Despite it already snowing pretty heavily recently, my town was hit with something of a blizzard Thursday night. Where I had parked my cars were now two vaguely car-shaped snow drifts, and I spent my precious Friday morning minutes digging one clear so I could drive it to work. Snow ploughs were so busy they were nowhere to be seen in my neighbourhood, so it’s probably good I drive something named after a winter olympics host town. But later at noon, what was it that I saw parked on the street? Why, a 1970s Datsun 1200 Finn. If the name is anything to go by, it too should be winterproof. The 1970 Datsun B110 was known as the Sunny in some parts of the world, or as Datsun 1200 in others. Over here, for some inexplicable reason, the moniker Finn was tagged on; possibly to get some more sales in the country that had already accepted Datsuns in its heart. Under the hood is a durable A12 engine, producing as much as 70 hp. That sounds like a good amount of poke for such a small and light car, and it’s probably a blast to drive – even with the characteristically vague steering, skinny tires and topply, narrow body of ’70s Japanese economy cars. The car is naturally RWD, and it would be interesting to see how it does in loose snow. This Finn seems to be in excellent condition. There’s little visible rust, the panels are straight and the paint looks good. Even the chrome looks to be in top notch, with few dings. Green suits it very well, too. The wheel trims are random plastic ones, but as they’re slapped on to the winter wheels, the owner probably has a nicer set of wheels for the summer. The plates on the car are probably originals, as back in the day Finnish plates were white on black and short. It’s also possible it’s historic-registered, but I don’t know of any historic car buff who would drive his/her pride and joy in such uncompromising weather; historic-registered cars are usually pampered and only taken outside for nice weather drives and possibly some polishing on a summer day. But if it’s a good, straight, solid original with lots of life left, onward may it trundle in the tundra. Note the Nokia tires. They didn’t always make just slow-selling phones, you know.
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