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[Datsun 1200 encyclopedia]


From Datsun 1200 Club

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Category: Sunny Truck

<-- back to Body Styles

   B110  4-door sedan
   B110R (2-door sedan)
  KB110  (2-door coupe fastback)
  VB110  (van/wagon)
   B120  (truck/pickup aka ute or bakkie)

Nissan made a pickup truck version of the B110 Datsun 1200 — the B120. It was called "Datsun Sunny Truck" in Japan, while In Australia it was called the Datsun 1200 Ute. In South Africa it was known as the Bakkie. It was sold in South America, but sadly not in North America. The B120 is a Coupe utility type of pickup truck. A Coupe Utility is based on a car design and has an integral cargo tray/bed (not a separate bed and cab as with traditional trucks).



The Nissan part number prefixes for B120 are G10 to G19 and 95W. Early B120 used the B110 parts (H10, etc.)

Australia brochures refer to the B120 as "ute", "pickup/pick-up" and "truck". In Japan it is officially called a truck (light truck).

Export Owners manual, includes Australia-specific model information
8318.jpgAlbum 8318

typeModel Years
B110Sedan, Coupe, Wagon1970-1973
B120Datsun 1200 Ute/Truck1971-1979
B121Datsun Sunny Truck (E-emissions)1979-1981
B122Datsun Sunny Truck (L-emissions)1981-1994
B140Datsun 1400/Nissan LDV1982-2007

'122' is a popular faux license plate number
28303.jpgAlbum 28303

What size is the Datsun 1200 pick-up?

Although it carries a big 500kg (1000lb) payload, it is a very small pick-up, smaller than a Hilux and smaller than other mini-trucks such as the Datsun 620. It is the same size as the vintage Datsun 320 pickup from the mid-1960s.

B120 vs 2001 Ram 1500
6042.jpgAlbum 6042

         B120     320    620    Ram*
width    1495mm   1427   1590   2014
length   3845     4186   4609   5184
height   1395     ?      1545   1834
(all standard cab, short wheelbase models)
* 2001 Ram 1500

In Australia it was marketed as a "1/2 ton truck"
26255.jpgAlbum 26255

Later version of the truck were labeled for a 500kg payload Loading Capacity
29497.jpgAlbum 29497
'最大積載量500kg' (Maximum payload 500kg)

  1/2 metric ton:     500 kg
  metric tonne:      1000 kg (2200 pounds)
  UK (Imperial) ton: 2240 pounds
  USA ton:           2000 pounds
  USA 1/2 ton:       1000 pounds (1100 kg)

The large RAM 1500 is classified in USA as a "1/2 ton" but this is a comparative size classification, not a payload capacity. The actual payload varies and in many cases is less than 1000 lbs, though the 2019 RAM 1500 has a payload of up to 2300 lbs.

Model Years Produced

The "Datsun 1200" line has been produced from Model years 1971 to 2007. 1970-1973 was the regular run for the Coupe, Sedan and Wagon production. Production of the B140 pickup ended November 2007 in South Africa.

1200 car    1970-1975
1200 truck  1971-1994
1400 bakkie 1980-2007

NOTE: Model Years (MY) generally runs from October to September though it varied each year. For example the 1972 MY was from Oct 1971 to Sep 1972.


Long Wheelbase Models

G- models are long wheelbase (GB120). Long wheelbase was available in Japan as the "Long Body" and in #New Zealand as the "Sport*Star" and "Road*Star".

The GB120 is 295 mm longer overall, but with a 230 mm longer wheelbase. The bed overhang — past the rear axle centerline — is 60 mm longer. Most easily identified by the five hooks on the tray rather than the normal 4-hook model.

20836.jpgbrochure 20837.jpg

5-hook Tray (long body)
10998.jpgAlbum 10998 8044.jpgAlbum 8044 1355.jpgAlbum 1355 1846.jpgAlbum 1846


* Sunny Truck Brochures
* Brochures
* Advertisements

Here's a preview:

22510.jpg 20831.jpg


* Sunny Truck Model Changes
* Badges
* Grille
* Colors



B120 production ended with 1985 models. However the 1200 utes are still a wildly popular vehicle and common on the used car market. Only regular wheelbase 1200 utes were sold, however over the years some used GB120/GB121/GB122 (long-wheelbase models) have been imported for the used car market.

