Land Cruisers and Defenders too mainstream? Try a Nissan Patrol

With off-road vehicles more popular than ever, vehicles like Jeeps, Ford Broncos, Toyota Land Cruisers and Land Rover Defenders have gained prominence and value. But there are some great and historic off-roaders that haven’t received the same attention, and they deserve better. One of those is the Nissan Patrol, particularly the second-generation like this 1969 example that’s for sale by Worldwide Vintage Autos.

You see, the Nissan Patrol has just as much history and ability as the other off-roaders we’ve mentioned. The first generation went into production in 1951, meaning this is the model’s 70th anniversary. It’s currently in its sixth generation, too. But part of why it’s perhaps not well-known in the United States is that only two of those generations were ever offered here: the second-generation featured here, and the current one, which is sold in the U.S. as the Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX80. It’s also followed a similar trajectory as the Toyota Land Cruiser, going from Jeep-like machine to a plush passenger SUV, but with traditional body-on-frame construction and real, transfer-case-based four-wheel drive.

The second-generation is a sweet spot as a collector car, since it’s not as bare-bones as the first-generation that was similar to a military Jeep, and it still has the charming classic style of its contemporaries like the first-generation Ford Bronco and the Toyota FJ40. They were also sold in the U.S., so there are examples here already. They use a naturally aspirated, gas-powered, 4.0-liter inline-six that made 145 horsepower. Depending on the year, it could have either a three- or four-speed manual according to most sources. The model for sale at Worldwide Vintage Autos clearly has a five-speed manual transmission. It’s not clear whether this was an aftermarket addition or a Nissan option. It does have a very period-looking information plaque on the dashboard. Beyond the driveline, the Patrol used a simple body-on-frame construction, and had equally simple solid axles front and rear with leaf springs. But that’s a good setup for durability and some articulation.

This model looks quite clean, and Worldwide says the previous owner restored it. It has a few cosmetic blemishes, but seems like it would be a fantastic driver. There’s plenty of room for yourself and a bunch of your friends thanks to the jump seats in the cargo area. It’s worth noting that this is not a highway machine. The information plaque on the dash says you shouldn’t exceed 60 mph in fifth gear, which is apparently a direct drive (1:1) ratio. But around town or even down rough dirt roads, it’s probably a blast.

At an asking price of $27,900, it’s not cheap, but not unreasonable given Land Rovers, Broncos and Land Cruisers can be at least $30,000 in “Good” condition according to Hagerty or $50,000 in “Excellent” condition. 

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