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Datsun Truck
Datsun 220 series truck
Datsun 320 series (van)
Datsun 520 truck
Datsun 620 truck
1982 Datsun 720
Manufacturer Datsun
Production 1955-1986 (as a Datsun)
Predecessor Series 10T (1937-1940, 1946)
Series 1121 (1946-1950)
Series 5147 (1950-1955)
Successor Nissan D21 Pickup
Class Compact pickup truck
Body style(s) 2-door Regular cab
2-door King cab
4-door King cab
Layout Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine(s) 0.9L D10 I4 (Datsun 120)
1.0L C I4 (Datsun 220)
1.2L E-1 I4 (Datsun 320)
1.3L J13 I4 (Datsun 520)
1.5L J15 I4, 1.6L L16 I4(Datsun 521)
1.6L L16, 1.8L L18, 2.0L L20B I4 (Datsun 620)
2.0L L20B I4, 2.0L Z20S I4, 2.2L Z22 I4, 2.2L SD22 Diesel, 2.4L Z24 I4, 2.5L SD25 Diesel (Datsun 720)

The popular and economical Datsun/Nissan compact pickup truck was produced in Japan from 1955 and imported to the United States, Australia, Finland, the Middle East and various European countries. Modern versions of this vehicle are still in production around the world, currently known as the Frontier & Navara.

The post war truck, the 120 series, was produced from 1955–1957 and used the Nissan D engine.


Datsun 220

Datsun 220 Pickup

1957 November, the type 220 was introduced. It was produced from 1957 to 1961. During this time four models were produced: 220 (1957-1958), 221 (1959), 222 (1959), and 223 (1960-1961). Engine and chassis, appeared at 210 and the same type, inline four-cylinder OHV 988cc Nissan C engine (34ps, 33hp), which was used only in the 220 and 221. The 222 was powered by the Nissan E engine (48hp), and the 223 was powered by the Nissan E-1 engine (60hp). Like the 120, the 220 was available in two body styles: 4-seater pickup (U220), and delivery van (V220).

1958, exhibited at the Los Angeles Auto Show. It was exported to America soon after.

Datsun 320

August 1961 the series 320 was released and was produced from 1961 to 1965. The 320 series was largely inherited from the earlier 120-220, with improvements to body and frame. It used the Nissan E-1 engine. This engine produced 60 hp.

All Datsun trucks kept the A-arm torsion bar front suspension with leaf spring rear ends and had 1/2 ton load capacity. Rear end gearing was a low 4.875:1 along with a 4 speed transmission, as a result, the 320 was not freeway friendly above 60mph. Fender emblems showed "Datsun 1200" and "60 HP" with a "Datsun" emblem on the front nose of the hood.

Vehicle type, SINGLECAB "truck" (320), DOUBLECAB "pickup" (U320), 2-door, "van" (V320), based on a wider wheel track (G320) with increased ground clearance. Though described as a van, it also resembles a 2-door SUV, an appearance approach that was internationally introduced in 1986 with the Nissan Pathfinder.

The 320 came in two cab and bed versions. The NL320 "Sport Pick-Up" (1963-65) variation was a rarer (1000 produced) UNI-BODY construction with the cab and bed one piece. Its back half was greatly different than the standard separated bed model L320 pick-up.

Bed and luggage space were in addition to the expansion, with the support of the market characteristics and the robust chassis engine was easy to handle, it was a best seller in the truck market segment.

The chassis was also a sales hit 310 in the reinforcement of the type Nissan Bluebird, a variation of the same series, in which the X-members plus a reinforcement of the Fairlady roadster of the S310-type CSP311. It was also used for the new Silvia coupe.

1963, 410 in-migration.

In 1964, minor changes, and competitors from Toyota called the Hilux and Mazda called the Mazda B-Series.

Datsun 520 & 521

The Datsun PL520 was built from 1965 - 1968. It used the Nissan J engine (the J13). In 1965 and 1966 the 520 had 2 headlights. In 1967, the 520 was slightly redesigned and had 4 headlights. This design was carried on until the end of 520 production. The 520 was available in five body styles: short wheelbase pickup (520, later N520), long wheelbase pickup (G520, introduced in 1969), 4-seater pickup (U520), delivery van (V520),and panel van (52ZV). The fender emblems said "Datsun 1300".

