Today I went to get a Maryland title for the truck. I went to my local AAA office, as they offer tag an title services and to me it is worth their fee and more to avoid a trip to the MVA.
I basically took in the signed Iowa title I had received for the truck and the signed and notarized bill of sale. I signed the bill of sale in front of a notary there at AAA, and then they filed the paperwork to send off for my title. I didn’t file for a registration or tags, because for those you need proof of insurance. I haven’t insured the truck yet and won’t until I get it running again. I do plan to get a historic vehicle registration, which is around $50 for two years (about 1/3 the cost for my daily driver) and includes nifty MD Historic Vehicle tags.
Anyway, it went smoothly and I should get my new MD title in a week or so. The VIN of the truck is 4-L320-03195.
The truck arrived today as scheduled. The car carrier driver called around 1:30 when he was about four miles away to say he couldn’t get any further because of low-hanging branches along the roadway, so I had to call a flatbed truck to get the truck the last mile to our house and down the driveway. The carrier driver felt bad he couldn’t get back here and cut his fee by $50. The flatbed driver helped me back the truck into what will be its resting place until it gets running, hopefully soon.
The brake pedal and clutch basically just go straight to the floor with no resistance at all. The outside looks good, as I expected. The paint is very nice and the chrome is probably a six or seven out of ten. I knew it was but it sure is a small truck.
Here are some pics of the truck when it arrived.
So what are my plans for the truck?
This is not a restoration project. I wanted to buy a truck that was in running order, but that didn’t work out. I bought this one because the bodywork and paint and bright work are all in very nice condition, which means I don’t have to spend the many hours (and dollars) necessary to get those sorted.
My goal is to get the truck back on the road as soon as possible so I can drive it. After that point I’m sure there will be small projects, upgrades, aesthetic items, etc. that I can work on at my leisure. But right now I want to get it running and stopping.
The truck has been sitting and hasn’t run for a period of years. Here’s how I plan to get it running again:
- Drain the old gas. Drop the gas tank and get it cleaned out if necessary. Replace the rubber fuel lines and fuel filter and get the carburetor rebuilt.
- Drain the old oil, replace the oil filter, and add new engine oil. Replace any rubber hoses as necessary.
- Drain the coolant and pull the radiator and have it pressure tested and re-cored if necessary. Replace the thermostat and radiator and heater hoses. Flush and replace coolant.
- Replace the battery and elements of the ignition system including distributor cap, rotor, points, and spark plugs and wires.
- Replace the brake and clutch hydraulics and do a full brake job.
That’s pretty much my plan. I’m hoping it won’t take too long to get those items done. When steps 1-4 are done I will probably try to start up the engine. I’m not going to drive it until I’ve done the brakes, though! I’m sure there will be some trouble-shooting along the way.
It’s official, I now own a 1964 Datsun L320 pick-up truck!
I’ve been searching for a truck for some time now, particularly a 1964 or 65 L320. I love the old-timey look of these trucks and the similarity to the roadsters. For an overview of the 1964 320, see this page on the earlydatsun.com website, which is a great resource. Before I bought my truck I ordered Alan Bent’s great Complete Guide to the Datsun 320 CD-ROM from Australia. The CD has all kinds of good information including owner’s manuals, a parts book, a service manual, parts interchange guide, and lots of cool original sixties marketing materials. I highly recommend it at only around $25 (depending on the $/AUD exchange rate).
A couple of weeks back I was very close to getting a white 320 out in Oregon, but that one sold the day before I got a chance to buy it. This one I bought from a family out in Kansas City, KS. It was listed on Craiglist and in Hemmings online.
They had owned it for around 20 years. One brother did some restoration work, including a nice paint job and the chrome in the 1990s. Although it isn’t running, I like the fact that I just need to get it sorted out mechanically and the cosmetic work is largely already done. I’m assuming it will need a carburetor, new ignition parts, a battery, and new hydraulics.
Buying a vehicle long-distance is complicated. Luckily I have a friend in KC who was willing to do some leg work for me, otherwise it probably would have been impossible. I basically sent him a cashier’s check for the truck and had him go over in person and hand over the funds and take the title and a notarized bill of sale (which I filled out and sent for the seller to sign) on the day the shipper was coming to pick up the truck. The seller was a bit nervous whether the cashier’s check was real, but a quick trip to a nearby branch of my too big to fail bank verified that it was, and it all worked out. The truck is on its way here and should arrive Sunday.
To ship the truck I used Montway Auto Transport, who were recommended by someone on the 311s.org roadster forum. The price to get the truck from KC to the Baltimore area was $940 for uncovered transport.
Time to start ordering parts.