By on January 8, 2010

a load of ugly coming your way

After two beautiful coupes this week, it’s time to get ugly. Seriously ugly, as in a serious contender for the ugliest car ever sold in the US. Yes, there’s competition for that title, one of which we’ve covered (Gremlin), and others we will soon. But let’s behold this Datsun F-10 Coupe, for which I am thankful that one is still around. It’s driver bought it new in 1977, and she’s still in love with her beautiful baby. Which raises the question: is ugliness in the eye of the beholder?

which is worse, front or back?

There has to be some truth to that, because some folk’s idea of ugly cars is so totally off base. Business Week recently carried a list of ten ugliest cars ever, and it included (get your meds ready): the Corvair(!), one of the most influential, revered and copied designs ever in the history of modern automobiles! They also listed the Vega, which was rather cute and well done, despite its other flaws. Just goes to show there’s no accounting for taste.

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It’s amazing how quickly a car company can fall off the pedestal. The Datsun 510 was hailed (still is) as a landmark in clean, timeless design, from a country that at the time was still finding its way stylistically. But only two years after the 510 arrived, Datsun was already going down a very different path stylistically. It started with the 1970 Cherry, the predecessor to this F-10. You can see two things going on in Nissan’s first FWD car, and one of the first from Japan. Its back half accurately predicts the very successful 240 Z but the front half is already going down the ugly road towards the F-10.

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The Coupe version of the first Cherry then adds a very high and bulbous rear end, and now the ingredients are largely in place. But what really makes the F-10 bad are the front and rear end details: the front looks like the designers went home one night, and the janitors cobbled something up out of junk and by beating on itwith an ugly stick. It’s about as bad as a front end gets on a car, no doubt.

(Update) I now realize our featured coupe has non-original or different black trim around its headlights. Here’s a wagon (not my pic) of the un-adulterated F-10 front end:

wearing its proper eye make-up (not my photo)

And lacking any other inspiration, the designers decided to mirror the front on the back end, with over-sized tail lights and a general lack of design acumen. I don’t know what Nissan was feeding its designers at the time, but the F-10 wasn’t the only recipient of its effects. The B210 was the RWD counterpart to the F-10, and it’s details are only slightly less ugly, but its proportions aren’t quite as bad. We’ve got some nice ones coming in a CC soon.

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My only regret is that I haven’t found an F-10 wagon, so that we could debate which one was worse. I couldn’t even find a decent color picture of one. But I knew someone who had one for years, and like the owner of this F-10, she loved it for the reliable and economical little hauler that it was.

Let’s get back to automotive aesthetics. It’s a funny thing about ugly cars, because even the ugliest can become endearing, because of their intrinsic qualities. The Citroen Ami 6 falls in that category. It was ugly as hell, but it was also so advanced, unique and eccentric, that I would love to have one. In the case of the Citroen, it was obviously designed by engineers who placed function over looks in every regard. That’s somehow honest and endearing.

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What’s really ugly is when designers try too hard to make something good looking, and cluelessly step on their own member in the process. I give you the Ssangyong Rodius, which sports a rear appendage of a hatch that looks like the ultimate bad photo-shop addition. Or the Cadillac Escalade EXT, which is just a bad dream come true. The Isuzu Vehicross falls into that category quite handsomely. I see more than a hint of the F-10 in the Vehicross, if we can blank out the large wheels.

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Much of aesthetics is context, and this is where the F-10 story gets interesting. As much as I like greenhouses with visibility, and can hold up the VW Passat/Dasher as an example of clean timeless 1970’s design, I also recognize that gun-slit windows may be here to stay, and the benefits of aerodynamic kamm-back tails are indisputable.  So as I sat looking at these pictures last night, I realized that from a side profile, the F-10 really is somewhat contemporary, and a prophet of things to come. Just blank out those ugly front and rear end details, and you’re looking at what could be a Prius coupe, circa 1975. Or even a predictor of things yet to come, like the Honda CR-Z. Have we uncovered the design inspiration of another new car?

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74 Comments on “Curbside Classic: The Ugliest Car Ever? 1977 Datsun F-10...”

