Right now, one of the rarest Nissan vehicles on Earth is up for sale on Craigslist in northern Virginia. It is so rare, in fact, that it took some digging just to find out what year and model it is. Behold, a 1954 Datsun 6147 Double-Cab.
The compact truck is advertised as “1936-1940 Datsun King Cab,” but that is wrong. According to the serial number plate, it was built in May of Showa 29, which according to the Japanese calendar, is 1954.
The mistake is understandable, as the Datsun 6147 certainly looks like any number of pre-war Nissan vehicles. That’s because it’s based on the Datsun Type 13 through 17 vehicles of the 1930s, which were remade after the war in order to quickly put something into production.
The term King Cab likely refers to the elongated cabin, but the name wasn’t coined until an extended cab appeared on the 1977 Datsun 620. The proper term for this is a Double Cab, and it is very, very rare. We’ve never seen one in Japan, not even in Nissan’s Zama warehouse.
According to the seller, it was purchased in Japan and shipped back by a US serviceman. The single-digit “Y” license plate indicate that the car was registered in Japan in the 1950s to someone at the Yokota Air Base in west Tokyo. Judging by the sticker on the front window, it appears to have last been registered there in 1968.
According to a video made by the seller, he received the vehicle in a real estate transaction. It’s worth a watch, if only to see the quirks of this piece of Nissan history. For example, the doors are made out of wood, and the windshield wiper motor sits above the driver’s head.
New, the 6147 would have come equipped with a 25-horsepower, 860cc inline-four. We have no reason to believe the one in the car isn’t the original, but thn again we don’t really know what a 1954 D-10 motor looks like either.
The truck will need a lot of work, as there slightly-deeper-than-surface rust all around. The worst areas are the bed, which has a few cancer holes, and areas around the windshield, which will require removal of the glass to repair. Badges on the hood and grille are missing, but there’s a box full of parts inside and they could conceivably be in there. Otherwise, it looks remarkably complete.
The seller’s asking $20,000, which seems steep, but then you realize this could very well be a one-of-one situation. If you’ve been waiting all your life for this rare machine to come along, now’s your chance. See the ad on Craigslist Washington DC.
Thanks to Dennis D. for the tip!