Sunday, April 29, 2012
Truck Of The Day: April 29, 2012
Today's car of the day is Zylmex's 1972 Datsun 620.
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, South Africa, and various European countries. Modern versions of this vehicle are still in production around the world, currently known as the Frontier & Navara.
For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Datsun 620
Another model acquired at this year's Keystone CARnival, this is a model that has eluded my grasp for many years. I'm in dire need of an upgraded model, but at least I finally have one. Much like most real pickups, this one has spent considerable time being used and abused by previous owners. One can only imagine how many imaginary loads this one has hauled over the decades, but much like many of its real world counterparts this one has been relegated to my scrapyard diorama. The wheels are bent. The paint's mostly missing. The windows are cloudy. The roof's dented. And yet, the motor probably still fires. The real ones were resistant to everything except Northeast winters. The body would rust off long before the engine would quit.
In February 1972, the Datsun 620 truck was released and was in production until 1979. It was a regular cab truck (a King Cab version was released in 1977) 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. There was also the U620, which was a crew cab "Utility" version. It used a shorter bed to allow full seating for four people. The U620 was essentially a 620 pickup from the doors forward, with the bed and rear end being the only difference. The 620 continued to use the Nissan L engine.
The 1972-1973 models were powered by the L16 engine (96 hp), the 1974 model used the L18 engine (100 hp), and the 1975-1979 models used the L20B engine (110 hp). In overseas markets the 620 was equipped with the J15. 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. Side badges were "DATSUN 1600" or simply "DATSUN". The grille badge was two colored stripes (one red and one blue, respectively) behind the word "DATSUN". Nissan continued the strong rhythms and styling of its previous vehicles, with a shoulder "wing line" or "Bullet Side" accent running alongside the vehicle. The 620 was known for its durability and weather resistance despite its small size along with an engine known for reliability. As a result, the 620 was competing with the larger American pickup trucks, which in turn gave Datsun a strong reputation in the United States. A number of innovations were introduced with the 620: first long-bed (1975), first extended-cab (1977), front disc brakes (1978), and electronic ignition (1978).
The 620 was redesigned slightly for 1978, with changes to grille and front bumper. A 4-door crew cab variant was offered in some markets.