Depending on whom you ask, the Datsun NL320 is one of the rarest trucks ever. Its sister truck, the N320, is just as rare, but what separates them is the unibody of the NL320. From what we've been told, there were only about 1,200 or less of these imported. How many of these have survived, we may never know. A quick search on the Internet will turn up pages with tons of these little things, mostly in ruins and rusting away as future projects. Luckily for us, Scott Rupp was not one of those guys. When Scott first acquired his Datsun, he did sit on it for a bit. But when the time was right, he got on it.

This was-by far-not an easy project. When you first glance at this truck, you might say to yourself that it looks like a pretty basic and clean truck. Scott told us that he put in 172 hours of metalwork for his NL320. He used whatever he could get his hands on for sheetmetal replacement on this truck. Several trips to the junkyard, hundreds of hours later, and he had rebuilt a ton of sheetmetal, which included the rockers, bed sides, and whatever else was rusted out. At one point, the taillight bezel took a fatal spill. Then, Scott had to spend hundreds of dollars to have the pot metal fixed-because you can't just walk into NAPA auto parts and pick up a set.

Luckily for Scott, the truck was pretty complete, which meant he had a great start. The trick was to get all of the existing fixtures to work properly. Scott was very fastidious in his efforts to get this truck to perfection and made sure all of gauges would work. He also made sure to rebuild and re-chrome the front end and both bumpers. All this work, to Scott, was worth the outcome. There were a few bumps in the road, including opening the pages of MT magazine to find that GO EZ had sort of beaten him to the punch. However, in the end, all it did was motivate him further. It seems to have worked great, as the outcome you see here was well worth the hassle.

The Lowdown

Rolling Attire
Wheels (Front): 18x7 Intro Rallys
Wheels (Rear): 20x8.5 Intro Rallys
Tires (Front): 215/35R18 Nitto Tire
Tires (Rear): 235/35R20 Nitto Tire

Chassis Modifications
Suspension type: Air
Front suspension: Custom control arms
Rear suspension: Four-link
Control arms: Handmade custom uppers and lowers
Spindles/springs: 2-inch Belltech drop spindles
Shocks: Belltech Nitros
Valves: GC 250
Compressors: Two chrome Viair 380s
Air/hydro accessories: Nickel-plated fittings
Frame mods: 7-inch notch, custom-built rear frame
Brakes: '85 Toyota
Detail work: A lot of stainless nuts and bolts, everything that could be painted was.
Misc.: Polished brake lines, stainless braided lines

Body Modifications
Shaved: Tailgate, all emblems, and trim holes
Front end: Everything was restored and re-chromed
Back end: Everything was restored and re-chromed
Misc.: Capped top of bed, wood floor, stainless steel strips, custom wood stain, and 172 hours of metalwork to repair 40-plus years of wear and tear
Performed by: Owner Scott Rupp
City/state: Spring, TX

Paint
Brand and colors: House of Kolor Magic Blue with a custom-mixed base, PPG Global Clear
Style: Single color
Performed by: Cory Scott at Kustom Werx
City/state: Conroe, TX

Interior
Seats: Stock bench seat
Material: King Ranch saddle leather and suede
Dash: Stock and restored
Door panels: Custom-built, by the owner
Flooring: Brown Daytona carpet from ACC mats, custom-sewn
Headliner: Suede with wood strips
Gauges: Stock restored, all in working order
Performed by: Owner Scott Rupp
City/state: Spring, TX

Engine/Performance
Displacement: 1189 cc
Model/year: '64
Number of cylinders: Four
Transmission: Four-speed on the column
Intake: Painted
Header/exhaust: Chrome header, custom built 1.5-inch exhaust
Driveshaft: Stock, with a machined yoke for the rear-end
Rear-end type: '85 Toyota, narrowed 10-inches by Joey of Innovative Designs
Detail work: Hand-built firewall, stainless nuts and bolts
Misc.: 30 pieces of chrome in the engine
Performed by: Owner Scott Rupp
City/state: Spring, TX

Special Thanks From Owner:
Thanks to my wife Carla, my 2 1/2-year-old son Austen, for whom I built the truck, Cory Scott, Rosco, David Castro, Ryan, and to Wade and Keith Iannelli, who found the truck.