  • avatar

    Cool insights Mr. Niedermeyer, but I think the car’s ugliest look is exactly from the side! Yikes!

    But I agree, w/ you, ugly cars are to me basically enchanting. The Fiat Multipla? Love it. The Nissan Cube, love it!

    • 0 avatar

      I like the styling, but then I like the Mazda RX-3, and the gen-1 Toyota Celica too. I only knew a few people with the F-10. None had trouble, and all liked the FWD when confronted with giant snow drifts. Like most cars of the era they dissolved in winter salt. The current Versa version is waaay far homelier to me.

    • 0 avatar

      Ugly? Not really.   Renault and Citroen have captured the ugly car awards from me over the past 50 years..( the 70 Matador and 60 Plymouth Fury were homely too)

    • 0 avatar

      I always hated (HATED!) the B210 style and intensely disliked the F10 look. Now the F10 looks less unwieldy. And the B210 doesn’t grate as much. Why? Because current cars (includes Nissan Versa) are such atrocities. Worst thing about today’s cars (even worse than the giant, grotesque headlights): The front wheels shoved back to the leading edge of the front doors and the resultant 4 foot front overhangs. See Honda Pilot for just one of thousands of examples.

  • avatar

    Funny but I don’t find this car all that ugly. Only part of the front and back I don’t like is the black surround on the front grill. It’s also in amazingly good condition for a 32 year old daily driver. I can see why the original owner still loves it, talk about getting your money’s worth she may have set a new record.

  • avatar

    Ugly is in the eye of the beholder.  Some will insist the Aztec be placed high on the list, while I rather like its rugged individualism and functionality.  My wife hates the Scion that I think is great.  I think the Ridgeline looks effeminate, and the early Avalanche looks like the designers worked with Lego blocks.  And I liked Gremlins.  What a dope.

    Ugly is as ugly does too.  I have known some very beautiful people who were “uglified” by their actions and attitudes.  The F-10 may not have been sleek, well proportioned, or glamorous, but it was a “10” on the Function scale (probably not where it got it’s name). 

    • 0 avatar

      Agree on the functionality. And this was the first FWD Datsun (accounting for the F in F-10, perhaps?) which should give it a certain level of historical cred. Other than the Honda Civic and the Subaru, I can’t think of many other FWD Japanese cars during this era, though there were a few German ones. As far as US FWDs, just the Toronado and the Eldorado. Pretty much just curiosities.

  • avatar

    I had a couple of friends with these. Even in the context of the times, they were ugly.
    Odd, though, how the quarter-views are (relatively) flattering. There is some cohesiveness of design front to rear. It’s just bad design.

  • avatar
    Dave Skinner

    Ugliest car ever? Yes.

    As I recall, the first page of a Car and Driver review showed this car sitting in a barren quarry, under the heading “The Car That Fell to Earth”. My teen daughter would call it an “epic alien”.

  • avatar

    I love ugly cars like this. I like pacers and gremlins too. I would even drive an aztek if somebody gave me one. I also like pretty cars. What don’t I like? Boring, vanilla cars. Would rather have ugly than boring…
    The black trim around the lights is might be original chrome that wore off.

  • avatar

    I have so been waiting for this car to show up as a CC.  I actually kinda like them, the profile is pretty clean, if spacey.  When I was going to high school I used pass by one of these every day, painted what can only be described as pee-yellow.  If you really want ugly, find one of those, preferably a wagon.  And I’m with you on the front end, it’s beyond redemption.  But IMHO, the B210 is uglier than the F10.
    As for Biz Week, Corvair and Vega wouldn’t come close to my ugly car list either.

  • avatar

    This car is ugly – but I wouldn’t say that it’s the ugliest car ever. It is the ugliest Datsun/Nissan ever sold in this country.

    It is an interesting design, in that it could only have come from one time – the 1970s – and one place – Japan. (Much like the 1958 Oldsmobile or 1958 Lincoln could only have been designed in late 1950s America.)

