At $4,000, Is This 1966 Datsun 411 A Barn-Burner Of A Deal?

Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Datsun is an actual barn find, and it has a thick layer of dust and detritus to prove it. Let’s see if this classic Japanese sedan is priced to leave the barn behind.

In the world of off-hour TV infomercials, the siren’s call of “but wait, there’s more” has become the huckster’s oft-parodied calling card. The 2014 BMW 750iL xDrive we looked at yesterday embodied this mantra — its ad touting option after option and feature after feature. And, while it didn’t appear to be scammy in any sort of way, its $18,500 asking price did make it seem “call now!” worthy. That resulted in a narrow and yet decisive 54 percent Nice Price win.

Infomercials generally try to sell the unguarded things they don’t need, often requiring dollars they don’t have or should spend elsewhere. That’s probably not the case with today’s 1966 Datsun 411 barn car, as it is obviously something somebody out there needs to have in their life. It’s also needy itself, looking like one of those sad kittens in a pet adoption ad, preternaturally aware of the tenuousness of their situation. Whether or not this Datsun’s price makes it a fair use of its ultimate buyer’s hard-earned cash remains to be determined.

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Datsun introduced the 411 in the U.S. in 1964, pairing the compact sedan and wagon with the jaunty Roadster model as the company’s vanguard in the American market. In the home market, the car carried on the Bluebird name of the model it succeeded, although with the redesign, Datsun went with handsome if practical styling by the Italian design house Pininfarina. By the late 1960s, the Roadster and 411 would be replaced in the Datsun lineup by, respectively, the 240Z and 510, which would firmly put the company on the map here in the States.

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Those were the days, and this 411 has seen better days. That’s because it apparently hasn’t seen the light of day in over 30 years. It has called a shed home for that time, protected from the weather but apparently not from the dust bunnies or woolly boogers. Now it needs a thorough going over and cleaning, hopefully reducing the likelihood of contracting the Hantavirus from being anywhere near it. The car — and likely the shed — belongs to the parents of the seller placing the ad. As a result, some of the details in the listing feel secondhand or somewhat vague.

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Based on the pictures, though, the bones look to be fairly solid. It’s impossible to get a good idea of the condition of the paint through the thick layer of dust covering every inch of the bodywork, but at least all the glass seems to be intact. The grille is not installed on the car, nor are the bumpers, but all seem to be in the shed, along with several old Honda motorcycles and a first-generation Ford Mustang.

Two of the most notable features of this car are the interior, which appears amazingly complete and in salvageable shape, and the fact that the car is fitted with A/C. That’s a very rare and likely post-port-installed option on an import of this era. Obviously, it’s presently in non-working condition, but the fact that the componentry is all there is a plus.

The engine compartment also appears complete, right down to the factory air cleaner. Comically, the York-style compressor for the A/C seems almost as large as the 1300 cc four that powers it. From the factory, the engine made 67 horsepower and 77 lb-ft of torque (gross measurement numbers). That gets routed through a four-speed manual gearbox to the live axle out back.

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The seller says that both the brake master and lines have been replaced, but that took place 30 years ago. Suffice it to say, everything on this car will need a thorough going over and likely refresh before it will be ready to impress at the neighborhood cars and coffee.

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Mileage is probably not so important on a car in such shape, but the seller does say that the odometer reads 27,115, although that’s apparently been around the horn once at least. After 30 years in the witless protection program, this car’s registration has likely fallen out of the DMV’s records. That likely means some extra work will be needed to get the title updated and transferred. That shouldn’t be a big deal on its own since it appears everything related to this car will require extra work. Let’s see if buying it does, too.

The asking price is $4,000, and the seller muses that they would like to see it go to a collector. That’s not an unreasonable request and, honestly, what other sort of individual would tackle such a project?

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What’s your take on this Datsun and that $4,000 asking? Does that seem like a fair price to let this 411 out of the barn? Or is the ratio of work needed to ultimate car value too disparate to make that a deal?

You decide!

Facebook Marketplace out of Omaha, Nebraska, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to glemon for the hookup!

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