The Complete Guide to Classic Datsun Cars and Trucks

1968 Datsun 521 Truck

 The 1968 Datsun 520 went into production in mid 1968, and went on sale late in 1968. 
 The new 521 series retains the basic structure of the previous 1968 520 series truck, but has a new front end design to give it a more modern look. The new front design involved a new bonnet and new front guards. Where the original 520 had a bonnet and guards that curved downwards at the front, the new 521 has a very flat bonnet. The height of the headlights and grille opening has also been raised, giving it a rather bold look. Much of the rest of the truck remains unchanged, though it now has a dash that is all black, where the 520 had the dash painted the same colour as the body. The grille on the first of the 521s had three horizontal bars grouped closely together in the middle, and a slightly wider bar at the top and bottom. In the section between the top bar and the group of three bars, and between the group of three bars and the bottom bar there is a series of intricate and fine horizontal and vertical bars. Later 521s had a wide bar in the middle where the three horizontal bars went on the 1968 model. The other changes involved new front indicators that were longer and sat under the headlights rather than on the corner of the guard. Also the 520 had three horizontal slots in the panel under the grille, the 521 has two horizontal slots. 
 Initially the engine remains the same, using the J engine, which is a 1299cc 67hp OHV 4 cylinder engine. Later the engine was enlarged to 1483cc with the introduction of the J15 engine, which produced 77hp. In the United States the later 521 was available with the 1595cc 96hp OHC L16 engine from the Bluebird 510 sedan. The gearbox is a 4 speed with synchros on all forward gears. A long wheel base model, the G521, was also available. It had a 2770mm wheelbase. 
 The 521 was in production until February 1972, when it was replaced with the completely new Datsun 620.

A Mexican sales brochure for the 521 
1968 Datsun 521 grille
1970 Datsun 521 grille

1968 Datsun 521     
Length - 4325mm   
Width - 1575mm   
Height - 1545mm   
Wheelbase - 2530mm   
Weight - 960kg   
Top speed - 135kph 
Transmission - Column change 4 speed 
Final drive - 4.625 : 1

Engine Specifications 
1300 Engine 
Model - J 
OHV 4 Cylinder  
Capacity - 1299cc   
Bore & Stroke 73x77mm   
Power - 67bhp@5200rpm   
Torque- 76ft/lb@2800rpm   
Compression - 8.2 : 1   
Carburettor - dual throat down draught

Engine Specifications 
1500 Engine   
Model - J15 
OHV 4 Cylinder 
Capacity - 1483cc   
Bore & Stroke 78x77mm   
Power - 77bhp@5200rpm   
Torque - 87ft/lb@3200rpm   
Compression - 8.3 : 1   
Carburettor - dual throat down draught 

Engine Specifications 
1600 Engine 
Model - L16 
OHC 4 Cylinder  
Capacity - 1595cc   
Bore & Stroke 83x73mm   
Power - 96hp@5600rpm   
Torque- 100ft/lb@3600rpm   
Compression - 8.5 : 1   
Carburettor - dual throat down draught   

Model Variations
Datsun 521 
The 521 was the standard truck version. It's cabin section was seperate to the cargo section, with about an inch gap between the two. It was also available as a cab/chassis version without the steel cargo section, which allowed the buyer to fit his own body. 
Datsun U521 
The U521 is a 4 seat version of the 521 with a smaller cargo area. It has a one piece body, the cabin and the cargo sections are joined together, there is no gap between them. 
The front bench seat has a one piece base and a 2 piece backrest. Each side of the backrest hinges both forward and towards the middle to allow access to the rear seat.
Datsun V521 
The V521 is a light van version of the 521.  
The V521 was marketed as either a light van, a delivery van or as a heavy duty station wagon. It had seating for 5 people, but the reat bench seat would fold down to give it a full length flat cargo area.  
It was avaialble with glass side windows and also as a panel van.  
The front bench seat has a one piece base and a 2 piece backrest. Each side of the backrest hinges both forward and towards the middle to allow access to the rear seat.
Datsun 620 
The 521 was replaced by the Datsun 620 in February 1972, and remained in production until October 1979, when it was replaced by the Datsun 720, which was the last vehicle in this series. After the 720 came the Nissan Navara.

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