1972 Datsun pickup wins classic truck award in Texas

Quimby Mug Bayou Florida
Updated Apr 28, 2017
This 1972 Nissan 521 pickup, also known as model 1600 in Japan, took first place in the classic truck division at Concours d’ Elegance of Texas.This 1972 Nissan 521 pickup, also known as model 1600 in Japan, took first place in the classic truck division at Concours d’ Elegance of Texas.

In yet another nod to classic compact pickups, a 1972 Datsun 521 dubbed ‘Sweet Pea’ took top honors in the classic truck division at the recent Concours d’Elegance of Texas.

The 6th annual show, known more for high-end luxury stalwarts like Bugatti, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce, featured a truck class which is not common in classic car shows.

Nissan acquired the pea-green truck from its original owner, Tennessee resident Marvin Askew, and added it to its Heritage Hall collection. During an interview (posted below) with the automaker, Askew said,

“Everybody was looking at Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge…all that, but for some reason I just liked the Nissan truck. It was small. I didn’t want a big truck and at the time we bought it for $2,111.”

Askew, who kept the truck in pristine condition for 42 years, said at the time that he had bought it he preferred driving it over his 1970 Oldsmobile 98.

“I’d rather drive that truck than the Oldsmobile. It was just so nice. It’s just smooth at 55, 60 miles per hour. It runs like a sewing machine,” he said.

Classic Japanese compact pickups from the 1960s-1980s have been enjoying increased popularity among auto enthusiasts, according to Hagerty, a prominent classic car and boat insurance company.

In an article highlighting the surge in prices for classic Japanese pickups, Hagerty reported on a 1983 Toyota that recently sold for $13,500.

Nissan was a premier sponsor for Concours d’Elegance of Texas, which was held April 21-23 at the Richard Greene Linear Park in Arlington.

This year’s show featured 125 of the finest motorcars in the U.S., many seldom seen publicly.

“It was a great opportunity to see mechanical sophistication, elegance, and the best in automotive style — all traits embodied to some extent by this pristine green Datsun that comes from an era when small pickups were just that, small,” a Nissan press release states.