Ever since I took delivery of my Patrol, I have been fascinated by the history of the Nissan Patrol. I am no historian and the information below was based solely on internet research so I would welcome any corrections and improvements.
Patrol Genesis: The 4W60 Series
The concept of a relatively compact and versatile high mobility vehicle was created out of necessity during the Second World War. The U.S. Government identified the need for a lightweight, yet robust four-wheel-drive vehicle, which could function in personnel/cargo carrying and general purpose roles on any type of surface. These requirements were formalised by the U.S. Army on July 11, 1940 and American motor companies were asked to submit candidate designs . The answer to the requirements was the legendary Willys MB Jeep (also built by Ford as the GPW), a vehicle that can be seen as the conceptual ancestor of just about all subsequent four wheel drive light motor vehicles.
After the Second World War, the Japanese infrastructure was left severely damaged. The tattered roads meant that high mobility vehicles became highly desirable and in some cases indispensible. The U.S. Military occupying Japan logically turned to the Jeep to fulfill their mobility needs and this population of Jeeps had to be maintained far away from American soil. Several Japanese motor companies were awarded contracts to maintain and remanufacture Jeeps and Nissan was no exception . The usefulness of Jeep-type vehicles was plain and more than one of the Japanese manufacturers turned their thoughts towards building something with similar abilities. Meanwhile the Japanese government was engaged in reconstructing the country and was in need of suitable vehicles. One manifestation of this need was an invitation issued to motor companies in 1951 to produce a Jeep type vehicle for use by the Japanese National Police Reserve . Engineers at Nissan in Tokyo worked towards fulfilling this government requirement and the result was the 4W60; the first generation Patrol.
Original Nissan Patrol 4W60
Although the 4W60 was clearly quite similar in concept to the Willys Jeep MB, it was far from being a mere copy. The Nissan was powered by a water cooled 3670 cc 6-cylinder side valve NT85 engine, that produced 85 hp @ 3600 rpm (and 240 Nm @ 1600 rpm) in comparison with the 54 hp @ 4000 rpm (and 129 Nm @ 2000 rpm) 2199 cc Willys-Overland "Go-Devil" 4-cylinder (also a side valve motor) used in the Willys MB. The 4W60 was an altogether larger vehicle than the Willys MB (Overall length 3650 mm vs. 3353mm, Overall width 1740 mm vs. 1575 mm, Wheelbase 2200 mm vs. 2032 mm, Weight 1500 kg vs. 1103 kg), because of this 6-cylinder motor,. The 4W60 had four seats and a minimum ground clearance of 210 mm. Drive was transferred to the wheels via a three speed gearbox and a part time four wheel drive transfer case with both high and low range.
Toyota's response to the invitation was the Toyota Jeep BJ, which also showed some similarity to the American Jeep and was also powered by a 6-cylinder motor. In the case of the Toyota, the 3386 cc B-series motor, an engine of overhead valve design and developing 85 hp at 3200 rpm (and 220 Nm @ 1600 rpm), was selected. At 3793 mm the BJ was even longer than the 4W60, but was as narrow as the Jeep. The BJ also had a part time four wheel drive system, but no low range . A dispute about Toyota's use of the "Jeep" name led to the renaming of the Jeep BJ to the Land Cruiser BJ in 1954.
Toyota Jeep BJ
Both the 4W60 and the BJ were significantly faster vehicles than the Jeep, but both also suffered from rather low mounted engine electrical components, making them less able to ford streams than the Jeep .
Meanwhile Mitsubishi entered into an agreement with Willys to manufacture the early post-war Jeeps under license. It turned out that the Japanese government was really after an exact copy of the Willys Jeep and not an interpretation of the concept, such as the 4W60 or BJ. Mitsubishi was awarded the contract to build CJ3-B Jeep vehicles for the National Police Reserve even before the various competing designs had been evaluated against one another . It seems quite ironic that the Japanese government opted for a license manufactured version of a design originating from the country that they had been at war with only a few years earlier, in preference to locally developed solutions.