The PL521 was the next generation of Datsun pickup truck. It used the Nissan J engine (the J15) and later had an Nissan L16 engine, with a straight rear axle and somewhat resembled a Datsun 510 from the front. The fender emblems said "Datsun 1600". It was manufactured from 1969–1972, preceded by the 520 and followed by the 620. The 521 was the first compact half-ton pickup in 1968.

Datsun 620

Datsun 620 (first generation) (front), Kuala Lumpur.jpg

In February 1972, the 620 series truck was released. It was a single cab truck and two types of wheelbases were offered, and it consisted of six models of pickup seating, it was related to the delivery van offered only in Japan. It continued to use the Nissan L engine. The 1972-1973 models were powered by the L16 engine, the 1974 model used the L18 engine, and the 1975-1979 models used the L20B engine. The standard transmissions were the F4W63 4-speed (1972-1973) and F4W71 4-speed (1974-1979). In 1977, the optional FS5W71B 5-speed transmission became available. The 3N71 3-speed automatic became available as an option in mid-1972. This was the first series to offer an automatic transmission as an option (all model series before the 620 only had manual transmissions). Final drive gearing was 4.375:1.

Nissan continued the strong rhythms and styling of its previous vehicles, with a shoulder "wing line" or "Bullet Side" accent running alongside the vehicle. Later the KING CAB was introduced to Japan.

In 1976, production started at Nissan Kyushu plant.

In 1978, the first diesel car DATSONTRUCK (SD22 2.2 L 65 hp ) Add a flat-floored and the car deck.

Datsun 720

Datsun 720.jpg

The Datsun 720 came in regular cab and "King Cab" models, with regular and long bed options. The King Cab proved very popular. There was also a 4-door variant offered in some overseas markets. Also, a utility body style like the early Toyota 4-Runner was also available. (Was called the Bushwacker, available as an aftermarket conversion)

The 720 was manufactured in the newly built Smyrna, Tenn plant from 1983.5 to 1986

Early (1980–1983) models had single wall beds with outside rolled lips and rope ties, 2 faux hood vents (some had real vents), and tail lights on the lower rear valance (similar to the 620).

For a limited period, 1983.5-1984 models built in the USA had the single wall beds with rope ties, yet used tail lights on the rear bed corners with amber turn signals over the red stop/tail lights while the backup lights remained under the tailgate. The front end underwent transformation as well, with a larger grill, bumper, and corner lights. There was also a revised dashboard with round instead of square gauges. At the same time, the regular cab was lengthened slightly and the air extractor vents behind the cab doors changed from the high "flag" look to long, narrow ones that matched the height of the window opening. The cab of King Cabs was unchanged.

Finally, the late model trucks produced from 1985 - 1986.5 (first half) utilized double wall, smooth sided beds, with revised tail lights on the corners which resembled those on Chevrolet/GMC S-series trucks. Some overseas models continued with the early style beds. Model years 1986.5 (second half) and later were called Nissan Hardbody Trucks.

Other US model variations besides KC (King Cab) were the GL (???), DX (deluxe), ST (sport truck) and Cab and Chassis models (2wd only).

In most other parts of the world, one could purchase a 4-door cab version of the 720, but such trucks are rare and were never sold in the US.

The Datsun 720 was available in both 2WD and 4WD configurations, the latter having a divorced transfer case.

In 1979.5 and 1980, models were powered by Datsun's 2.0L carbureted L20B engine, but soon after switched to the Nissan Z engine line for 1981. In the Middle East it was powered by Datsun's 1.8L carbureted L18 engine. The 1981-1982 models used the Z22 carbureted 2.2L engine and an optional SD22 Diesel. In mid-1983 Nissan introduced the Z24 2.4 Liter 8 spark plugs 4 cylinder motor, it produces 103 hp (77 kW), Z20 2.0 Liter and the SD25 Diesel; this happened at the same time that the 720 series was marketed as a Nissan (the Datsun name, which had disappeared entirely after 1984, was now only seen below the Nissan name on the left corner of the tailgate). In the American market the diesel engine was only available in the 2WD 720 (from 1982 to 1985). The Z24 was upgraded to Z24i fuel-injection (option) for the 1986 models. Additionally, some overseas markets received versions with the 1.5L J15, 1.6L J16 or 1.8L L18 carbureted engines. The 720 Series was never available with any of the Z22E or Z20E multi-port fuel injected engines. These engines are, however, easy to adapt and integrate into the chassis and can be found with the genuine appearance of being original equipment.

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