I was more into writing about sports than about cars in the late 1970s, and I have no recollection of ever seeing the body style of the Pick of the Day, a 1977 Datsun 200SX, until coming across its advertisement on Classic Cars.com.
My first thought was that this must be a JDM — Japanese Domestic Market — car with its steering wheel on the right side of the passenger compartment.
But in going through the photos that are included in the advertisement, I see that the steering wheel is on the left side. The Standard Catalog of Imported Cars confirms that Datsun brought over its Silvia model, rebadged as the 200SX, beginning with the 1977 model year.
“Very rare and original,” the advertising dealer in Elkhart, Indiana, reports of the sporty coupe.
“As the Japanese sports car market continues to increase in collectability, the rare and well-maintained vehicles are becoming more difficult to find,” the dealer points out. “This seldom-seen 1977 Datsun 200SX is one of those rare finds. This generation of 200SX may not have the performance of its ‘Z’ car counterpart, but the fastback styling and sleek body lines gives it a very sporty look.
“This very well-maintained and original example is showing just under 40,000 miles, and even though we do not have the documents to support the odometer, the condition surely does. “
In 1977, the 200SX was propelled by the 1.95-liter 4-cylinder engine from the Datsun 710 sedan (the 240Z had an inline-6). The 200SX engine was rated at 97 horsepower with 102 pound-feet of torque, but the presence of a 5-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive meant you could extract — and enjoy — all that power while selecting your own gear.
“This Datsun has been repainted in its original color of pearl white and shows very nice,” the dealer notes. “There are a couple very minor paint bubbles at the rockers. The exterior trim and chrome (are) also in very good condition, and show very minor wear or aging.
“The factory original green cloth interior is also in above average and very good condition, showing very minor wear.
“Nicely optioned with power front disc brakes, factory AM/FM stereo, factory air conditioning, rear defrost, and factory in dash tachometer.
“If you are in the market for a rare collectible, and want to be the only one at the show, look no farther.”
The advertisement includes a video of the car out on the road in a test drive. The 1977 Datsun 200SX is offered for $19,995. To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.