By on December 18, 2013

18 - 1977 Datsun 810 Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Datsun 810 wagon was a fairly common sight on the streets of Northern California during the Middle and Late Malaise Eras, sort of the semi-sporty wagon choice for families who wanted a family hauler with a bit of 280Z in its genes. The Datsun 810 became the Datsun Maxima by the early 1980s and the Nissan Maxima by 1984, and all of the rear-drive members of this family have become rare finds these days. We’ve seen this ’82 Maxima and this ’78 810 wagon so far in this series; those two cars and today’s 810 were all shot during trips to California wrecking yards. I don’t know if they even existed outside of a 50-mile radius from San Francisco.
06 - 1977 Datsun 810 Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinWhile the 810 sedans got the independent rear suspension of the Datsun Z, the wagons had a good old suitable-for-heavy-loads solid axle out back.
12 - 1977 Datsun 810 Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 280Z in 1977 had a 2.8 liter L6 engine, while the 810 kept the 2.4 liter displacement of the earlier 240Z.
09 - 1977 Datsun 810 Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis one probably did some surfboard-hauling duty in its later years.
02 - 1977 Datsun 810 Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe interior is worn out, but you can see that it must have been a nice place in 1977.
05 - 1977 Datsun 810 Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI thought about pulling this mechanical-digital clock for car-clock collection, but 95% of these things are broken and I didn’t have 12V source to test this one.
08 - 1977 Datsun 810 Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinFaux woodgrain on the tailgate, just like a Country Squire!

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20 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1977 Datsun 810 Station Wagon...”

  • avatar

    Why do so many Junkyard Finds have the valve cover removed? Is it that valuable of a part in auto-salvage yards?

    • 0 avatar

      Guess here but: Taking it off is simple and is an easy way to judge, or let customers judge, the condition of the engine (ie., sludge, oil deposits showing blowby, etc…). Since it’s not a wear item, if it gets lost you can just swap it with the one from the existing engine you are replacing, or find it from the junkyard…

    • 0 avatar

      Does anyone know where this 810 wagon is located..I have a 810 wagon that needs part desperately…would love buy the doors, fenders and hood…please tell me…or contact me if you know of any in the northern California area…thanks…

  • avatar

    Where’s the 510 wagons? I remember waking up from a nap in the foot well of a 510 on the side of the Ohio Turnpike. The smell of that warped head is SEARED into my memory.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve done a couple of 510 wagon Junkyard Finds. They’re still out there.

      • 0 avatar

        But none of them have been wagons, from what I saw via the TTAC Google search. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have much love for the 510 wagon. I just like seeing things that were part of MY past discussed on MY favorite web site. Now, if you see an ’84 626lx sedan! Whoo boy. I might just drive out and buy the hulk and start a resto project. Got my first ticket in a 626lx. It was running well THAT day.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    As a child of the nineties, I barely remember Japanese cars’ “tuner” years, and I altogether missed the quirky years. I get kind of annoyed when people start kvetching about how boring Japanese cars are these days, but the more I learn about these cool Junkyard Finds, the more I start to understand that view. Where’s the passion?

  • avatar

    Christina was a betty.

    Christina picked up the map she had printed off the internet. “Ashby”, she noted. A new song aired on the radio. She recognized it’s introductory beat immediately. “YES!”

    “When I get you all alone
    I’m gonna take off all your clothes
    Ain’t nobody gonna interrupt my game, oh no”

    She grooved sexily in the battered seat, extending her arm towards Alcatraz off in the distance as the wagon smoothly cruised down the Eisenhower. Her green pig tails worked back and forth to the head-shake. She calmed down just enough to grab her Mountain Dew, which sat at an odd angle in the cubby under the radio. She drew in some refreshment through the straw, resumed her dance, and returned the Wendy’s cup to the closest thing to a cup holder in the Datsun.
    “…Couldn’t we do what we did last night again? Baby you and I could be better friends…”, she sang, clipping the plastic cup on the Datsun’s T-handle. The cup cracked, and the lip popped off. The cubby now held a mixture of odd items, swimming in green syrup and ice. “Shit!”

    Christina checked the Wendys bag for salvation. Her hopes were dashed. No napkins. “What the hell?!”, she yelled to herself, “You gotta ASK for napkins now?” She looked behind on the floor, and picked up the dirty Girl Skateboards beanie. The beanie was pressed to her right leg, where the Mountain Dew dampened her cargo pants. “Ugh!”

