Junkyard Find: 1980 Datsun 310 Coupe

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
Nissan sold lots of the original Datsun 510s in the United States, and so the remainder of the 1970s saw a whole series of model names ending in “10” showing up in Datsun dealerships. Some (e.g., the 610 and 710) were Bluebird-based cars like the 510, but the 310 was really a Cherry-based Nissan Pulsar.Here’s an optioned-up 1980 Datsun 310 hatchback coupe in a Denver self-service wrecking yard.
Some 310 owner bought the doors from this car, but left these gorgeous Full Disco seats behind. Why? How?
The A14 engine powered many rear-wheel-drive Datsun B210s and front-wheel-drive 210s. With 1,397 cubic centimeters and 64 horsepower, the 1,970-pound 1980 Datsun 310 wouldn’t win many drag races, but it looked sporty and sipped gas at a time when Americans were gearing up for $20/gallon fuel.
We can’t determine the real mileage from this five-digit odometer, but this car looks fairly clean for its age.
The 5-door hatchback looked like the yen-pincher it really was, but the bubble hatchback window on the coupe looked cool.
Wow! It’s a long way to empty… iiiiin a Datsun!
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Murilee Martin
Murilee Martin

Murilee Martin is the pen name of Phil Greden, a writer who has lived in Minnesota, California, Georgia and (now) Colorado. He has toiled at copywriting, technical writing, junkmail writing, fiction writing and now automotive writing. He has owned many terrible vehicles and some good ones. He spends a great deal of time in self-service junkyards. These days, he writes for publications including Autoweek, Autoblog, Hagerty, The Truth About Cars and Capital One.

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  • Volvo Volvo on Jan 22, 2019

    That was something we did occasionally on older Volvo 240s when the driver's seat bottom started to fail and simple rebuild was not practical.

  • WildcatMatt WildcatMatt on Jan 23, 2019

    I like the clean design of the instruments.

  • Lou_BC Another way to look at this is the upgrading of hardware and software. ...............The average length of car ownership is 10 - 12 years ....................The average lifetime ownership of a cell phone is 2.5 years. ................................................................... My phone will remain up to date, my vehicle won't. Especially if you buy a new "end of run" model.
  • TheEndlessEnigma "...we could be seeing a foundational shift in how Americans and car buyers see Stellantis products." yeah, I view Stellantis products as being off the cross-shop list. Stellantis is doing an excellent job of killing the Chrysler and Dodge brands and turning Jeep into something it isn't.
  • 2manyvettes 495 hp in a base C8 is more than enough. 800+ hp in a ZR1 is not worth the extra $60k (plus dealer markups). Unless the buyer is going for bragging rights. I remember when the C7 Grand Sport came out, and a reviewer got his hands on one and put it on the track at Lime Rock. His conclusion? Save yourself $15k and skip the Z06 and get a Grand Sport.
  • MaintenanceCosts Last year, I rented a closely related Audi A3. The overwhelming impression was of cheap build quality, although the drive wasn't bad. It had ~45,000 miles and the sunroof sunshade and passenger side power window were already not working correctly. Lots of rattles, too.
  • Lou_BC As others have pointed out, some "in car" apps aren't good or you pay for upgrades. My truck did not come with navigation. It was an expensive option. There's a lame GM maps app that you need to subscribe to "in-car" data. The map does not give you navigation other than to tell you where restaurants and gas stations are located. I'd want Android auto since I already pay for the phone.
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