Mitsubishi Jeep CJ3-B
Mitsubishi went on to manufacture the CJ3 Willys Jeep under license for many years, developing the design as time went by and fitting Mitsubishi engines. The last of these Mitsubishi Jeeps was built as recently as 1998! They were never widely exported, though, probably due to the limitations of the original license agreement.
Nissan and Toyota turned toward the local and overseas commercial markets with their home grown contenders and transformed their disappointment into an advantage by developing and capturing significant portions of local and export markets. Today the Nissan Patrol and Toyota Land Cruiser are known around the world, but comparatively few people are aware of the Mitsubishi Jeeps . The first Nissan 4W60s to be exported were sent to Argentina.
The First Mass Produced Patrols: The 4W60 Series
The early mass produced Patrols also bore the 4W60 designation and were very close to the military prototypes. They initially used the NA series 3670 cc side valve engines, which were rated at 75 hp @ 3200 rpm and 206 Nm @ 1600 rpm and had four speed transmissions with very deep first (7.13:1) and reverse (8.46:1) gears as well as a part time four wheel drive transfer case without low range. The styling was still very similar to that of the flat fender Willys Jeep and almost totally devoid of embellishments of any kind, but some styling lines had appeared on the bonnet . The 4W60 was produced from September 1951 until August 1955.
1951 Nissan Patrol 4W60
In 1955 the 4W61 was launched. The 4W61 represented an early attempt to make the Patrol less stark and military-like and hence more attractive to the private sector. Initially the 3666 cc, 92 hp NB engine was used and the vehicle sported new front end styling with chrome headlight bezels as well as a grille consising of five horizontal bars, two of which were chromed, and a vertical bar. It also had two chrome strips running the length of the bonnet on the sides. Inside the cabin there was a more stylised instrument cluster and steering wheel. The windscreen was also changed to a one-piece design instead of the previous split window. Instead of the two equally sized front seats of the original 4W60, the 4W61 had a separate driver's seat and a small bench seat next to it . In October 1958, the NC engine with a displacement of 3956 cc and an output of 105 hp was introduced [5, 8].
The 4W61 was produced from August 1955 to October 1958.
Nissan Patrol 4W61
The next model evolution was the 4W65, which was introduced in October 1958 and built until December 1959. The 4W65 featured a wheelbase stretched by 10 mm to 2210 mm and angular rear wheel arches. The "Patrol" name was prominently displayed on the side of the engine cover for the first time.
Nissan Patrol 4W65
A wagon model (the G4W65) featured in the line-up for the first time in 1958 too. The wagon had eight seats in three rows (in a 2-3-3 configuration) and featured a more stylised version of the 4W60 front end with more curved mudguards and a slight V-shape to the radiator grille that now consisted of five lateral chromed bars and one vertical, body coloured bar .
Nissan Patrol G4W65 Wagon
The final iteration of the 4W60 series was the 4W66, which was launched in December 1959 and featured a new overhead valve development of the 3956 cc NC engine. The new motor was called the type P and it was good for 125 hp @ 3400 rpm and 285 Nm @ 1600 rpm. The overhead valves were actuated by a side mounted camshaft, pushrods and rocker arms . The P engine went on to be used in the 60 Series Patrol and also in the 160 Series after that (albeit in a somewhat reworked form as the P40) and was eventually discontinued when the TB42 appeared in 1987. The 4W66 model also incorporated the front end styling of the G4W65 and was built until June 1966.
Nissan Patrol 4W66
The Classic Years: The 60 Series
By the late fifties Nissan began to plan the successor to the 4W60 series. The post-war years were years of rapid change in the automotive world and it was time for the Patrol to change too. Nissan redesigned the 4W60 in keeping with the evolutionary approach followed thus far and launched the new model, called the 60 Series, in October 1960. The 125 hp P engine was carried over. Both the P engine and the 60 Series itself would soldier on for more than twenty years. Nissan had taken care to mount the engine electrics up as high as possible and waterproof them as well as the axles and transmission. The company made much of the vehicle's water fording abilities in their marketing material .