    It reminds me of a time when Japanese car styling, for better or worse, was truly distinctive and unique.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    It’s Rodius, Paul, not Radius. As in, “Odious R Us”.

  • avatar

    The Euro version didn’t have the bulky 5 mph bumpers and the grille looked better, but even the US version isn’t that bad. Actually it’s a pretty good-looking car compared to some of the more modern atrocities (Nissan Cube, Fiat Multipla, BMW 1, smart, Renault Megane, Citroen C4 coupe and Opel Agila for example… and the Toyota Yaris Verso. My god, it is the most hideous-looking lump of metal ever.)

    Also, what’s wrong with the B210? A fairly standard 1970s design, unremarkable in any way.

  • avatar

    There’s not a good looking line or detail on this car.  I remember reviews from when it was new and it didn’t drive any better than it looked.  Other than the 240Z the 1970’s were a lost decade for Nissan; its a wonder they managed to grow selling such awful cars as this. 

  • avatar

    Damn, Paul, I’m trying to write about chromosomal translocations and cancer and you’re distracting me with ugly cars–a subject that I am strongly opinionated on.
    First, there are plenty of cars that are uglier than that Datsun, and I’m not talking about the Ami. In fact, while the Ami IS one of the ugliest cars in the world, and it’s not cute-ugly, like its sibling, the 2CV, it IS interesting-ugly, a real character of the road.
    As for this Datsun, the malignant Tribeca is uglier. The Caliber is way, way uglier. In fact, the Caliber may be the ugliest car in the world. When I see a Caliber, I wish it weren’t there. In fact, the Caliber is the ugliest of that damnable category of ugly cars, the crossovers. For example, the Murano and its infiniti twin are far, far uglier than this Datsun (though not quite in the Caliber’s league, as are a number of other crossovers. In fact, cars weren’t meant to be crossovers. It’s the worst of all worlds, and everyone with any aesthetic sense would be better off if crossovers disappeared. Even the new CRV is ugly, and I’m a Honda guy (Can you see how wound up I’m getting over this?) In fact, as much as it pains me to say this, even the Fit is uglier than this Datsun. This Datsun is just not that bad. It’s cute-homely.
    As for business week, when most journalists do the 10 best or worst or anything lists, its purely a gimmick to sell magazines. These lists are generally full of dung, ordure, and feces. The Corvair (both gens) are very good looking cars, and I would put the second gen in a category of maybe the 50 most beautiful cars of all time. And the Vega? while no beauty, a very decent looking car.

    Please Paul, would you try not to distract me for the rest of the afternoon?

  • avatar

    I owned one once and I still did not recognize the clue.

  • avatar

    When ugly goes over the top and the dust settles, it becomes beautiful.
    Now everyone wants a Plymouth Superbird….

  • avatar

    My wife had an F-10 wagon when we met. Before that she had a Gremlin. I’m not sure what she sees in me, but it can’t be good.

  • avatar

    That F10’s profile has more than a shade of Citroen SM in it, yet the car as a whole is totally out of whack.

  • avatar

    The F-10 isn’t even close to the ugliest car.  No one who has ever seen the Citroen H Van ( would ever pose such a question. That said, I would love to own either. What bizarre and funky designs!

  • avatar

    Love that Citroen H Van!

  • avatar

    I’m kind of liking that wagon, never seen one.
    And, as noted above, I would probably love a car that served me for 30+ years, too.

  • avatar

    The driver “bought it new in 1977?”  Suddenly I think it’s beautiful too.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Paul, what’s my Aunt Mildred doing in Oregon and how pray-tell did you find her?
    Speaking of which, I’m trying to find out the fuel economy numbers for the F-10. If you find out what she purchased it for back in 1977, get a copy of all her maintenance records (she very likely has them), and the current mileage, I can approximate her overall cost of ownership from 1977 to today.
    She could be one of the Americanized versions of the ‘Tightwad’ documentary which I hold so dear. By the way, I only mean that as the nicest of complements.

  • avatar

    You call THAT ugly?
    HERE’S Ugly!!!

