Perhaps you’ve always wanted a Datsun, but find that 240Zs and 510s are annoyingly rear-wheel-drive. Or maybe you find even Skylines and B210s too common. Speaking of under-appreciated JNCs, here’s a 1978 Datsun F10 Wagon on craigslist.
Widely regarded in its time as one of the ugliest cars you could buy in America, the F10 is now a solid member of the “so ugly it’s cute” club. In Japan, it was sold as the Cherry, with slimmer bumpers and a racing pedigree that included both rally and circuit.
Sadly, US versions were saddled with 5 mph bumpers, but because of that it checks all the boxes for the Kousoku Yuen-reading Japanese hipster: the aforementioned picnic benches, wagon body style, and the pièce de résistance, faux wood-grain on the spoiler.
On top of that, it has only 36,000 miles, a proper third-pedal transmission, and you know it was well cared for: When the windshield cracked, the owner even sourced one from New Jersey, across the country. Plus he says it’s always been garaged, and it shows.
Because they were “ugly” and unloved when new, these are rarer than a Kenmeri Skyline today. This one very well be the last of its kind. For $8,000, you can have the only one of its kind in your time zone. See the ad on craigslist.
Hat tip to Tom A.
Saw a cherry Cherry complete with Harley decal at the Eagle Rock Datsun swap meet last year -https://www.facebook.com/InlandEmpireZ/photos/a.705720722822802.1073741976.403955269666017/705721186156089/?type=3&theater
For those in the SoCal area, the swap meet will be at Eagle Rock again on 3/15.
One good note about the F-10 cars. You can change out the clutch assembly without removing the transaxle or engine! Once the upper primary drive gear is removed, the clutch assembly was replaceable from a access plate on top of the transaxle bell housing. I guess that made up for the beam axle in the rear suspension.
My Datsun 310GX was the same way. You go had an access panel in the fender well where you slid that gear cluster through. Then like you said you removed that cover and unbolted the clutch off the flywheel.
Take both of my kidneys! Would love to have a Cherry/F10! I really hope it finds a good, “hooning-free” home; it’s too well loved and preserved to be thrashed.
I had a 1978 Datsun F10! It was my first car. When I turned 16 my dad traded foundry work for the F10 with our neighbor. It had over 300, 000 miles on it and it ran like a tank. I ended up with 2 of them because I found an abandoned one, same year, same model, and got an abandoned title. I was going to take all the good parts from both cars and cherry one out. Plans changed and I had to give up both cars. I’m still devastated! I even have dreams that I’m still driving my car. Would give anything for another one!