Hang Ten in this Fifties Surf Truck – 1959 Datsun LG220

Sold – $13,000 (Plus fees)

There were only ten market testing trucks sold by Datsun in the United States during 1959, and this is one of them. It was initially purchased by a Mr. Stratton from Wally Tucker Datsun in Bakersfield, California and has remained in the Golden State ever since. The Datsun is on auction now and represents an exceptionally rare opportunity for any collectors, especially of early Japanese cars. It comes with a clean California title and all of the registration forms since 1959. Below are some more of the details about this darling little Datsun.

After being acquired from a Bring a Trailer auction in 2015, the Malamut Auto Museum sold the truck to a Laguna Beach surf shop (Thalia) in Orange County, California. The powder blue paint was then adorned with hand-written advertisements for the surf shop on the truck bed and passenger doors. Some wear is present throughout the paint (especially the roof), and the bed has several areas of oxidation inside. The seller informs us that the promotional lettering can easily be removed with a cloth and the application of standard paint thinner.

Chrome trim along the cab and bed body paneling pleasantly adds a 1950s feel, as does the grille and bumpers. Below the body, 15” stamped steel wheels that have hubcaps color-matched to the body paint and wear newer radial tires. A previous owner had a 1” steel plate affixed inside of the bed, but the current owner has since had that removed. After the elimination of the plate, the entire bed was treated with rust-inhibiting paint before the body color was applied. However, the seller informs us that there is still a small hole in the bed floor by the driver’s side. Overall, though, the body paneling is in great condition despite years of use.

Inside the cabin is a bench seat composed of tartan cloth and red vinyl fitted with two seatbelts. This fabric and vinyl blend extends on to the door panels and was upholstered by the Thalia surf shop during their ownership. In the footwells is brown carpeting, which has apparent signs of regular use; above is an off-white vinyl headliner. The dashboard and door panels have been painted to coordinate with the exterior color. Nestled below the dash is an AM radio and an aftermarket auxiliary voltage gauge.

Behind the original Datsun-branded steering wheel is the factory instrumentation box.  A central 80 mph speedometer is flanked by a water temperature dial and fuel level gauge. The five-digit odometer inside displays 61,000 miles, but the exact mileage is unknown. Adding a delicate detail touch to the interior is a ‘Datsun 1000’ enamel badge centrally-mounted upon the dashboard.

Under the hood is a 988cc inline-four cylinder C-Series motor. A single carburetor supplies airflow to the engine and power is sent to the rear wheels courtesy of a four-speed manual transmission operated on the steering column. In preparation for the sale, an oil change was performed, and a new filter was installed. It is worthy of mentioning that the truck uses SAE hardware instead of metric bits. A 12-volt electrical system has also been outfitted to the truck. Recently the original exhaust system was replaced with a brand-new unit.

The engine stamp (C55099) matches the chassis tag; so this is a number matching, one-of-only-ten-sold vehicle. As mentioned, all of the registration information plus some other paperwork including a newspaper clipping from 1984 featuring the truck is all furnished with this purchase. The auction is now live, so do not let the tide go out on this opportunity!

See the surf truck report here

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