Kidney, Anyone? 1960 Datsun 1200 Van VPL221

datsun 1200 van vpl221 01
Just when you thought you’d seen every Datsun sold in North America, a 1960 Datsun 1200 Van shows up on ebay in La Grange, California. We at JNC have been around a lot of Datsuns, but none of us had seen one of these before.

datsun 1200 van vpl221 02
It appears to be the real deal, too. The VIN plate identifies the chassis code as VPL221 (V for the long back “van” and L for left hand drive). 1960 was the year Nissan USA was established, so this both one of the earliest and one of the rarest Datsuns sold in the US.

datsun 1200 van vpl221 10It’s been sitting since the 60s and is missing a drivetrain. The front end is, um, worn. However, there are probably enough remaining Bluebird 1000s out there to scavenge parts from, and fortunately the section that makes this van a van is still in tact.

At the current no-reserve bid of $56, it’s not exactly going to cost you a kidney but the restoration probably will. Hopefully this rare beast will find a good home.

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18 Responses to Kidney, Anyone? 1960 Datsun 1200 Van VPL221

  1. Lincoln Stax said:

    Way, way , WAY beyond my abilities, but I hope it goes the right person. I’d love to see this restored and put back on the road. It may well be the last one of it’s kind left.

  2. E-AT_me said:

    nissan usa anyone?

  3. Nigel said:

    That 1200 would be a great company vehicle for someone.
    A rare beast, probably only seen in old Japanese news reels.

  4. Brad D. (TSiSS350) said:

    Is the JNC staff out of Kidneys yet? I volunteer mine if it will own this car plus resto!

  5. bert said:

    Finally! A classic car I can afford! I don’t think the wife will be to crazy about the interior, but I’ll win her over with the gass mileage!

  6. Alan said:

    Whoa awesome!

    Rare old J tin is the best, the rarer the better.

  7. John said:

    Bet it sell for between $500 to $1000…. Maybe more?

    Nice find!

  8. Jake said:

    I’m a hot rod guy, but something like that should DEFINITELY be restored back to original!

  9. bert said:

    Jake-You should buy it and throw VQ35 or even a V8 out of an Titan or Infiniti at it. That should be plenty of hot rod for anybody!!

  10. slickwrick said:

    id get it
    junkyard smallblock some kustom tails and headlamps and ill roll it without painting it.

    but no room to put it nor the time

    i too hope it gets a nice home!

  11. superdave said:

    Thats epic, only $515.00…. I wish I had the time to drive to cali and pick that up!

  12. rh said:

    this was on ebay australia just last week, they were a postal delivery vehicle back in the day here, my dad remembers them well

  13. Curtis said:

    I got it at $515. Grew up around La Grange and own a 1960 223 as a donor. The rear hatch may be an issue….. could an “NL” be used?

    I will be selling my 320 to fund the restoration. No hot rod for this one, but it will be getting an ‘A’ series 1.4 and five speed instead of the “E” 1.2.

    • Ben said:

      Thanks for saving it, Curtis! Post some pics in the forum when you get a chance. I’m sure many readers would love to see the project as it progresses.

  14. James said:

    Here’s a link to my All Japanese Spring Show pics this past April. There is a few pics of a 1200 wagon/van that Ross Mullen trailered down. ENJOY!

  15. Curtis said:

    Do you have any contact information for Ross Mullen? I need pix of that tailgate!!

  16. Curtis said:

    Bump, I would like to bump this messge. Ross Mullen hey. Need pix. Thanks.

  17. Ross Mullen said:


    I have sent you some pictures of my VPL221. No spare parts. Mine has an L16 that was in it when I bought it. having trouble opening the rear lower tail gate. Will send you some pictures once its loose and opening.
    59 211 4 door sedan
    60 VPl221 2 door wagon
    61 Pl223 truck

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