    “That place looks pretty sweet.”, she thought while passing a hardware store. There was a wide array of stair sets and handrails to choose from, not that she could do anything with them. They were above her skill level. Chris made a left, and slowed. The smog station was not hard to find. “I spilled my drink. I didn’t pee myself or anything.”, the spunky teen told the man at the counter. The mechanic smiled at her outgoing statement while he jotted down her information. “How long is this going to take?”, she asked. “Probably 45 minutes. I got one guy in front of you.”, he replied. “Cool.”

    Chris opened the wagon’s rear door and pulled out her board, a lightly-marred Ronnie Creager signature model. She pushed down the sidewalk towards the hardware store. The board clicked and clacked beneath her feet. A week prior, they watched Hawk pull the 900 at the X-games. She dwelled on that thought. Everyone went insane. He was a god, an absolute dream.

    Berkeley’s finest were on her in short order. Being female, she got off rather light. The officers were friendly, and merely told her to leave the premises. Christina rolled up just as the tech inserted a probe into the Datsun’s tailpipe. “Awww.” After a failed test cycle, Bill explained to her what may need to be done to get the maligned wagon to pass, none of which was fully understood. She would have to take the estimate to dad.

    “These doors are totally rotten. I don’t know if it’s even worth it.”, Dad said, lightly picking the cancer. As is common in California, the perfectly serviceable automobile was eventually replaced, and parked off to the side in a state of limbo. Christina, now in L.A., was not around to watch her beloved wagon get dragged off to slaughter.

    “I had this old DATSUN stationwagon. It was badass.”

  • avatar

    I came back from a lunch meeting just now, and near the restaurant – not a half hour ago, was a brown 1980ish Cressida wagon. In nice shape, with slight rust at the rear wells. I’ve seen it before there so it’s an employee’s car. Just funny to see the direct competitor to this car.

    It was older than the one with singular headlamps, and newer than the one with circular headlamps. It had four square ones. I’m having a hard time finding a representative photo.


    I love the Crown Custom.×540.jpg

    And what I saw must have been an 81.

    Looked just like that, but wagon

  • avatar

    And in other news, d̶o̶z̶e̶n̶s̶ two members of are warming up their part chasers while making a list of the parts that interchange with their current fleet. All the while pounding out long forum posts lamenting the death of such a clean wagon that would have made them a good family hauler.

    Oh wait, its an automatic….nevermind

  • avatar

    Knew a guy that was really into these things back in the late 80’s/early 90’s. You could buy them for a song, and they were very decent automobiles. Needless to say this guy went for the coupes.

  • avatar

    In the 70’s didn’t the Jap come loaded with rear defogger, radio & tinted etc – when motown was all cost option?

  • avatar

    I too thought that the 810’s were a bay area only car line, until I saw a modded one at a hill climb in NC. I expressed my surprise to my host/guide/friend & mailman, and he told me that they and 510’s were pretty common at any SCCA event.

  • avatar
    bill mcgee

    A friend had a ’77 810 sedan , bought a year old with maybe 10,000 miles. His had the 4-speed , oddly a 5-speed wasn’t initially offered , even though one was available then on lower level Datsuns . At the time , the 810 really didn’t have much Japanese competition , at least with a six-cylinder . Datsun advertising of the time made much of the ” Z-car ” engine and the fuel-injection , still a bit of a rarity back then though some car magazines called it a ” Japanese Maverick” back then and the styling did somewhat resemble the Ford . The friend frequently left town on business and a few times let me drive it for a few days if I would drive him to the airport . I recall thinking the engine sounded really nice and it seemed fast , at least to me and compared to the economy cars I was driving at the time . His had a similar maroon interior. I remember that it was a bit of a handful in the rain and one time when the friend was out of town I remember I wasn’t driving all that fast and spinning the car around completely braking a bit too hard at a red light .As I recall the car gave the friend good service but the insurance company totalled it out when it was still fairly young after the friend drove it into high water in a Houston flood and the water went over the dashboard .

  • avatar

    There’s the joke about when Nissan was planning their first imports to the US. They knew how important the right Name was to American buyers, so the Nissan marketing folks paid a visit to Volkswagen. They knew that VW had been very successfull in the American market, so Nissan asked if VW could maybe suggest a good name that the Americans would like.

    The old German VW exec told Nissan, “Ja ja, ve vill help yu… I vill tink on it… ”

    The Nissan guys said, “OH, Great thanks so much. But could you hurry please? We start shipping next week.”

    The German VW exec says, “Next veek? Ahhh, Dat Soon???”

    The Nissan guys said, “GREAT NAME! Thanks, we’ll take it!”

  • avatar

    Good little cars then and now .


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