A Small Japanese Car Company Introduces a Compact Truck to the US and The Truck Industry Changes Forever


Datsun is one of those names that linger in the back of our automotive sensitive minds, but few people remember what made it a famous household name. The Datsun 1000 compact pickup truck took the gas guzzling pickup truck industry by surprise in 1959 and new road hero was crowned.

The Datsun 1000 was the first truck of its kind. It featured a 37 horsepower 1000cc 4-cylinder engine with ¼ ton capacity. After a few sales the engine was boosted to 1200cc and 60 horsepower. The upgraded 320 Datsun hit US shores in 1961, but the 520 model was the truck that put Datsun on the pickup have-to-have list in the US. The 520 Datsun became the hottest selling pickup in the US and stayed on top for ten years.

Datsun ruled the compact pickup market. Nissan, the parent company, introduced the first ½ ton compact pickup in 1969 and in 1975 Datsun was first with the long bed. Their King Cab was introduced in 1977. Thanks to the overwhelming acceptance of their innovative truck line Nissan made a corporate decision to rename the trucks, "Nissan Trucks" and they move their pickup truck manufacturing plant to Tennessee. The first pickups rolled off the Tennessee assembly lines in 1983 and over 1.7 million trucks have been built there since then.

The Hardbody Reshaped the Pickup Truck Persona


In 1987 Nissan introduced their Hardbody model and it has sold over 100,000 units every year since then. The rugged Frontier model made its debut in 1997 as a 1998 model. This 6-cylinder, 4-wheel, compact pickup, was also available in a King cab model and it became the darling of quality conscious pickup drivers. In 1998 J.D. Power and Associates gave the truck an award for excellent driver features and a low number of quality issues.

Nissan used 4X4 trucks continue to travel the roads without major quality issues. In fact, used Nissan 4X4 trucks hold their value and maintain a level of road integrity that sets the bar for other used 4X4 trucks.

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Used Nissan 4X4 Truck For Sale

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