The body was completely different to that of the 4W60 Series and incorporated a larger cargo space, but the windshield could still fold and the doors could be removed. Power was now transmitted via a three speed gearbox and a two speed transfer case instead of the four speed gearbox and single range transfer box of the 4W60 Series production models. Early models had canvas tops and half doors only, but other body styles and roll-up windows followed very soon after.
Suspension was via long span leaf springs with double acting shock absorbers and anti-roll bars front and rear . The suspension setup and the fact that a steering damper was fitted contributed to good levels of ride comfort and refinement, whether on-road or off . The 60 Series remained basically unchanged, except for cosmetics, from its launch in October 1960 until production ended around June 1980. Engine power was increased from 125 hp to 135 hp in 1979. Even when the new 160 Series was launched in 1980, a version of the medium wheelbase canvas top derivative of the 60 was still available in the form of the Model 61, which was built until 1984, probably to compete directly with the 40 Series Land Cruiser. The Model 61 featured the same redesigned 145 hp version of the P engine as the early 160 Series. This motor was called the P40.
The different body styles available were assigned different model codes:
Short Wheel Base (2200 mm) Canvas Top: 60
Short Wheelbase (2200 mm) Hard Top: K60
Medium Wheelbase (2500 mm) Canvas Top: G60
Medium Wheelbase (2500 mm) Hard Top: KG60
Medium Wheelbase (2500 mm) Wagon: WG60
Long Wheelbase (2800 mm) Pickup: 62Z-G60
Long Wheelbase (2800 mm) Cab-chassis: 94Z-G60
There was also a:
Medium Wheelbase (2500 mm) Van: VG60
Medium Wheelbase (2500 mm) Fire Truck: FG60
Long Wheelbase (2800 mm) Fire Truck: FH60
Left hand drive models had an "L" prefixed to or inserted into the model code, e.g. L60, KL60, LG60, WLG60, VLG60 and 62Z-LG60. There were also so-called heavy duty versions of the G60 and VG60, called the G60H and VH60 respectively. These featured larger rear differentials and tyres with higher load ratings.
The 60 Series Patrol was license manufactured in India by the Vehicle Factory Jabalpur (VFJ) for use by the Indian Army. The license was obtained in 1965 and the first production units were completed around 1969. This vehicle was known as the Jonga, said to be an acronym for Jabalpur Ordnance aNd Gun carriage Assembly. The Jongas originally used the Nissan P engine, but VFJ engineered a 4000 cc Hino diesel engine into the vehicle in 1996. Production of the Jonga ceased in 1999 .
Subsequent to being launched in Australia in the early 60s, the 60 Series gained attention by becoming the first vehicle to be driven across the Simpson Desert .
The Dawn Of The Modern Era: The 160 Series
When Nissan launched the 160 Series in June 1980, it represented quite a departure from the 60 Series in terms of the boxy styling, but also the levels of comfort and luxury. Although the design had a high new content percentage, the P40 engine was basically a somewhat modified P motor, the solid axles were still suspended on leaf springs and the transmission system was still of the part time four wheel drive type. Other motors that were available included the SD33 diesel and LD28 petrol sixes. Some models featured automatic hub locks on the front wheels, while others retained manual hub locks.
Six body styles were available:
Short Wheelbase (2350 mm) Hardtop with fibre glass reinforced plastic canopy.
Long Wheelbase (2970 mm) Pick-up
Long Wheelbase (2970 mm) Van (Two rows of seats)
Short Wheelbase (2350 mm) High Roof Hardtop with fibre glass reinforced plastic canopy.
Long Wheelbase (2970 mm) Station Wagon (Three rows of seats)
Nissan marketed the 160 Series and later models as the Safari in some markets (notably in Japan and in South Africa too) and as the Patrol in others. The 160 Series represented the official introduction of the Patrol (Safari) into the South African market. Only the long wheelbase wagon and pick-up versions were available locally. The wagon models featured horizontally split tail gates. In addition to being produced in Japan, the 160 Series was also produced in Barcelona, Spain by Nissan Motor Iberica SA as of January 1983 .
