perfect. I've went the last 4 years with no speedometer or horn in my 02, and didn't even care (just fixed them this past weekend).

The biggest problem is that I want something to drive in winter, and I'd hate to do that with the nice 60's style Datsun. I'd hate to see it rust away quickly, just as my Miata is going. I'm wondering if there's a quick way I could blast the whole undercarriage with POR-15 or some other undercoating.

As for the regular bodywork, it could be good practice for doing a nice paintjob. I hate doing any paintwork (obvious if you've seen my 02), but for some reason my girlfriend loves the stuff. She's an artist, and she's got experience painting her dad's tractors. I'm not ready to turn her loose on the 02 yet, but an old truck might be fun.

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