| 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. The first vehicle Nissan designed and built
themselves using an Austin engine was the B40 Nissan Junior in 1956. A
year later in December 1957, Nissan introduced a cab forward style truck
that was based on the mechanicals of the Junior, and this was called the
C40 Nissan Junior Caball.
Just like the B40 Junior pickup, the
C40 Junior Caball was powered by the 1500cc version of the Austin B series
OHV 4 cylinder engine, which produced 50hp. The engine sat directly under
the middle of three seats in the cabin. The cabin area of the truck had
a huge hump in the middle of the floor directly under the middle seat that
housed the engine. This hump went from the back of the cabin right through
to under the dash. This meant that the only person who could possibly fit
in the middle seat was a dwarf with no legs.
The body was a rather bulbous and rounded shape, not unattractive, but
definately odd. The doors were a rear hinged "suicide" door arrangement.
The grille on these C40 models were in two sections. Between the headlights
there was a white painted grille with four horizontal bars and five vertical
bars. This had the name Nissan in large letters on the top of it and the
name Junior in smaller letters under the Nissan name. The second part of
the grille sits under the white painted section and is a flat panel with
three horizontal slots stamped into it. This panel is painted the same
colour as the body of the truck. There is a rectangular grille above the
main grille which supplies air to the cabin, this grille has a Caball badge
attached to it.
In 1958 a new C42 model was introduced.
For some reason the C41 designation was missed and they went from the C40
to the C42. The C42 is essentially the same as the C40, the only changes
being to the colour schemes.
In 1959 some much bigger changes occurred
when the new C43 Junior Caball was released. The biggest improvement was
to the interior design. The ridiculouly huge hump that covered the engine
compartment has now been completely redesigned. The only hump is now under
the seat, and the part of the hump that went under the dash is now gone,
instead leaving a flat floor from one door to the other.
On the outside there are some major
changes as well. There is a new grille design which completely fills in
the section between the two headlights. This grille has a series of small
horizontal slots arranged five high and five across. This grille is painted
white and has a new badge in the middle that says Nissan Caball. The second
part of the grille that sits below the white section has also been changed.
It is still painted the same colour as the body of the truck, but it now
has two large horizontal slots instead of three. It now has a Caball badge
directly above the passenger side headlight. (on RHD models) The cabin
air intake grille that sat above the main grille on the C40 and C42 models
is now gone, cabin air is now directed through the white grille.
Like the Junior, the Junior Caball
had a seperate ladder chassis and had leaf springs front and back. It sat
on smaller wheels than the B40 Junior, with the Caball having 15 inch split
rim wheels rather than 16 inch wheels. It was rated to carry a 2000kg payload.
The Nissan Junior Caball C40 was in
production until late 1959, when it was replaced by the Nissan Junior Caball
A sales brochure for the Nissan Caball Junior
Nissan Junior Caball C40 Specifications
Length - 4580mm
Width - 1675mm
Height - 1990mm
Wheelbase - 2390mm
Weight - 1505kg
Top speed - 90kph
Transmission - 4 speed Column
OHV 4 Cylinder
Model - Austin B Series
Capacity - 1500cc
Bore & Stroke - 73x89mm
Power - 50hp@4400rpm
Final Drive - unknown