In September of 1983 the 160 Series (dubbed the "MQ" in Australia) was the subject of an upgrade, which resulted in the 161 Series (or "MK" in Australia). The 120 hp turbocharged SD33T engine was introduced. In October 1985 some additional cosmetic changes (e.g. rectangular headlights, over fenders for versions equipped with 31x10.5R15 tyres) were introduced . These 161 Series was never available in South Africa as official imports.
Short Wheel Base 161 Series Nissan Patrol
In 1989 Nissan started producing a modified version of the 160 at the Nissan Motor Iberica SA facility in parallel with the 160 Series' successor (Y60). This vehicle was assigned the model code 260 and used engines and transmissions from the new Y60 and a modified version of the 160 Series' leaf sprung chassis. The boxy bodywork was almost identical to that of the 160 Series. The 260 Series was produced in both long and short wheelbase versions , but were not distributed by Nissan in South Africa.
Short Wheel Base 260 Series Nissan Patrol
The First Coil Sprung Patrols: The Y60 Series
The Y60 model was launched in November 1987. It came to be referred to as the "GQ" in Australia and the "GR" or Grand Raid in Europe. Although the bodywork was very similar to that of the 160 Series and some body panels were actually interchangeable, the wagon's suspension (Coils all round with two leading radius arms and a Panhard rod locating the front axle and four suspension links and a Panhard rod locating the rear axle) was all new and required a different chassis as well . The new suspension contributed greatly to improved ride comfort on difficult terrain, while the new interiors were more comfortable and packed with more creature comforts than ever before. A part time four wheel drive system was again specified. Wagon models featured vertically split "ambulance doors" at the back.
The available body styles were:
Short Wheelbase (2400 mm) Hardtop.
Long Wheelbase (2970 mm) Van & Station Wagon.
Long Wheelbase (2970 mm) High Roof Station Wagon.
Long Wheelbase (2970 mm) Pick-up (and also cab-chassis).
Initially the pick-up continued to use leaf springs all round as was the case on the 160 Series.
The engines offered included the TD42 diesel, RD28T turbo diesel and RB30S petrol engine, TB42S carburetor fed petrol engine and TB42E fuel injected six cylinder petrol in the fire fighting versions .
A locking rear differential was introduced for the first time in March 1991 .
The TB42E engine was made available in the wagons in November 1991 and high grade leather seats were also offered for the first time . August 1993 saw the introduction of the 145 hp TD42T turbo diesel. Exhaust gas recirculation and CFC free air conditioning systems were also introduced, while a driver's side airbag was introduced in August 1995 .
From 1988 to 1994 the Y60 Patrol was also re-badged and sold as the Ford Maverick by Ford Australia .
More Sophistication & Luxury: The Y61 Series
The Y61 (which was to become known as the "GU" in Australia) was launched in October 1997 with underpinnings based heavily on those of the Y60 and once again incorporating a part time four wheel drive system. This model was also referred to as the GR (Grand Raid) in Europe. The original engine line-up included the fuel injected TB45E petrol motor as well as the TD42T and RD28ETi turbo diesels . This original version of the Y61 is referred to as "GU 1" in Australia.
The Y61 was available in the following body styles:
Short Wheelbase (2400 mm) Hardtop
Long Wheelbase (2970 mm) Pick-up (and also cab-chassis)
Long Wheelbase (2970 mm) Station Wagon.
The ZD30DDTi four cylinder DOHC direct injection turbo diesel motor was introduced in September 1999 along with a number of small cosmetic changes  and is referred to in Australia as the "GU 2".
November 2002 saw the introduction of the newly developed and highly acclaimed six cylinder DOHC TB48DE engine and five speed automatic transmissions along with larger diameter brake rotors with larger callipers for improved braking performance on models with the TB48DE . Some cosmetic changes were also made to the exterior, including different bumper, head light and tail light designs and changes to the interior trim. The Australians refer to these vehicles as the "GU 3".