  • avatar

    Not as ugly in my opinionated opinion as a 1974 AMC Matador but that F-10 is at least a half-step removed from being able to be labeled “not all that bad.”

  • avatar

    Wishing to own a CityCar is a classic example of, “Don’t wish for something, you might get it.”  35 years after living with a buddy’s (and short term boss when I worked for his bicycle shop) still leaves me with vivid memories.  Very vivid memories.  Very, very vivid memories.
    About the only more vivid memories I’ve got from those days is about the first time I got the crabs.

  • avatar
    also Tom

    You almost have to do this by decades. This is a definite contender for ugliest 70’s car.

  • avatar

    I would have been my WCE nominee until I saw the current Honda CR-V, with its double mouths and not a good angle to found. IMO, it makes the original Tribeca look graceful, and the Aztek look sporty. Every Honda I see, all the way down to my lawnmower, is ugly and awkward. BUt the CR-V sells well, go figure.

  • avatar

    nup, the B210 is far uglier imo. my sisters first car was a datsun 100a cherry 4 door, which appears to be the sedan version of this f-1o and that was a cool car. the 120y/b210 were an awful, mediocre car

  • avatar

    It’s ugly, but friendly looking – in a doe-eyed, eager-to-please kind of way.

  • avatar

    One of these would be great for the 24 hours of lemons.

  • avatar

    So you like the 210, if I recall correctly, but somehow its F-10 cousin (which bears a very strong family resemblance) is the ugliest car in the world?  I’m biased since I have a 210, but I like the later Datsuns in all their forms.  Wish mine was in the nice shape this one is.

  • avatar

    Look at that front license plate. It was issued in 1994 or 1995, and it still looks new and straight as can be. This is an indication of how nicely the car has been treated – also that no one has ear-parked against it.

  • avatar

    Not all that bad in appearance. Love the tail lights and the profile is clean. Lots of utility.

    Rode in one of these a long time ago. Like sitting in a hole.

    Strange in a way, but still, it’s better looking than the current Mazda 3.

  • avatar

    First car I ever owned…

  • avatar

    Sometimes, there was a “Lost in the Translation” thing going (much less nowadays) when europeans or japanese firms brought their metal to the US and had to “federalize” them for sale.  Aside from things like trim, whitewalls and hub-caps, the rest was driven by homologation (i.e. regulatory requirement) differences between the home and export markets.

    Sometimes, the cars improved, sometimes a tasteful, neutral, translation occurred, and othertimes the overall design harmony was diminished. 

    Quite often, the early-70’s US-federal 200-mph FF bumpers and/or sealed-beam standards conspired to result in rather clunky chunky uluncky looking ends on cars from that era (also for domestics compare 1973 v. 1972 versions for bumper-tumor growth effects), and the side-markers often looked like hardware store add-ons.

    Today with the convergence in many of the standards and regulations (the few hold-outs still being bumpers, side-lighting and license plate dimensions) the LITT thing is much less pronounced. (BTW, this would also be an interesting topic for deeper investigation here on TTAC.)

    Anyhow, thinking about whether the F-10’s FF/RR design themes may have been comprimised due to federalization efforts, I came upon the following and I post them here for your entertainment, enlightment et Edification!

    The euro F10’s FF end was much less clunky:

    One of the F10’s virtues aptly displayed (it even looks like a Subaru from this angle):

    Apparently the F10 was called the F II (as in roman numberal 2) in Europe, and its predecessor was the 120A; in comparison, the F10 seems an improvement:

    Finally, when looking at these cars from certain angles, is anybody else reminded of a certain pre- and actual-Chrysler-Fuselage-era quality to the body and deep light openings?   Could it be that Nissan was co-opting this theme somewhat but was unable to apply it to the smaller package dimensions?  Paul’s F-10 photos give pretty good angles for a consideration of this question, and I post one more that illustrates this in the B-to-C-pillar area (Charger-esque):
    Would be interested to hear other’s thoughts on this.

    BTW, now I know why the CC-clue reminded me of the B-210 from my Driver’s Ed. days!

