Barn Find - Yes, a true Barn Find! 1977 Datsun 620 King Cab
Posted 17 September 2014 - 05:13 AM
I want to start out by thanking Ratsun. If not for this great forum, I would have never found this great Datsun barn find.
It all started a few months ago. July 21st to be exact. I was checking out the classifieds on Ratsun and I saw an ad for a 1977 Datsun 620 King Cab Pickup. The ad said it was a one owner truck with only 29k miles located in Maine. It went on to say it has been sitting in a barn for the past 30+ years. There was no price listed at the time and the phone number in the ad was incomplete but all this was enough to peak my interest so I sent an email to the seller asking him to contact me.
Bill, the truck's owner, called me in the morning. He said he used to work as the Parts Manager at a Datsun dealership (Datsun World in Auburn, Maine). He bought the truck in May of 1977 while working at the dealership. He and his wife used the truck for only a few years and then he parked it in his barn and put it up on blocks for the winter. He planned to take it back out in the Spring but got busy with life and never got back to it. Three plus decades later, he decided he would never get around to returning it to its former glory so he decided to sell it. He searched the internet, found Ratsun and placed a classified ad.
Here was the one picture he had used with his ad.
I asked Bill for more pictures of the truck and he said he would need to clear a path to it in the barn so he could take some pics. (The truck was surrounded by other stuff that had accumulated over the years) I checked back in with Bill after a week but he had not gotten around to it yet. Another week and then another and I would just check in from time to time. I finally got an email from Bill with a few more pics. I arranged for a Datsun buddy of mine who lives pretty close to there to go see the truck for me. My buddy confirmed the condition and sent me some more pics.
This is how it looked in the barn.
I spoke with Bill on the phone and after a bit of haggling, Bill and I came to an agreement on the price and I sent a deposit. I told Bill I would be coming up to get it and tow it back to Maryland and he offered me the use of his "camp" for accommodations. His camp was a cottage on the lake close to his house.
So I made plans to go to Maine and pick it up. I figured this would be a good trip to combine with a vacation. My girlfriend and I drove up there with my tow dolly and all my tools, etc. well prepared to bring it home to Maryland.
We left Maryland last Monday and stopped in Woodstock, NY on Monday afternoon. It was a very cool little town and we did some sightseeing, shopping and tourist stuff.
We stayed in a B & B that night, hung out the next morning and hit the road around 11am.
We got up to Bill's place in Maine Tuesday afternoon and met Bill. After some introductions and small talk, I couldn't take it anymore and had to see the truck. Bill let me open the garage door. I lifted the door and there it was.
Bill had cleared out all the stuff around it but had not touched the truck. It was still up on stands and pushed up close to the back wall. I was so excited, I forgot to take pics. It was so straight and original. It still had the original bias ply Toyo tires up front, some snow tires on the back, the original individual cell battery, etc. the interior was super clean too. It had some light mildew and some years of dust but under the mats, the carpet looked new.
I was planning to disconnect the driveshaft to tow it home so crawled under the truck to spray some PB Blaster on the bolts of the driveshaft. I finished that and it was getting late so we closed up the garage and Bill had us follow him to the lake. It was only a mile from his house. His camp was a nice little cottage on Sabbath Day Lake. Here is the view we got upon arrival.
Bill showed us around the place, gave us directions to the local grocery store and Chinese food restaurant and said goodbye. Our plans were to enjoy the lake on Wednesday and then go and have dinner with Chris (my Datsun buddy) and his family that evening. Then go back over to Bill's on Thursday morning to get the truck ready for the trip. Then sightseeing on Thursday and load up and hit the road Friday morning.
We went Kayaking on the lake Wednesday and enjoyed a beautiful day. Then we drove to Chris's house, checked out his place and then all went out to dinner at a nice seafood restaurant on another lake nearby. Well it wouldn't be Maine without lobster so lobster it was. And live music too. We had a great time. Thanks again Chris!
Thursday Morning I was up early and I left my GF at the cottage and headed over to get the truck ready. Since the tires on the truck were over 30 years old and I was planning on towing it with a dolly, I had brought some wheels and tires from my D21 to install on the rear of the truck. I disconnected the driveshaft first, tied it up securely under the truck. 3 out of 4 of the wheels on the truck were spinning freely. The left rear being the stuck one. I removed the wheel and beat on the drum to try to free it but it was pretty stuck. I figured I would get it on the ground and try to free it up so I installed the D21 wheel and tire and jacked it up and set the truck on the ground for the first time in 3 decades. I forgot to take a picture before changing the wheels so here is one just after.
The barn was large enough for two cars but only had one door so we had to scoot it over to get it to where it could be pushed out. We scooted it with the diff on a floor jack. Once the rear was lined up with the door, I hooked a chain to the truck and hooked the other end to the jeep and we gave a tug. The stuck wheel came free easily and we guided the truck out into day light for the first time in 30+ years.
I got the other D21 wheel mounted and headed back to the cottage so Melissa and I could go and enjoy the rest of the day sightseeing, etc.
We went to see the Maine Headlight, an historic lighthouse on Cape Elizabeth.
Then we had lunch at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights. It was a feast.
Then we headed up to Freeport Maine to see the original LL Bean store and do some shopping.
It was a great day despite the on and off rain.
Friday morning we loaded up,said goodbye to a very sad Bill and headed home. The trip was going well but we had a tire blow out on the tow dolly in CT Friday afternoon. I didn't have a spare but was able to get it fixed and back on the road in only 1 1/2 hours. We spent two days on the road coming back. Got back Saturday afternoon. It was good to be back home safe and sound. Sunday I took some pics. I have not cleaned any of it yet. I will be starting in on it this week.
I can't wait to start in on it. The plan is to pull the plugs, squirt some oil in the cylinders, let it soak in for a few days, do it again then try to turn it over by hand. I want to get it running to access the condition of the engine then I'll move on to other areas. All the fluids and lines will need to be cleaned out along with the gas tank, radiator, etc.
Specs on the truck.
1977 Datsun 620 King Cab deluxe - optional 5 speed, A/C, AM/FM Stereo. The factory tach and tail gate protector were installed by Bill on day one. It was fully rust protected with Rusty Jones Rust protector applied day one by Bill. Step and tow rear bumper installed by Bill too
More to come soon..
Code name:Silver Bullet
2002 LS1, w/ 6 speed
Posted 17 September 2014 - 05:40 AM
Wow!!! What a time capsule. Amazing find! Congrats!
Posted 17 September 2014 - 05:42 AM
A new member to the herd ,
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