Datsun Cherry Coupé


OK, so it’s an unlikely sort of Car Crush.

We were looking for a little runabout recently. You know, something that we could get four kids in on the school run, something we could whip around the lanes in and career about the local A-roads having as much fun as possible for as little cost as possible. It was actually quite depressing.

The thing is, there is SO little choice in runabouts. The Fiat 500 is a cool little motor- but there’s no room for the kids really.

Of the mid range compacts – from the Corsa to the Focus to the Corolla and beyond there is very little choice in aesthetic. OK, the Citroen DS3 and the Civic are interesting designs, but not very cheap to drive off the forecourt. And as for depreciation – these things are pretty bad if you buy from new.


And then I remembered a family down the road from us in the 1970s, whose daily ride was one of these Datsun Cherry Coupés.

Datsuns were always a bit of joke-butt back in the day. They were dirt cheap, rusty but reliable – and there weren’t many that you could really aspire to. But this family’s Cherry Coupé came in orange, and it looked super cool.

The X1, pictures here, came with the bigger 1.2 engine with the added wheeze of twin side draft carbs – as well as that nice matte vinyl roof and black colour coding on the steels and the mirrors.

We really, really wish something was on the market with this much style today.

In the meantime, we had to plump for a civic. At least the design is a bit different.