| In December 1953 the Nissan Motor Co.
signed a "technological co-operation agreement" with the Austin Motor Co.
Ltd. of Great Britain. The result of this agreement gave Nissan the rights
to build and market the Austin A40, and later the Austin A50, in Japan.
It also let them use the Austin engines and chassis technology as a basis
for future Nissan vehicles. By 1956 Nissan were building Austin sedans
under licence in Japan, but the first vehicle Nissan designed and built
themselves using an Austin engine was the B40 Nissan Junior.
Junior is a truly odd name for this vehicle, especially when you consider
that the Junior is quite a large vehicle, and at over 6 foot tall it towers
over the smaller pickups in the range. Like several other Nissan vehicles
from this era, it's styling was a mix of British and American influences.
The Junior was almost a cross between an Austin A40 and a 1950s Ford F100.
The grille on the B40 was a pressed
steel design that was painted white. It had three rows of horizontal slots,
with the top slots being narrow, the middle ones slightly wider, and the
bottom slots being wider again. Under this top section there was a wider
section with a series of 14 small vertical slots. This lower section incorporated
the front indicators.
In late 1957 the B42 was introduced,
which was a minor face lift of the B40. The B42 had a slightly different
grille. On the B42 the big horizontal slots are all the same size, and
in the lower section it still has 14 vertical slots, but it no longer incorporates
the indicators, instead only the top section of the grille goes over the
The Junior had a seperate ladder chassis
and had leaf springs front and back. It sat on large 16 inch split rim
wheels and was rated to carry a 1750kg payload.
The B40 Junior was powered by the 1500cc
version of the Austin B series OHV 4 cylinder engine, which produced 50hp.
The Nissan Junior B42 was in production
until late 1959, when it was replaced by the Nissan Junior B140.
A sales brochure for the Nissan 580
The first Nissan Junior rolls off the production line in
Nissan Junior B40 Specifications
Length - 4290mm
Width - 1675mm
Height - 1820mm
Wheelbase - 2500mm
Weight - 1475kg
Top speed - 90kph
Transmission - 4 speed Column
Model - 1H type
OHV 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 1489cc
Bore & Stroke - 73x89mm
Power - 50hp@4400rpm
Torque - 10.2kg/m@2100rpm
Compression - 7.2 : 1
Carburettors - Stromberg
Final Drive - unknown