1971 Datsun 521 Pickup

Introduced in 1966 as the successor to the 320 Series, the Datsun 520 and 521 trucks were mechanically quite similar to the Bluebird 410 and 510 sedans. As a lightweight, reasonably efficient truck that drove more like a small car, the Datsun truck became popular with people who didn’t need the capacity of a full sized truck, but still had occasional hauling needs. The 521 received a facelift as compared to the 520, with a so-called “flat-deck” style. This meant a flattened hood and a new grille design. The 520/521 trucks were succeeded by the Datsun 620 in 1972.

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for 1971, while you get prepared I’ll dig out my best bell-bottoms and disco boots and let’s have a night on the town in this consignment right out of the 1970’s… Not everyone needed a utilitarian hauler and the foreign automakers realized this, so coming ashore in droves were smaller trucks that fit the bill of the America. This skate in particular has been treated to almost every theme that the mid-late 70’s had to offer and this look still translates well today. With our consignor only relinquishing the reins of this truck due to health reasons, it’s prime time to boogie down with this rebuilt engine, new clutch wearing, twin sunroof sporting hauler that hits every styling cue from my misguided college years. Not perfect, but still iconic to have survived the disco era. I did the same and don’t look half as good!


This striped, scooped and flared blast from the 70’s shows with age appropriate wear but still appearing much as it would have sitting outside Catch One while you danced, drank and got down with the soulful sound of Marvin Gaye belting out “Let’s Get It On”, but I digress. The steel, while remaining largely rust free, does have a few dents and dings and chip offs as well as touch ups found throughout. The worst of which is the filler around the L88 style hood scoop. An evil grin greets us at the front of this disco hauler and is perfectly accentuated by the molded in lower air dam which flows outward and melts into the add-on fiberglass fender flares up front. Hovering above these flares is the factory hood with a grafted Corvette style L88 scoop in the center. Red and burgundy cover the center of the hood and scoop all flow forward forming a large arrowhead at the front of the hood. From the base of the fenders and streaking backwards are red and burgundy stripes that widen as they reach for the top rear corner of the bed and take over for the front white painted steel. More flares on the rear are buried in these stripes and look just groovy baby. The roof is capped with a fiberglass visor up front and 70’s perfection fills the roof center. A smoke glass twin pop up sunroof has been added and the bed is looking great with the drop in plastic liner. 15″ chrome wheels with spinner center caps are wrapped in fat and skinny rubber, but do present with some rusting.


Shake your booty baby! As the doors swing open the theme continues and makes my knee quiver a bit with longing for the past. Deep pile maroon and gray carpeting covers the center of the red painted doors and have nice chrome actuators and cranks, but the highlight of the panel is the mirror finished Mudflap Girl to keep your juices flowing. Red makes its appearance on the tweed tuck and roll high back bucket seats which are surrounded by smooth red bolsters. Red carpeting floods the floors and on the hump is a black plastic consolette holding the floor shifter. Just above is the fully custom fluffy gray topped and red faced dash. An AM/FM/Cassette stereo is flanked by knobs and pulls and mounted below are a quad of black face gauges. The factory cluster is fronted by a thick black rimmed steering wheel and we note a toggle switch added to the driver’s left. Funkilicious!


Underneath the hood presents very clean with a white painted engine bay and 1600cc 4 cylinder that our consignor states was rebuilt and bored .030 over and has accrued very few miles. Lurking under the blue painted air cleaner is a 2bbl carburetor and on the back, a 4-speed manual transmission is on with a new clutch kit. A 4.11 geared rear axle spins the back wheels.


Some surface rust is seen coating suspension and shows slightly on the frame but mainly in areas that the paint has chipped off of. The floor pans and rockers are all black and structurally sound. Independent coil spring suspension is in front, and leaf springs with traction bars are on back. Drum brakes are seen all around and twin tubes rain down from the engine, flow through glasspack mufflers, and kick out to the sides in front of the rear tires.


A quick starter and a good idle from this rebuilt 4 popper. It drives great and handles nicely with good solid braking, easy power steering and all functions were working at the time of our drive. It was definitely a thumbs up filled drive and I adore the fluffy carpeted doors, more so the reflective Mudflag Girl.

Mechanically in good condition but in need of TLC on the paint and body. Personally though, I feel it should be preserved in its present state and enjoyed as is. A true glimpse of the street scene in California mid 70’s, back when the music was bad, the clothes were worse, but the sex was GREAT!

Price: $15,500

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Seller's other items: classicautomall

Location: Morgantown, Pennsylvania, United States