A Datsun Cherry has a somewhat lower "WOW!" factor than a Porsche 911. But many more have been sold. The discovery of such a Datsunnetje makes us think back:
The Datsun Cherry scored
Because it was a front-wheel drive car (otje) that mainly appealed to young people (there were quite a lot of them at the time) and small families. The Cherry was relatively inexpensive, very economical to use and designed in a funny way. The engine of such a Cherry was a 988 cc four-cylinder that produced over 50 DIN hp. Maximum torque was delivered at 4.000 rpm. Still the beetle under the hood was quite smooth. Only below 3.000 rpm was there little steam available. The top speed was specified for 140 km / h. But above 115 km / h it became very noisy on board.
The cornering behavior of the Cherry was largely neutral and turned into a very human-friendly form of understeer. Driving comfort was described as good in the 1970s tests. Certainly if the standard mounted diagonal straps were replaced by radial rubbers. The brakes worked well. But the front brake discs tended to fade.
As a family car, the Cherry was offered as a four-person car. But then those people didn't have to be too tall and the ride not too long. And three small children in the back seat was only an option if the last one put the other two down. The driver himself, if he was significantly longer than the average Japanese, had some vision problems. The trunk space seemed larger on the outside than on the inside.
Somehow the designers at Datsun were still in a learning process. Otherwise it cannot be explained why the ignition lock was on the right knee height and that the direction indicator lever was mounted on the right-hand side of the steering column. The indicator light for the parking brake that also lights up if something is wrong with the diagonally separated brake system is cunning.
Also available with ...
In Belgium, the Cherry was also available in a more muscular version. The 'de Luxe' had an 1171 cc engine there that supplied 65 DIN hp.
The Cherry was offered as a sedan, coupe and station wagon. The last version was then equipped with a rigid rear axle.
And in the meantime
In the meantime, not many Datsun Cherries have survived. They were therefore not made for eternity. But funnily enough, sometimes pretty neat specimens emerge from legacies. Or from barns as in the photo. A Datsun Cherry is a wonderful piece of nostalgia. It is endearing, affordable and wonderfully deployable locally or regionally. And as a Datsun Cherry rider you only get friendly responses and happy looks from people who were quite young and / or had a small family some time ago.
The interest in refurbishing is limited. The prices are correspondingly. Just assume that an absolute top piece can still be found under five mille. And that can be one of the funniest investments of your life.