By on April 2, 2019

The Rare Rides series has featured just two magnificent Datsuns in prior entries. The first was a 720 King Cab pickup truck, followed recently by the unfortunate looking 200SX coupe. Today’s entry is arguably rarer than either of those, as even local Datsun enthusiast and TTAC contributor Chris Tonn was surprised to see it.

Say hello to the F-10 wagon from 1977.

The model started out in 1970 as an all-new type of car for Datsun: a front-drive subcompact. Internally called E-10, its public name was Cherry. The timing was just right for such an entry in the European market, where Datsun sold the Cherry as the 100A, Cherry, or both. The British, disappointed with domestic brands from BL and the like, turned to Japanese makers for some much needed reliability. Datsun’s sales in the UK for 1971 totaled around 6,000 cars. The next year, they sold more than 30,000; the 100A was a success. A second-generation Cherry (the F-10) was just starting production in 1974, but the UK held on to their favorite E-10 version through 1976, when Datsun refused to build it any longer.

Datsun brought the F-10 to a new, larger market this time: the United States. The F-10 served as the first front-drive vehicle offered by Datsun in North America. Though other countries enjoyed engines of between 1.0 and 1.4 liters in displacement, the largest 1.4 was the only engine distributed in the United States. Said A14 engine produced 70 horsepower, rocketing the F-10 to a top speed of 85 mph. Most had manual transmissions, though there was a Sportmatic option that utilized a semi-automatic transmission with only two pedals.

The F-10 was offered as two- and four-door sedans, a three-door wagon, and a sporty two-door coupe. American customers chose from either the coupe or the wagon, and Canadians could also select the two-door sedan. Meanwhile, the UK market had all the options, and consumers continued buying lots of Cherrys.

Outside the UK, sales of the F-10 were disappointing. After a short run through the 1978 model year, the F-10 and Cherry names disappeared in North America and Japan. The model’s replacement for 1979 was the all-new Pulsar, engineered by Prince Motor shortly before it merged with Nissan. Americans would know it as Datsun’s 310.

Today’s Rare Ride was for sale on eBay recently. In charming beige and very clean condition, it asked (and sold) for about $9,500.

[Images: seller]

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