Stock hub caps (1973), bumperettes and Aussie reflectors
5650.jpgAlbum 5650 5648.jpgAlbum 5648

Small but perfectly formed - feature in Daily Telegraph May 29, 2009
11671_4a21d63f7f631.jpgUpload click to view

11754_49fc34edac112.jpgPost 253078 11754_49fc3671244b5.jpgPost 253078 11754_49fc36826d44c.jpgPost 253078 11754_49fc368e3a385.jpgPost 253078

Japan Domestic Market

The Datsun 1200 truck was made from 1971-1994. Many of these — as used vehicles — have been exported to many parts of the world, especially Africa, South America, and New Zealand world and with the notable exception of USA). Assembly was done by Aichi Machine (41% owned by Nissan). Aichi in Nagoya assembled the Vanette, Sunny Van and Sunny Cab and also the Evolution VIII.

In Japan, the Sunny Truck was most often used as a commercial vehicle.

Sunny Truck Tank Lorry
26087.jpgAlbum 26087


Facelifts do not correspond to B120/B121/B122 split, which was about Japan Emissions controls.

Original Style

Originally, Sunny Trucks used sedan Grille, Dashboard, Badges, and black interior.

18746.jpgAlbum 18746 18745.jpgAlbum 18745 18747.jpgAlbum 18747

1978 Facelift

In April 1978, Sunny Truck changed to a Coupe-style Grille, unique grille Badges, and brown interior.

Facelift models (plastic grille round eye)
B120 1978 Apr - 1979 Aug
B121 1979 Aug - 1981 Nov
B122 1981 Nov - 1989 Oct

15947.jpgAlbum 15947

1989 Facelift

In late 1989, R-level emissions were adopted and so the model changed to R-B122. At the same time, a facelift occurred: Sunny Truck changed to a square-headlight Grille, NISSAN Badges, and gray interior.

1989 was the first badging of "Nissan" brand for Sunny Truck. Prior to this Datsun and Nissan were both used.

1989年11月に、ビッグマイナーチェンジ [Big minor change in November 1989]


B121 changed to L-B122 when the Japan Emissions certification changed. R-B122 was the emissions changed to EGR & catalytic converter and the interior/exterior was changed at the same time.

Early B122  L-B122  1981-1989 round eye
 Late B122  R-B122  1989-1994 square eye

L emissions (G)B122 (G=long body)
23169.jpgAlbum 23169 20011.jpgAlbum 20011

R emissions (G)B122 (no G = short body)
25511.jpgAlbum 25511

United States

No Sunny trucks were ever sold new in the United States. At present there are known to have been a few B120s privately imported into the United States. See United_States#B120s_in_USA.

A reason given is the 25% import tax on light trucks. Datsun and other companies worked around this by assembling the 521 and 620 truck pickup bed after arrival in USA (thus avoiding the 25% tax), but with the 1200 being a unibody, that was not feasible.

Nissan New Zealand

The Datsun 1200 ute was also sold in New Zealand:

  • 1971-1980 B120 models
Main: Road*Star

Later, Long wheelbase (GB-) models were sold with Roadstar and Sportstar market names from 1981-1985. It was marketed as a "1/2 tonne pickup":

  • 1981-1983 models had A12 power and a 4-speed gearbox
  • Reportedly, 1983-1985 models had A15 power with a 5-speed transmission. However this may just be a dream

1/2 tonne is is listed as "500kg" payload. So that is 1/2 metric tonne (1/4 long ton).

Sport*Star * Road*Star

Marketing information use the spelling Road^Star and Sport^Star. And Road*Star and Sport*Star.

It came with a "long-bed wellside tray".
6783.jpgAlbum 6783 6324.jpgAlbum 6324

Older utes are now relatively rare in New Zealand, perhaps because of rust issue in this island nation. However, newer utes are still common, as are used Japan-market utes that have been imported for the used-car market.

Nissan-Datsun South Africa

Nissan-Datsun South Africa originally imported B120s into South Africa. In 1976 they were assembled in the factory at Rosslyn.

120Y Bakkie

In 1976 production started in the Roslyn factory and these were marketed as "120Y" bakkies after the current 120Y (B210) sedans.


1400 Bakkie

In 1980 the South Africa-specific B140 model debuted with A14-power and in 1986 the raised roof was introduced.

Main: B140B140 Bakkie

The B140 is marketed as the Nissan 1400 LDV but commonly called the "Nissan 1400 bakkie" (bakkie is a generic term so there are Nissan Navara bakkies and Ford bakkies).

Production of B140 ended November 2007. Obviously B140 Bakkies are very accessible, but older B120 bakkies are hard to find for sale. It seems the owners don't want to part with them.

B140s were also sold new in other African countries such as Zimbabwe and Kenya.

South America

LHD Datsun 1200 trucks are fairly common in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala. They are commonly called Camionetas (little pickups) and also nicknamed Picopita (micro pickup) in Guatemala.


