North American sales of small Japanese pickups got stronger with each passing year of the 1970s, helped along by ridiculous gasoline prices. The Toyota Hilux of that era (which became, simply, the Toyota Truck over here) gets most of the attention now, but the rugged Nissan 620 (known as the Datsun Pickup in North America) sold as well as or better than the Hilux for much of the decade. Here’s a ’76 Datsun Pickup, retired in Colorado after 44 years of hard work.

Junkyard Gem: 1976 Datsun 620 Pickup

This wouldn’t even count as rust on an old Japanese vehicle in New Hampshire or Iowa.

Junkyard Gem: 1976 Datsun 620 Pickup

Someone bought this truck a few more years of useful life by swapping in some semi-modern bucket seats.

Junkyard Gem: 1976 Datsun 620 Pickup

How many miles? I’m going to guess the total came to 298,773, but I could be off by a couple of hundred thousand miles.

Junkyard Gem: 1976 Datsun 620 Pickup

Nissan squeezed plenty of value out of the L-series overhead-cam I4 and I6 engines, which evolved from license-built Mercedes-Benz engines built by Prince in the 1960s. Datsun 510s and 280Zs ran the L, as did the rear-wheel-drive Nissan Maximas later on. This truck has an L20B of 1,952cc displacement.

Junkyard Gem: 1976 Datsun 620 Pickup

Datsun 620s with automatic transmissions do exist, but nearly all of these trucks came with four-on-the-floor manual transmissions.

Junkyard Gem: 1976 Datsun 620 Pickup

The steering-column ignition switch and/or lock must have failed at some point. Perhaps the final owner of this truck started it by twisting wires together.

Junkyard Gem: 1976 Datsun 620 Pickup

I still find these trucks during my junkyard adventures, because pickup trucks remain useful for many decades and owners keep them alive as long as possible.

Junkyard Gem: 1976 Datsun 620 Pickup

The 720 replaced the 620 for the 1980 model year in North America, shedding the Datsun name after 1983.

Just the truck for a Nebraska chemical salesman.

The Canadian version of Clint Eastwood pitched the 620 up north.





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