Y61 Patrol ("GU 3")
A Y61 Patrol won the T1 class for unmodified cars in the 2004 Telefónica Dakar Rally and also attained a 22nd place overall .
2003 Paris-Dakar Y61 Patrol
Further significant cosmetic changes were introduced in August 2004. These included different bumpers, head lights, tail lights, fenders and interior designs . These vehicles are known as the "GU 4" in Australia.
Y61 Long Wheel Base ("GU 4")
Y61 Short Wheel Base ("GU 4")
Y61 Long Wheel Base Cab-Chassis ("GU 4") with Tray Back
Sophistication, Complexity, Luxury & Acronyms Become The Watchwords: The Y62 Series
13 February 2010 saw the launch of an all-new (Y62) Patrol in Abu Dhabi in the UAE, the location probably hinting at the new models intended primary market. The new vehicle marked a complete departure with the past in the sense that front and rear beam axles made way for all round independent suspension, although the vehicle still uses the body-on-frame construction method. The Y62 Patrol is very closely related to the Infiniti QX 56, which was launched in the USA in 2010. The Y62 represented the most feature and technology laden Patrol when introduced. One one body style is available: a long wheelbase wagon.
At launch the only engine choices were the 32-valve, DOHC, Direct Injection Gasoline (DIG) aluminum-alloy 5.6 litre V8 (VK56VD) petrol motor, which is good for 298 kW at 5800 rpm and 560 Nm at 4000 rpm and features variable valve timing and lift or the VK56DE, a non DIG version of the same motor that also features variable valve timing, but without continuously variable valve lift control (236 kW at 5200 rpm and 527 Nm at 3400 rpm). The VK56VD motor is shared with the Infiniti QX56. Other engine choices will probably include V6 and V8 turbodiesel motors and a V6 petrol motor once the Patrol is launched in more markets worldwide.
The V8 motors are paired with electronically controlled 7 speed or 5 speed automatic transmissions with manual mode.
Minimum ground clearance is a quite respectable 275 mm and the approach and departure angles (of 35° and 26° respectively) are also quite good. Fuel is stored in a main tank of 100 l capacity and a sub tank of 40 l capacity.
At the top of the long list of technological innovations is the so-called All-mode 4x4 system, which adjusts various vehicle dynamic parameters based on the setting the driver selects from a list that includes on-road, sand, snow and rock. Fulltime four wheel drive is also featured for the first time in a Patrol.
A rear differential of the Torsen type is available. This helps to minimize the risk of wheelspin on the rear axle when transmitting drive torque to the road. The Torsen differential also helps to increase the efficiency of the electronic traction control system by amplifying the the brake torque that is transferred to the wheel on the rear axle with most grip when the traction control system (called Active Brake Limited Slip or ABLS by Nissan) operates. The rear differential is optionally also mechanically lockable.
The new Patrol is also equipped with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), an electronic vehicle stability control system that uses the brakes and modulates engine power if necessary in order to limit understeer, oversteer and wheel slip.
Other electronic drivetrain related systems include Hill Start Assist (HSA) that helps to prevent rolling back when pulling away against a steep slope by applying the brakes and Hill Descent Control (HDC) that controls the brakes in such a manner that vehicle speed is automatically regulated on steep descents while preventing loss of steering control.
On the suspension front, the new allround independent setup is enhanced by the so-called Hydraulic Body Motion Control System (HBMCS), which cross links the left hand side and right hand side suspension in such a manner that roll stiffness is increased when cornering, but is effectively reduced when the vehicle is cross-axled in offroad situations. The result is that the body roll is minimized in on-road situations, while wheel-to-ground contact is maximized when in the rough. There are many similarities between the HBMCS and the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), the latter having been invented in the early nineties by Kinetic Pty Ltd, a small R&D company based in Dunsborough, Western Australia, which was bought out by Tenneco, the US based manufacturer of vehicle system components, in 1999. The KDSS is featured on the Toyota Land Cruiser 200 Series, among others.
