Nissan Patrol

1951 4W60 Model

After the end of the Second World War the infrastructure in Japan was in a bad state. Relentless bombing in the closing stages of the war had left the roads and transport system in a very bad state. By 1950 the reconstruction of Japan was underway, but there was still much to be done. Emergency services in particular were having trouble accessing many parts of the country. In 1950 the Japanese Government offered a contract for the supply of a 'Jeep style' vehicle to be used by the military, police and fire brigades. The vehicle they required was a 4 wheel drive that would be capable of travelling over the worst of Japan's roads. Nissan's bid to secure the contract was the 4W60 Nissan Patrol.


Nissan built a prototype to present for consideration, as did Toyota and Mitsubishi. In the end Nissan did not win the contract, it instead went to Mitsubishi. In the end when the government said they wanted a Jeep style vehicle, what they actually wanted was an exact replica of the Willy Jeep, which was what Mitsubishi gave them. Mitsubishi took the definition of 'Jeep style' very literally, and basically just copied the Willys Jeep in nearly every dimention and curve for it's CJ3B-J3 model, they even named it the Mitsubishi Jeep. 

With the development work already done on the 4W60, Nissan decided to put it into production anyway. Toyota did the same with their BJ series Land Cruiser. This turned out to be a wise and lucrative move by both of them, as the Land Cruiser and the Patrol would go on to become the biggest selling four wheel drives on the planet.

Nissan's first Patrol went into production in September 1951. The production version was visually very different to the prototype built to try to secure the government contract, in fact it was visually almost identical to the Willys Jeep. But while the styling may have been similar to the Jeep, it was a very different beast. For a start the Patrol was bigger than the Jeep in every dimension. It was taller, longer and wider, and it had a much bigger engine. The American Willys Jeep had a 60hp 4 cylinder engine. The first Patrol had the Nissan NAK series engine from the Nissan 290 bus, which was a side valve 3670cc 6 cylinder engine that produced 75hp. While the Willys was a 2 wheel drive vehicle, the Patrol had a part time 4 whhel drive system.

 This original model 4W60 had a flat bonnet that looked exactly like the one on the Willys Jeep. The Willys had a grille that consisted of a series of six vertical slots. The Patrol instead had two rows of eight horizontal slots. These had a large rectangular pressed steel Nissan badge at the top of the grille. Shortly after the introduction of the 4W60 the bonnet design was altered, probably to make it appear less Jeep-like. The new bonnet has a pronounced bulge at the front that tapers away until it is flat at the back. This design required a new grille panel, which now has a raised section at the top to meet the new bonnet bulge. This model has a much smaller round Nissan logo at the top of the grille. The windscreen on the 4W60 is a two piece split screen, on the later 4W61 the windscreen in a one pice design.

 The 4W60 was in production until August 1955, when it was replaced with the 4W61 Patrol.


Model Variations


Nissan Patrol 4W60 Version 1

The first version had a completely flat bonnet, which is clearly visable in this front shot. This model had the large rectangular Nissan badge on the bonnet.  


Nissan Patrol 4W60 Version 2

The second version has a raised bonnet bulge, which can be seen at the front of the vehicle. These second generation 4W60 Patrols also have a pop-out side indicator that the first ones did not have. This is visable in this photo just under the hinge arm of the fold down windscreen.  


Nissan Patrol 4W60 Prototype

The prototype that was presented to the Japanese government in the tender process was substantially different to the production version. It's headlights were set much lower and it had a vastly different bonnet design with a much more pronounced bonnet bulge.  


Nissan Patrol 4W60 Wagon

A fully enclosed wagon version of the 4W60 was also built later in the production run. Apart from the enclosed cabin, the other notable difference is the front guards, which are more like a conventional sedan from the era rather than the basic 'planks' the standard 4W60 has. The wagon was built on the longer 4W70 Nissan Carrier 4 wheel drive truck chassis.  

1951 Nissan Patrol 4W60 Specifications  

Length - 3615mm
Width - 1700mm
Height - 1450mm
Wheelbase - 2200mm
Weight - 1500kg
Top speed - 100kph
Floor change 4 speed

Engine Specifications

Model - NAK
Capacity - 3670cc
Bore & Stroke 82x114mm
Power - 75bhp@3200rpm
Torque- 152ft/lb@1600rpm
Compression - 6.4 : 1
Carburettor - Hitachi Solex 40PH single throat down draught
Final drive - 4.09:1

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