Monday, November 7, 2011

San Francisco Street Sighting - 1967 Nissan Patrol L60

Most compact personal 4x4 vehicles in the United States are probably Jeep CJs and Wranglers. For all intents and purposes the original Willys MB military Jeep was the first modern off-roader. (Some could argue that the German VW-based K├╝belwagen came first, but it did not have 4-wheel-drive and a civilian variant didn't come until 1969 as the Type 181 "Thing".) The Jeep spawned a host of imitators in the years following World War II, including the Land Rover Series 1, Toyota Land Cruiser, International Scout, Ford Bronco and Nissan Patrol. Today we'll take a look at the Nissan Patrol L60.



The Patrol was marketed in the US from late 1960 until 1969. It was a tough little truck, utilitarian in all aspects. Cowboy celebrity Roy Rogers endorsed it. Unlike most vehicles of its time, the Patrol changed very little during its production run. At first glance, all Patrols will look pretty similar. On closer inspection though, it is possible to tell certain model years apart. I believe this example is a 1967 model, because it sports redesigned chrome door handles not found on the 1960-66 trucks (their handles were inset into the door itself), and 1967 was the final year for three opening air vents at the base of the windshield frame. In 1968 the design was changed to two vents, and in 1969 the Patrol gained side marker reflectors and revised turn signals on the front fenders. This truck has been customized with flashier wheels and off-road tires, modern seats and taillights apparently taken from a Jeep Wrangler. In general it appears to have benefitted from a restoration with newer paint and roof canvas.
I don't know how many Patrols were ultimately sold in the US, but there can't have been a whole lot. One resource states 2616 total vehicles of which approximately 975 were soft-top L60s. The same resource claims that Nissan failed to understand the US market, failed to meet demand and failed to market the truck adequately, all of which contributed to the low sales figures. Very few of these vehicles are left in original condition, as parts are extremely hard to find and more modern components are desired by owners who want their 40-plus-year-old trail rigs to hold together, or just keep from beating them up when they drive.

2 comments:

  1. Part Land Rover part Jeep looks alright for a 44 year old 4 x 4.

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