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The Complete Guide to Classic Datsun Cars and Trucks

1968 Datsun Cabstar A320
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 The Datsun Cabstar A320 was introduced in October 1968. The replaces the previous Datsun Cablight A221. The Cablight series all featured a body with a short bonnet in front of the windscreen. For the new A320 Cabstar the configuration has been changed to a full cab-forward design, with the engine now situated under the seat in the cabin. The A320 was a fairly modern design in it's day, with it's distinctive feature being the silver painted panel under the windscreen, which gave the appearance that the windscreen was much taller than it actually was. The grille features a thick horizontal bar top and bottom with 4 thinner horizontal bars between them.
 The Cabstar featured the new D12 engine, which was basically an enlarged version of the D11 used in the last of the Cablights. The D12 is a 1189cc OHV engine that produces 56hp.
 In August 1970 the A320 evolved into the A321, and was fitted with the 1299cc 67hp J13 engine previously used in the 411 Datsun Bluebird and Datsun 520 pickup. The A321 can be identified by it's new grille, with two very thick horizontal chrome bars at the top and three black painted bars beneath them. In 1971 the engine was enlarged again, with the new engine being the 1483cc 77hp J15 engine also being used in the Datsun 620 pickup.
 The Cabstar A321 continued in production until the end of 1975, but in the meantime things got very complicated and confusing.

 In Ausust 1969 another version of the Cabstar was built that used the same body, but had it's headlights mounted much higher up and had a different grille and bumper bar, and this model was called the Datsun Sunny Cab C20. This vehicle was built up until September 1970, when it got a new grey plastic grille and became the Nissan Cherry Cab C20, which stayed in production until 1978. But, in January 1975, while the Cherry Cab C20 was still in production, another version called the Nissan Sunny Cab C20 was introduced and sold alongside the Cherry Cab. This new Sunny Cab had a truly hideous new plastic grille and headlight surrounds. This continued in production until 1978.
Confused yet ?
It gets better ! In the early 1960s Nissan built a large bus that seated about 60 people which was called the E690 Cabstar.
...and. In the early 1970s Nissan realised that the name Homer was a really stupid name for a truck, so in some markets, mainly in Europe, the Datsun Homer was sold as the Datsun Cabstar. Which meant that at the same time Nissan had two completely different vehicles, of vastly different sizes, both being sold as the Cabstar. Go figure !


A sales brochure for the Datsun Cabstar A320
 

1968 Datsun Cabstar A320 Specifications  
Length - unknown   
Width - unknown   
Height - unknown   
Wheelbase - 2020mm   
Weight - unknown  
Top speed - unknown

Final drive - 6.43:1


Engine Specifications 
1200 Engine
Model - D12
OHV 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 1189cc  
Bore & Stroke - unknown  
Power - 56bhp@4800rpm

Transmission - Column change 4 speed 

 

Model Variations
 
Datsun Cablight A320 
The truck version was available with either a "styleside" cargo area as pictured here, or as the A200-H, which had a steel cargo area with fold down sides. Unlike the previous Cablight models, a double cab version of the A220 was not available.
 
Datsun Cablight VA320 Delivery Van  
A delivery van version was also introduced at the same time as the truck. The VA320(A) had glass panels in the cargo area with horizontal bars inside to protect the glass area. The VA320(B) had steel panels in the cargo area instead of glass. The version pictured here is the KA320, which was the 9 seater bus variant.
Datsun A321 Update  
In August 1970 the A320 evolved into the A321, and was fitted with the 1299cc 67hp J13 engine previously used in the 411 Datsun Bluebird and Datsun 520 pickup. The A321 can be identified by it's new grille, with two very thick horizontal chrome bars at the top and three black painted bars beneath them. In 1971 the engine was enlarged again, with the new engine being the 1483cc 77hp J15 engine also being used in the Datsun 620 pickup.
Datsun C20 Sunny Cab  
Introduced in August 1969, while the A321 Cabstar was still in production, the Sunny Cab has it's headlights mounted much higher than the Cabstar, and also has a different bumper bar design, which incorporates the indicators.
Nissan C20 Cherry Cab  
After the Sunny Cab, which was only in production for 12 months, came the Nissan Cherry Cab C20. The Cherry Cab had a new plastic grille which also incorporated the headlight surrounds. Available as a truck or van, it was sold as a Nissan rather than a Datsun. Nissan had just released their first front wheel drive car, the Datsun Cherry, possibly they were looking for some sort of model recognition by naming it after the new car. 
Nissan C20 Sunny Cab  
In 1975, while the Cherry cab was still available, a new variant was introduced called the Nissan Sunny Cab. It is identical to the Cherry Cab in every way, except the new Sunny Cab has one of the most hideous grille and headlight surround designs you will ever see.
Datsun Cabstar  
In Eurpoean markets the big Datsun Homer truck was also sold as the Datsun Cabstar. This vehicle is not in any way related to the A320 Datsun Cabstar. The Homer was originally a Prince Motor Company vehicle that became the Datsun Homer after NIssan and Prince merged in 1966.

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