|The Datsun 220 went into production in October 1957 and continued
through until September 1958. In an odd marketing move the new 220 was
released at the same time as the new Datsun 124 truck. The 124 was the
direct replacement for the previous Datsun 123, and the Datsun 220 entered
the range as a higher specification version of the 124. The new 124 model
truck continued to use the old side valve 860cc engine that had been used
in previous 113 model, while this new up-spec 220 model featured the new
overhead valve C series engine.
The body of the Datsun 220 is pretty much identical to the one used for
the previous Datsun 123 model, the only major difference being a slightly
altered grille support panel at the front of the car that allows the new
grille to protrude forward slightly. The new grille design features three
large horizontal bars, and a raised section at the top that incorporates
a red DATSUN badge.
Side mounted badges in the car say DATSUN 1000. There is
a round badge in the centre of the dashboard that says DATSUN 1000. The
220 continues to use the bullet shaped indicators mounted to the top of
the guards that were used on the 123 truck, the Datsun 221 truck that followed
the 220 didn't have the bullet indicators and instead had conventional
indicators either side of the grille.
Mechanically the 220 was very similar to the previous Datsun
123, running the same chassis, steering and reverse Elliot I beam front
suspension, but the big changes were made in the engine bay.
The 220 was the first Datsun truck to have a relatively
modern engine. The old 860cc side valve D10 engine, which was little more
than a mildly updated version of the pre-war Datsun engine, was replaced
with the new 988cc over head valve Datsun C series engine. The new engine
developed 37hp, a substantial jump up from the 25hp produced by the old
side valve engine.
The fact that the new C series engine looked a lot like the Austin A series
engine was no coincidence. In 1953 Nissan signed a licencing agreement
with Austin, allowing Nissan to build and sell Austin A40s and A50s in
Japan. Nissan based their next generation of engines on these Austin designs.
Although it was based on the Austin engine, it wasn't a direct
copy. In the late 1950s Nissan hired an American engineer by the name of
Donald Stone to work on the C series engine, and he made several modifications
to the Austin engine, improving oil seals and head designs, resulting in
substantial performance and reliability gains over the Austin design. These
early C series engines were known in Japan as the "Stone engine" in honour
of their designer.
The Datsun 124, which continued to be built alongside the
210, continued to use the old D-10 side valve engine.
The Datsun 220 also became the first Datsun truck to be fitted
with 12 volt electrical systems, all previous models had 6 volt systems.
The Datsun 220 truck was in prodution until September 1958,
when it was replaced with the upgraded Datsun 221.
A Japanese sales brochure for the Datsun 220.
Length - 3752mm
Width - 1466mm
Height - 1625mm
Wheelbase - 2220mm
Weight - 915kg
Top speed - 103kph
Transmission - Column change
OHV 4 Cylinder
Model - C
Capacity - 988cc
Bore & Stroke 73x59mm
Power - 37bhp@4600rpm
Torque - 49ft/lb@2400rpm
Compression - 7.5 : 1
Carburettor - Hitachi Solex
VA-26-6 26mm single throat down draught