It might seem surprising that such a high-end event as the Concours d’Elegance of Texas would have a truck category. But the class winner was an even bigger surprise: a preserved 1972 Datsun 1600 pickup truck nicknamed “Sweet Pea.”
Lovingly maintained by its original owner, Marvin Askew, the simple Datsun was nestled in among about 125 classics and sports cars, as well as other trucks in its class, at the Concours of Texas, which was held April 23 at Richard Greene Linear Park in Arlington, between Dallas and Fort Worth.
The compact pickup, which looks and runs showroom fresh, is part of the Nissan Heritage Collection in Franklin, Tennessee, which transported the truck to the concours for display. Even surrounded by the grandeur of the concours motorcars, the Datsun was a standout because of its exceptional original condition, as well as its back story of love and dedication.
Askew bought the new little workhorse on November 30, 1971, at Hippodrome Datsun in Nashville, Tennessee, for just over $2,000 out the door. He owned the pickup for more than 42 years, taking painstaking care of it, such as changing its oil every 2,000 miles, and recording every bit of its maintenance in a hand-written log.
The truck was driven often, Askew says, and has more than 150,000 miles on its rolled-over odometer. Although used for some truck duties, such as hauling furniture and firewood, the pickup was most-often used for road trips and transportation by Askew, who says he loved how it drove.
In 2014, Askew sold the pickup to Nashville businessman and car collector Dan Tito, who had spotted the truck being serviced at a local Datsun dealership. Tito is the one who named it Sweet Pea because of its pea-soup-colored original paint.
Tito was so impressed by the truck’s condition and history that he offered it to the Nissan Heritage collection at the automaker’s U.S. headquarters.
So while it might seem strange that a compact utility truck should be a class winner at a major concours d’elegance, this survivor’s remarkable story and amazing state of preservation leave no doubt that it deserves the award.
Atlanta Concours honors rare Lozier automobiles
The Atlanta Concours d’Elegance has announced a special Brass Era gathering of eight rare Lozier motorcars, which are American performance/luxury cars built from 1905-1915. Fewer than 600 of the spectacular supercars of their day were produced, with approximately 30 surviving today.
The Loziers confirmed for the second Atlanta Concours, to be held September 30 to October 1 at Chateau Elan in Braselton, Georgia, come from some major collections and are believed to be the first concours assembly of the iconic brand.
Todd Lozier, a direct descendant of founder Henry A. Lozier Sr., is a Lozier automobile owner and plans to attend the Atlanta Concours and serve as an honorary judge for the Lozier category.
“Not only was the Lozier the most expensive car in its time (more than five times the price of a 1910 luxury Cadillac), but the vehicles captured numerous speed records – winning endurance trials and motor races – including the 1911 Vanderbilt Cup in Savannah, Georgia,” Lozier said in a news release.
For more information about the Atlanta Concours, visit the event website.
Last Chrysler 300F convertible at Milwaukee Concours
The final 1960 Chrysler 200F off the assembly line – number 248 – will be featured at the Milwaukee Concours d’Elegance, planned for August 6 at Veteran’s Park. The powerful “letter car” with its towering tailfins has been lavishly restored after spending about 40-years resting in a car collector’s barn near Boston.
The Chrysler is owned by Randy Guyer of Minnetonka, Minnesota, who is a collector of mid-century Space Age cars. It is fully loaded with all the power and convenience features of the era, and powered by its original 413 cid Max Wedge X-ram V8 that puts out 375 horsepower, mated with a three-speed automatic transmission. The huge convertible is capable of 150 miles per hour.
The Chrysler letter cars blended high-performance with premium luxury and were the most expensive production cars built by the automaker at the time, designed to compete with Cadillacs and Lincolns.
For information about the Milwaukee Concours, visit the event website.