My first Truck was a 78 Datsun 620. My dad bought it when I was 15 years old, and told me it was mine if I fixed the engine. Had a warped head. Spent several weekends with my uncle and my dad rebuilding that engine. Great life lessons for sure. Drove this truck for couple years, and then moved on to a couple different trucks. 5 years later in 1997 I purchased my second 620. It was a 1975. It had 40k original miles, and original owner still had it. I picked this truck up for $700 in Evanston, WY. I drove this truck daily through college for about 5 years. I drove this truck all over the state of Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah. Never thought twice about 500 mile trips weekly across the state. I loved driving this truck even though it didn't have the 5 speed, disk brakes, or air. Was a great truck. Even had working Clarion 8 track player that I used. Always looking for a new 8 track cassette to play.
Well at the end of college in 2002 I purchased a new S10 pickup. The day I bought that truck my college neighbor came to my door and asked me what I was doing with the Datsun. I said "I guess I will sale it...." He asked how much, and then came back to my door 30 seconds later with the $500 cash. He told me that he was going to give the truck to his Dad in Dubois, Wyoming. That was the last I saw that truck. Since that day I have wished that I never sold it. I even used Google Earth to see if I could see this truck in Dubois.
I now live in Midland, Texas, and have a 13 and 11 year old boys. This summer my wife and I planned a trip back up to Wyoming through Yellowstone, then over to Black Hills and back home. It was a 10 day road trip that I was much looking forward to. On day one of the trip I made a list of all the animals that we hoped to see on the trip. Next to each animal I put a prize value for the first person to spot that animal. For example a deer was worth $1. A Grizzly bear was worth $15. But only the first person to spot the animal would get the prize value. My goal with this was to get the boys looking out the window and get them off electronics in the back seat.
On this trip, I planned to drive through Dubois, and of course first thing I ever think of when Dubois comes up, is that I need to find my Datsun. So at the bottom of the animal list was "The Blue Datsun pickup". Worth slightly more then anything on the list at $35 since the chances of finding this Datsun after this many years was beyond low, and less likely then the $30 flame breathing dragon.
We got to Dubois early afternoon, and every blue vehicle I saw got my heart racing just a bit. We started driving up and down the town roads hoping that we would see the Datsun parked out behind someone's house. I expected it to be in the corner of a lot if it hadn't already made its way to a junk yard. On the third road that we drove down, we had a strange find. My wife said "is that a Datsun?" I looked over, and it was a red 620 pulling a trailer out of a field. An older man was driving it. "Yes, that is a Datsun. But it is red. Not my blue truck." But I figured this man would probably know if someone in this Town had a blue 620.
I jumped out of our car, and approached the man. I told him that I had driven to Dubois, WY from Midland, TX to find a Datsun Pickup. I told him mine was blue though, and wanted to know if he knew of any Blue Datsuns in Dubois. He looked at me, and asked me if I sold it to "Chad". I told him "I did", and then he pointed to the interior, and I quickly noticed the blue trim. He then told me he painted the truck red. I then noticed the bullet holes in the bed, and of course the Clarion 8 track player. This was my truck. I can not describe the situation. I was more then excited to have found this truck, and to have it happen in this way was unbelievable. It was like a lost dog that you thought had died years ago. I am sure that nobody was as excited to find an old beat down Datsun in a field like I was that day. It could have been a million dollar super car at that point in time.
I then told him I needed to buy this truck. I had no idea where this would go. He already knew that it was my truck from years and years ago, and knew that he had me where I would pay high. All my cards were exposed, and I had no poker face. He told me that he didn't have to have the truck, and that he had another truck that worked better for the purpose. My wife jumped in, and asked him what it would take. He said he couldn't take anything less then $1500. Even though this truck is a bit rough at this time, I was plenty happy with giving $1500. I immediately told him "deal". A bit too quick, but he stood by his asking price, and I am sure got a good story to tell his family also.
I went to Wyoming last week and pulled the truck home. It runs good, and will be fine for driving around town, but will for sure be a costly project for me and my two sons. We plan to completely restore this truck. My 13 year old boy has already started working on things, and is sure this will be his truck to drive. Funny part is that when I first purchased this truck, it was just a cheap truck that would serve a purpose. I needed it for nothing more then getting me from one place to another. It is certainly more then that now, and my boys think it is the coolest truck ever. I am also very surprised how much these Datsuns have gone up in value. People want these things.
So the new adventure begins, and I am sure I will spend a good bit of time on this site looking for help and for parts. Right now I need some good front fenders and some good floor pans. Fenders are mostly good. Just rusted at bottom by the doors. Not sure if aftermarket will be ok way to go, or if I will need some originals. I want them to fit. Not sure if anyone is making aftermarket floor pans?
Anyway, my wife got the $35, and did see a Grizzly bear about 30 minutes after finding the Datsun, but did not see any flame breathing dragons.
Thanks for reading, and wish me and my boys luck.