  • avatar

    I think that the Datsun 200SX/Nissan Silvia from the late 70s to early 80s beats this ride in the “ugliest car” competition. However, it was so weird-looking that I wanted one in high school…but ended up getting a Fox-platform Mustang (and probably more dates) instead.

  • avatar

    I think that Datsun is “Breathtaking” (as was Elaine and the ugly baby in a Seinfeld episode).

  • avatar

    Count me among the people who are very impressed with her ownership of the Datsun all these years, and interested in more details.

  • avatar

    I rate how handsome a car is from my first look at it in the metal. My rating of a car’s ugliness decades later doesn’t count.

    The first time I saw this thing, and I mean thing, was on a two lane highway in New Brunswick, Canada. I just about drove into the ditch. The front end was wide, the thing pointed up in the air and the whole thing reminded me of desperation personified.

    So yes, Paul, I agree with you. This is the ugliest thing pretending to be a car that has traveled North American highways that I’ve ever seen. An utter travesty of any kind of taste.

    My vote for number two is indeed the Aztec, based on the initial reaction I had. The third is the new Acura RL.

    Nearly all new cars are pretty awful, however. The Subaru Impreza of 2008 also freaked me out as they unloaded them from the transporter. Ugh, ugh, ugly.

  • avatar

    Sorry, Acura TL. The RL is just a nothing.

    Where’s the edit function, btw?

  • avatar

    As a young child I actually was frightened by the way the F-10 looked from the front. The rear reminds me of a Pachinko machine for some reason.  I can see the Japanese liking this style of vehicle, their tastes are vastly different from Americans.
    Datsun sure didn’t try to make the F-10 look fast and sporty (like the Vega) or muscular and strong like a small pickup truck. It looks like they had a requirement to get large headlights in front at all costs, the costs being a decent hood line. This car looks like it is going up hill all of the time.

  • avatar

    My first car was a 1976 F-10 in the aforementioned pee yellow (I’m kicking myself for not seeing the CC clue). Picked it up on the cheap, as the owner was so embarassed by its appearance he stored it for five years…in an alley…covered in honeysuckle vines. I learned a lot about car repair getting it going again, and ugly or not, it was a reliable car with good utility.  I’m really looking forward to the ’77 owner interview.

    I now happily own a Subaru Baja, arguably a modern contender on any ugly car list. Go figure.

  • avatar

    I’ve forgotten who said that the Mazda MX-3 looked like an alien insect.  This car also qualifies.

  • avatar

    Typical screw-up by lazy journalists – BW are reporting a survey by a classic car insurance firm on the ‘worst designed’ cars as the ‘ugliest’ cars – many of the comments about the Vega are about poor build quality, for example.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen MUCH worst. The front is ugly, but the sides and back are fine. I actually like the bubble hatch, it looks useful. I think what is killing the look is the tiny tires, the fenders have NO wheel arc at all, thus its kind of slab-sided. The tail light treatment is a unique solution. Overall not bad.
    That H-Van is HORRIFIC! It makes the Aztec look graceful in comparison.

  • avatar

    This car is so ugly, that Paul’s article on how ugly it is, doesn’t even scratch the surface.
    The proportions are so wrong. The car is too narrow, just as early Jap-traps were, and they had that awful high beltline, so that you felt as though you were drowning in a black vinyl box. The doors had to be completely flat, with little arm rests so that a driver could have enough room to move their left arm. The footwells were little tunnels of cheap plastic. The dashboards shoved their way into your face. This car was made for someone under 5′, so anyone larger or taller wore this piece of recycled coffee cans.

    The round headlamp surrounds are hexagons. It looks like it is wearing Edith Bunker’s eyeglasses. The circle in a hexagon is amplified by sinking the headlamps into the bezels, and then giving the bezels faux silver rims. The back up lights are rectangles in hexagons. The license plate surround is a bulging black ribbed rectangle. The grille is an afterthought, similar to a 1960 Plymouth. The designers gave up!