Tyre pressure is monitored and displayed on the 8" WVGA colour LCD touch screen display unit in the dashboard. The system is also equipped with a Tyre Inflation Indicator, which provides both visual and audible signals as the tyres are being inflated when the recommended tyre pressure is reached. A warning light is illuminated to alert the driver if low pressure is detected in any of the four tyres.
The Intelligent Cruise Control (ICC) helps to maintain a safe distance between the Patrol and traffic ahead by applying the brakes and re-accelerating to the pre-set speed in accordance with the traffic flow, based upon the information supplied by a forward laser range finder. Even when the cruise control system is de-activated, there is still the Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system that audibly and visually alerts the driver of a potential collision and the Distance Control Assist (DCA) and Intelligent Brake Assist (IBA) systems that automatically reduce the engine power and even apply the brakes if the driver does not respond appropriately to the FCW.
If the driver were to stray out of his lane unintentionally, the Lane Departure Warning & Prevention system warns the driver with an audible alarm and visual indication, while assting the driver to rectify the situation by applying the wheel brakes individually in such a manner that the Patrol is gently steered back into the correct lane.
Four wide angle cameras are mounted around the perimeter of the new Patrol (one in the nose, one in the tailgate and one in each of the external rear view mirrors). These cameras feed information into the Around View Monitor (AVM), a system that assists in parking maneuvres by projecting a bird's eye view of the Patrol onto the dashboard display unit. The AVM also incorporates a reversing camera view.
Passive safety systems are more ellaborate than ever before and iclude an Automated Hazard Warning Signal (AHWS) that activates automatically in a collision, active front seat head restraints that move upward and forward to help cushion the head and reduce whiplash-type injuries, front seat belt pretensioners with load limiters (that automatically tighten the front seat belts in certain frontal collisons, but then allow a little give to reduce peak belt forces transmitted to the occupants), 6 SRS airbags (including optional seat mounted side airbags and roof mounted curtain airbags) and crash sensitive automatic door unlocking.
Almost all imaginable creature comforts are available. The list is huge, including intelligent keyless entry that unlocks the vehicle when the remote controller is brought near to the vehicle, curtain vents mounted in the ceiling above each side window that allow a sheet of cool air to be blown down each window, GPS navigation system, powered tailgate, center console mounted fridge that is large enough for 6 600 ml drinks bottles and can be accessed from both the front and second row seats and climate controlled front seats that circulate cool or warm air through the seat backs and squabs, power folding outside mirrors with reverse synchronization, LED puddle lamps and Bluetooth hands-free phone system.
The DVD based entertainment system optionally incorporates a 9.3 GB Music Box hard disc drive to store music (enough storage space for 300), iPod connectivity, USB flash drive connectivity and a multi screen system with 7" WVGA monitors for the second row passengers in addition to the 8" front LCD screen. The system also incorporates two sets of wireless headphones and a remote control. The third row seats now incorporate a new sliding and reclining system for improved comfort.
The final novelty is the Off-road Montitor, that provides real-time information on the tyre pressure, steer angle and slip in addition to displaying a compass on the dashboard mounted display screen.
 Willys MB, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Willys_MB&
 THE JEEP® MB, An International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, ASME, 1991
 Nissan Patrol Model 4W60 Brochure
 Nissan Patrol Fire Engine Model F4W60 Brochure, 1953
 Nissan Patrol, Wikipedia, http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%97%A5%E7%94%A3%E3%83%BB%E3%83%91%E3%83%88%E3%83%AD%E3%83%BC%E3%83%AB
 Nissan Patrol Model 60 4-Wheel Drive Brochure, USA, 1962
 Test Drive Report: Datsun Patrol, V. Lee Oertle, Desert Magazine, October 1962
 Jonga, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonga
 Nissan Safari, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Patrol
 Nissan Patrol, Wikipedia, http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%97%A5%E7%94%A3%E3%83%BB%E3%82%B5%E3%83%95%E3%82%A1%E3%83%AA
 Nissan Patrol, WIkipedia, http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nissan_Patrol