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HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: Rare and sporty Datsun coupe

Pick of the Day: Rare and sporty Datsun coupe

1977 was first year for the 200SX to be imported to the US

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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. 

Datsun, Pick of the Day: Rare and sporty Datsun coupe, ClassicCars.com Journal
Datsun, Pick of the Day: Rare and sporty Datsun coupe, ClassicCars.com Journal

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. “

Datsun, Pick of the Day: Rare and sporty Datsun coupe, ClassicCars.com Journal
Datsun, Pick of the Day: Rare and sporty Datsun coupe, ClassicCars.com Journal

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.

Hagerty
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I’m a Datsun fan, I own several Z and have owned several other Datsun/Nissan models previously.

    I love the quirky looks of these models – the typical Japanese ‘over-detailing’ that one finds on early Celicas too.

    But it aint sporty 🙂

    $20k is BIG money – one of these with the genuine JDM slim bumpers bid to $5,800 in April this year on BAT : https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1978-nissan-silvia/

    I’d guess it’s market value today to be around $12k and only that from curiosity value.

  2. Looks like a $10,000 tops offer should take it. Quite a bit of detail work needed if one looks closely at the photos. Some under carriage rust at rear spring ends? Etc.Etc.

  3. Oh, c’mon. After my maternal Gramma’s ’68 Cobra Jet 428/auto Torino was rear ended and totalled (woman is a story all alone, believe that) she wanted a stick, and bought- not financed, bought- one of these things in red over black. As ’70’s musclecar teens, my cousins and I made fun; Gramma cared not. Loved that thing, drove as a maniac until diabetes and the State of Indiana took her license. I graduated in ’78, remember going with Gramma to pick hers up… I guess really good memories must be coloring my view, cuz it has all the styling cues of Japanese imports from the late ’70’s, and I just see Gramma, and how much joy her odd lil car gave; in the rural Indiana town whence we lived, Gramma had a one of one. When my cousin replaced the stock muffler with a CherryBomb, at her request, she was finally satisfied, and kept that thing til death, 20+ years later. I never was allowed to drive it, but did lunches and movies and mall time with Gramma. It seemed quite capable, and Gramma did push; she didn’t go backwards off the road in the rain as happened a couple times in the Torino, but never seemed to miss the extra power.
    It would be best if haters remembered that there’s a car, and story, for everyone, and just cuz you hate, others have a different view.

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