    There are two cheap plastic screwed on faux air vents on the hood. There is another one behind the rear window, doing only god knows what. The call-outs on the rear fender are in both script and block lettering.
    This top-heavy, narrow, tubular, hexagonal bezeled wart on wheels isn’t cute in an Ami 6 way. The french car’s styling has shapes that are not car-based. It looks like a parisian bread box-cum-doll house with an elf face. The Datsun, on the other hand, fails because you can see what it is trying to do – and does it so badly.

    The Gremlin, the Pacer, the Scion xB, 1960 Valiant, and the Ami 6 were styled to be different. They are polarizing styling statements. There cars are not ugly, they are merely different.
    This Datsun, and the Aztek, the 1960 Plymouth, the B-210, and the Ssangyong Rodius are ugly because they failed to meet their styling objectives. These are cars uglier.

  • avatar

    My brother bought one of these as a  repo from his credit union, cheap.  I did a repaint for him from yellow to white. It was almost as strange mechanically as it looked. He was used to RWD Datsuns. This early FWD setup had a multi-disc clutch like a motorcycle. That was quite a surprise.

  • avatar

    Nobody has even mentioned the Hudson/Nash Metropolitans…

  • avatar

    My Bride had one of these when we met. Wish we still had it it would be a fun sleeper project.  Hers was a 2 door wagon. Yellow with wood grain.  A JDM Woodie lol Defiantly way more ugly then the pics you have here.
    This was Datsun’s first front wheel drive car. The “F” I guess was the clue. Every one of them had clacking CV joints. I think they did that new lol It was a trip getting parts. You would spend a few minutes arguing with the parts guy that it wasn’t a Ford truck!
    It had some crazy stuff like a 12 volt house fan that blew on the carburetor. It cycled off a little by-metal thermostat in the area of the intake manifold. You could also drop a new clutch disc in this thing with house tools faster than you could change the spark plug in a lawn mower! That was some smart engineering that I’m sure we’ll never see again.
    We got married and traded it in on our first new car. A 1987 VW Jetta GLI Wolfsbug addition.  I think it died there at the dealer. That motor got real tired when we hit 100,000. It had 100,050 miles on it. The 100k Gremlin kicked in right on time lol

    Great wagon pics here:

  • avatar

    LOL  Those F10’s are scary looking…I had forgotten about them. Around our house the Aztec is considered so ugly that the kids will say “that’s so Aztec” when describing something extra ugly!

  • avatar

    I don’t think it’s that bad. Certainly not a pretty car, but no worse than other Japanese cars of that era. And no worse than some American and European cars of its day.

  • avatar

    I owned a f10. it was my first real car of my own. I believe I paid 3500 dollars brand new. It was the coupe and of course color blue. I totally agree with the wordpress author and all other thoughts and comments. However, there was something special about this car. I think the “Datsun” Brand Made it special for me. I was in college and dwarfed by 70’s Grand Prix’s,Cutlass’s,Eldorado’s ect. and on and on.The Author of this article and all of you at either end of this discussion are “right on” with your comments. My F10 hit from behind in traffic. A frat brother and myself were still at a redlight when A 70’s Cutlass Slammed into the rear at 50mph in a 35 zone.We both made it out alive,obviously.The car was repaired and of course was never the same.I had to wait until I earned the mony to trade in on a 79 accord lx. The car surviived a more than tremendous impact was totaled and two of us walked away. Man, there was something about that Datsun F10. I miss the hell out of it. And Am in tears asa post to you all. Thank You all for the memories. Sincerely zulu9er.

  • avatar

    I have a yellow 1977 Datsun F10 that I’m looking to sell if anyone is interested. I’m in southern California (San Bernardino County). The interior could use some work but she’s been our daily driver for the last 12 years. No serious dents or body damage and she still passes her smog checks. Asking $950 I’m cammelman at yahoo dot com. Name’s Doug