Aymesa (Automóviles de Ecuador) assembled CKD LHD Nissan 1200 Pickups in an in-country assembly plant from 1987-1999. This was necessary to meet government-mandated goals for domestic production. A total of 8880 1200s were assembled in Quito, Ecuador.

Main: Ecuador

400px-Nissan_1200_Pickup_Ecuador.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia

Sales Dates

* B20 February 1967 a.k.a. Datsun 1000 ute 
* B120 February 1971 a.k.a. Datsun 1200 ute 
* B122 October 1981-1994 (Japan) 
* B140 1986-2007 (South Africa) a.k.a. Bakkie 
Sunny Trucks
B120T 1975 10 - 1979 08
B121T 1979 08 - 1981 10
B122T 1981 10 - 1994
B140 1987 - 2007 Nissan South Africa


18734.jpgAlbum 18734

* 2300 mm regular bed
* 2530 mm long bed
Cab Height: 1395 mm
* Height at back
** 1010 mm regular bed
** 995 mm long bed
overall length
* 3845 mm regular bed
* 4140 mm long bed
Width: 1495

Tray dimensions

See Bed#Measurements

Also See

* Sunny Truck Model Changes
* Ute Drawings
* Sunny Truck Competitors


The other subcompact RWD trucks offered at the introduction of the Sunny Truck were the Mazda Familia and the Toyata Publica. Only the Sunny and the Publica were unibody vehicles.

Sub-compact Utes: Toyota vs Mazda vs Datsun. Which do you think has the most style?
5654.jpgAlbum 5654

GM T Platform

GM's T platform (Gemini/Chevette) was RWD and was in the subcompact class. The coupe utility versions were approximately the same size as a Datsun 1200 pickup.

Chevrolet Chevy 500 from GM Brazil (1983-)
400px-Late_Chevrolet_Chevy_500_in_Cosm%C3%B3polis.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia

Grumett pickup & double-cab pickup 1979-1982 by Autopiezas Esposito (Uruguay), fibreglas body

Mazda Familia Truck

The Mazda Familia truck version was marketed under different names in diferent countries.

  • Mazda Familia Truck introduced 1964 November
  • Mazda 800
  • Mazda 1000
  • Mazda 1200
  • Kia Brisa B-1000 pickup truck introduced 1973

Mazda Familia 1000 Pickup (1970-1990)
400px-Mazda_pickup_in_Ubon_Thailand.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia 400px-Mazda_trucklet_Thai.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia

Toyota Publica Truck

It was introduced February 1964 as the truck version of the Toyota Publica (トヨタ パブリカ) UP10 so arrived earlier than the Sunny B20 pickup. The Publica pick-up continued until 1988, being later fitted with the 1166 cc 3K and 1290 cc 4K-J engines.

6138.jpgAlbum 6138

KP37 - 1974
29498.jpgAlbum 29498 29499.jpgAlbum 29499 29500.jpgAlbum 29500

1986 KP39
29501.jpgAlbum 29501


There were FWD micro-pickup competitors to the Datsun 1200 Pickup including:

Dacia Logan, a version of which (Nissan NP200) replaced the Nissan 1400 LDV
400px-Dacia_Logan_Pick-up_rear_view.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia 17677.jpgAlbum 17677

Ford Bantam/Mazda Rustler Mazda 323-based, gen 1:Escort based, gen 3:Fiesta based
400px-Ford_Bantam_Leisure_ZA.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia

Opel Corsa/Chevrolet Montana
400px-2006_montana_gls_1.7d.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia

Subaru Brumby/BRAT/284/Shifter/MV/Targa/MPV (1978-1994)
400px-1978_Subaru_Brumby_Pickup.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia

Proton Arena/Jumbuck POST Proton Jumbuck
400px-2003-2010_Proton_Jumbuck_%28C90%29_GLi_utility_%2817280197806%29.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia

Hyundai Pony (from 1976)
400px-Hyundaiponypickup.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia

VW Rabbit Pickup (1972-1982) & VW Caddy (1982-)
400px-20041020_1303_1539-VW_Golf1-Caddy.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia

Dodge Rampage 1982-1984 & Plymouth Scamp
400px-1983_Dodge_Rampage.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia

Fiat Fiorino/Fiat City/Emelba 127 Poker/SEAT Fiorino (1977)
400px-Fiat_Fiorino_D_pick-up_front.JPGWIKI go to Wikipedia

Ford_Pampa (1982-1997) Brazil's E100 burner
400px-Ford_Pampa_1%2C6_Alcool_in_Brazil_-_rear.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia

Volkswagen Saveiro (based on VW Fox/Gol)
400px-Volkswagen_Saveiro.jpgWIKI go to Wikipedia



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