The Nissan Junior was a series of medium-sized Pickup trucks built from 1956 until 1982. It was introduced to fill the gap between the light Datsuns and heavier Nissans such as the 80-series trucks. While the smaller Datsun Truck always outsold the Toyota Hilux, the larger Junior always played second fiddle to the Toyota Stout. This may have been due to the decision to market it under the unfamiliar Nissan name, as well as "Junior" not being a very suitable name for a large, strong truck.1 The last iteration of the Junior remains in production in Iran, where it is built by the Zamyad company. Nissan's first Full-Size Pickup, introduced in 2004, had a much more suitable name; Titan.
The B40 Junior was launched in October 1956 as a medium-size truck which could carry a 1.75-ton load and three passengers. Wheelbase was 2,500 mm (98 in). While not as space efficient as a cabover, the bonneted layout provided a considerably better ride.2 There was also a VB40 Van version offered. The B40 used Nissan's 1.5 L (1,489 cc) "1H" four-cylinder engine. In December 1957, a cabover version of the Junior appeared, the Junior Caball, with chassis code C40.
At first it had 50 PS (37 kW) at 4,400 rpm, which was enough for a 90 km/h (56 mph) top speed,3 but in August 1958 the B42-series (the B41 designation was skipped) was introduced, with 57 PS (42 kW) on tap.4 At the same time, the cabover Junior Caball underwent the same change, becoming the C42.5
While retaining the looks of the B40-series, featuring only a changed grille and a somewhat longer wheelbase of 2,610 mm (103 in), the new B140 series did have the all new G-series engine. The new engine, which it shared with the Cedric, was of nearly exactly the same displacement as the old one, at 1,488 cc, but had 71 PS (52 kW) at 5,000 rpm.4 Top speed was 95 km/h (59 mph).6 The B140 was introduced in April 1960, at the same time as its cabover sister version, the Caball, received the new engine.7 Soon afterwards, the "Junior" part of the Caball's name was dropped entirely. There was also a 1.25 ton version, usually referred to as the B140 (B). The regular 1.75 tonner was called the B140 (A).
The all new second generation 40-series Junior was launched in January 1962.7 It was much more modern in design, with 4 headlights in a smart horizontal arrangement, more integrated fenders than its predecessor, as well as independent front-wheel suspension. The wheelbase was again increased, now to 2,800 mm (110 in). The entry level version (the N40) retained the 71 PS (52 kW) 1.5-litre G engine of the B140 Junior, but there was also a new 1.9-litre version which could reach 110 km/h (68 mph).2 This was the first medium-size truck to be able to carry 2 tons, and featured the same 85 PS (63 kW) 1,883 cc four-cylinder H engine as the 31-series Cedric. As a matter of fact, the Junior also used the Cedrics headlight surrounds, doorhandles, and various other trim details. Large, sixteen inch wheels and large wheel openings contributed to the upright look of the 40-series.
Export versions claimed slightly higher power outputs of 77 hp (57 kW) and 92 hp (69 kW) respectively.1 In July 1962, a fire truck (F40) was added to the lineup. A naked version with just a bonnet and windshield was called the 40E, a cab with chassis was the 40A, and a dropside pickup version was called 40H. Early catalogs also listed a double cab and a station wagon version, but it is doubtful that these were ever produced. There was also an "A-1 class" fire engine called the FR40. This interesting hybrid combined the 680-series heavy truck chassis, with its 125 PS (92 kW) 4-litre, six-cylinder P engine, with the Junior's bodywork. This was slightly altered to accommodate the considerably taller engine, with higher fenders and an insert in the grille underneath the headlamps.8
The first 40-series cars had a two piece grille painted in white. The top part had seven slim cross bars and three vertical bars, while the wider bottom part had four openings. After 1964, the upper part was chromed and the lower section was painted in body colour. The facelifted cars also had a red "Junior" badge in the grille.1 Around this time the Q40, a 70 hp (52 kW) 2.2-litre diesel version (SD22) also appeared. The only external difference was a small "diesel" badge on the fenders, where 2-tonners carried "1900"-badging.1
In 1966, the second series became the 41, its engine upgraded from 1.9 to 2.0 litres (H20, 1,982 cc).9 Top speed with the 92 PS (68 kW) 2-litre was up to 120 km/h (75 mph).6 The lesser 1.5-litre version was discontinued, while the diesel continued on as the Q41. Export versions claimed 99 hp (74 kW). The 41 looked just like its predecessor, only with "2000" rather than "1900" badging. By 1967, however, the Junior received a makeover. Instead of a pressed metal piece between the headlights it had four thick horizontal bars. The lower piece was replaced by a piece with three openings (rather than four) and swept up ends, creating an oval shaped grille rather than the more rectangular early style. The early cars also had an indentation on the top of the front bumper to accommodate an opening for a mechanical crank, but this opening was now more discreet and the top line of the bumper was unbroken.9
As with the 40-series, there were also 41A, 41E, F41, and FR41 (six-cylinder fire engine) versions. There was another minor change in 1968, with a new grille with very wide top and bottom bars, and three very narrow bars in between. Production of the now very outmoded 41 finally ended in September 1970.9
The 140 series Junior, which integrated the Junior and Miler lines, was introduced in October 1970.10 While considerably more modern than the 41-series, sales were unsatisfactory and Nissan soon cancelled exports outside of Asia. For sale in the Prince dealerships, this car was also called Nissan Miler.9 This generation of the Junior had three motors: the familiar two-litre petrol version (H20) with 99 PS (73 kW), a 1.6-litre petrol version, and a 60 PS (44 kW) diesel (SD22). All are four-cylinders with two valves per cylinder. In 1974, an improved model, the 141, conforming to 1975 exhaust emission regulations, was launched.
Sales in this segment slowed considerably as the eighties approached, and in 1982 the Junior was cancelled without a successor.911 The 140 series Junior has been produced under license in Iran by the SAIPA concern since February 1983.12 Since 1998 it is built by Zamyad, who have been selling it under their own brand since 2003. In Iran, the Z24 (as it is known) is equipped with a 114 PS (84 kW) 2.4-litre engine.13
- Bent, Alan. "1962 Nissan Junior 40 Truck". Earlydatsun.com. Retrieved 2011-02-10.
- Kurumamaniacs (2009-08-26). "旧車・日産・ジュニア（40型）" [Veteran: Nissan Junior 40-series] (in Japanese). Old Car Catalog Collection.
- Ozeki, Kazuo (2007).
日本のトラック・バス 1918~1972Japanese Trucks and Buses 1918–1972 (in Japanese). Tokyo: Miki Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-4-89522-494-9.
- Ozeki, Japanese Trucks and Buses 1918–1972, p. 99
- Ozeki, Japanese Trucks and Buses 1918–1972, p. 103
- Ozeki, Japanese Trucks and Buses 1918–1972, p. 112
- "Company Development, Heritage: 1960's". Nissan. Retrieved 2011-02-10.
- "保存車パレード2010夏休み (6)" [Save Car Parade, Summer 2010 (6)] (in Japanese). Kusahiro Exploration. 2010-09-10.
- Bent, Alan. "1966 Nissan Junior 41 Truck". Earlydatsun.com. Retrieved 2011-02-10.
- "Company Development, Heritage: 1970's". Nissan. Retrieved 2011-02-10.
- Nissan Fact File 2003/2004, Nissan, 2004, pp. 24–25
- Nissan Fact File 2002/2003, Nissan, 2003, pp. 14–15
- World of Cars 2006·2007. Warsaw, Poland: Media Connection Sp. z o.o. 2006. p. 157.
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