  • avatar

    Here is my feeling. I own a 1978 Datsun F-10. It has 163000 miles on it. I call it my “little piece of s*** datsun that runs like a top” cuz it just keeps on running, and it has NEVER left me stranded. I have always kept the thing running cuz it was the first car I ever bought NEW. I always said I would never sell it and I was offered $700. for it this weekend. I am struggling with selling it, although I only put about 900 miles a year on it, so the insurance on it isn’t worth it. And I only want to sell it to someone who “loves” it as much as I do. This car may look bad to all of you, but to me I love the design, the look and the reliability. Being a minimalist, this car fit me just fine. I could sleep in the back on camping trips, put my stuff on the top luggage rack and in the snow, it out handled my 4-wheel drive. It just plowed through the snow with studded tires. I feel I should keep it and sell it as a classic car down the line though I don’t know what I would get for it. I also don’t know if selling it for 700 is the right amount. I feel it should be more but it does have one thing that needs to be fixed. Right now it needs a new gasket on the exhaust manifold which is quoted at $500. If I sell it I want the guy to keep it up as much as I did, and sell it back to me if and when he decides he doesn’t want it anymore. I guess I am emotionally attached because this car has been such a good car, and I really like the look of it. Silly?

    • 0 avatar

      First off, there’s nothing silly in my opinion about having attachment to the car. Especially if you’ve owned it since new, and taken good care of it. Many people neglect their vehicles in far too many ways, and move on once they become too much of pain for them to try to fix once the problems mount.

      In my opinion, based on the actual overall condition of your F10, that person would be getting a hell of a deal for $700! My husband and I have been looking to buy one and they are hard to come by in any sort of fair – nice shape. If you decide to sell, and that person falls through, I’d be highly interested to see what exactly you’ve got on your hands. We already own 3 Datsuns (one use was gifted to us from my father-in-law, and another gifted from my own father), so we definitely have respect for them =)

    • 0 avatar

      I certainly hope you didn’t sell it! Anyone who has had a car for 34 years should keep that car!! Especially a car as charming as a Datsun F-10, which is most certainly NOT the ugliest car by any stretch of the imagination! I know it might seem expensive to keep it running, but hopefully you can work something out. Also, you should be able to obtain classic car insurance on a car this old and unusual, for probably something like $100 a year, if you don’t drive it much. Try Condon & Skelly, Hagerty, or a similar company.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    In 1976 a college friend who had graduated and gotten a good job had plans to buy a new 280Z and the idea was that he was to drive up to my house in Austin and we would take it on a road trip to Colorado . Still remember my intense disappointment when he drove up in a new 1976 Pea-green metallic F10 coupe ! Besides being quite ugly there were other drawbacks . I am 5’5″ and the roof barely cleared my head , and the buddy was 5’10” . The 5-speed was designed with reverse on top left and first down , contrary to most everything else and had a rubber band feel to it.Remember the clacking CV joints and before we hit Amarillo the plastic grill became partly loose and rattled . On the plus size it got excellent mileage and the cargo space easily held a 10-speed bike . But it was way too small for the friend and after 2 years he’d had enough, bought another car and for a long time left it at my place when he moved out of town . For a good while he tried unsuccessfully to sell it and his mom and I would drive it when our cars were in the shop . Finally his sister-in-law who was even shorter than me , bought it .

  • avatar

    My first car was a 1977 school bus yellow F10 SPORTwagon. And no, the magic never happened in the backseat. Go figure.

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    Well I totally disagree with you Paul Niedermeyer, because you do not find something to your taste it does not make your perception factual, just the like the old saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    I have also always been suspicious of anyone holding strong views on design and art that don’t possess any real artistic merit them selves..

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    As featured in Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger:

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    I hate it when ugly car lists are filled with Vegas, Citations, and Pintos (the latter always with some burr hurr reference to how it always exploded when bumped). Or conversely, when “worst car” lists contain the Aztek, K-Car, Explorer, or otherwise decent vehicles. Pop culture clickbait.

    I remember commenting to my dad on how ugly this F-10 was when I was about ten. He responded that it looked “very Japanese”.

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    I suppose the people who do not think the F10 is ugly are the same folks who would consider buying a Juke or a new Civic hatch today. Anime design existed in Japan even back in the ’70s.

    My memory is flawed, but I think I remember C&D (I believe) referring to this when new as an “atomic cockroach” and it still seems appropo. Simply a hideous design.

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