This is a seriously rare find.
Before the Nissan Pathfinder and dearly departed Xterra there was the Trail Hustler. Never heard of it? Don't worry. You're likely not the only one. The truth of the matter is that the Trail Hustler was the first SUV Nissan sold in the US. Only 100 units were made for the 1984 model year. And if the Trail Hustler looks somewhat familiar to you then that's because it was based on the Nissan 720 small pickup truck that many still think of as a Datsun.
The Trail Hustler is, essentially, a 720 with a bed topper. It represented the beginning of an era that's still very much alive today. And now, one of those ultra-rare and all-original Trail Hustlers has popped up for sale on Craigslist with the seller located on Knoxville, Tennessee. The price? Try $15,000. No, there's not an extra 0 on that amount and the seller says the price is firm. We don't blame him, even with the 101,000 miles on the odometer.
As its documented history shows, a guy named Tim Deese, who was inspired by the two-door Ford Bronco and Bronco II, managed to convince Nissan to send him a limited number of chassis to complete. Apparently it was easier back then for a fabrication shop to reach out to a mainstream automaker and request vehicles to modify. All the more surprising was that Nissan liked the idea and the rest is history. Deese's build resulted in the Pathfinder's father.
However, the Trail Hustler has no rear seats. Want comfort? The rear wheel wells are covered with carpet, though there's still plenty of cargo space and enough room to accommodate an adult to lie flat for some much-needed rest following some backcountry adventure. Under the hood lies a small but durable naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder with only 103 horsepower. It was enough to get the job done, though just barely. Power goes to all four wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox.
Its current owner clearly knows what he's got here based not only on the asking price, but also by the fact he's invested in a new exhaust system, tires, brakes, and all regular maintenance. Judging by the photos, the exterior is still in remarkably good condition aside from a few minor dings here and there. The same goes for the interior. There are also 'Tim Deese Production' badges inside and out, so you can be fully confident this isn't just an old 720 with a topper made to look like a Trail Hustler.
Given just how rare this old school SUV is and its historical influence, the $15k price isn't that unreasonable. Chances are, the seller won't have any problems finding a buyer.