The Datsun 221 went into production in October 1958 and finished in July 1959. It was built alongside the new Datsun 125 truck, which was a smaller engined side valve version of the 221.
The 221 was available with either a 1000 or 1200 engine. Side mounted badges in the vehicle say DATSUN 1000. There is a round badge in the centre of the dashboard that says DATSUN 1000, or on the 1200 version these badges all say Datsun 1200.
Initially the 221 was sold with the same grille as the previous 220 model, which had a series of wide horizontal bars with a Datsun name plate incorporated into a raised section on the top bar. At a later stage this grille was replaced with the grille from the Datsun 211 sedan, which featured eight thin horizontal bars. A van and double cab version were also offered for sale, and these vehicles used the sedan grille from the moment they went on sale.
The 221 was virtually the same as the Datsun 220 that it replaced. The main differences being that the 221 has round front indicators that are located either side of the grille, while the 220 has little bullet shaped indicators on the top of the guards, near the windscreen.
The 221 continued to use the C series 988cc OHV "Stone" engine first introduced in the Datsun 220. But in response to the American and Australian importers, a more powerful 1200 version was built for the export markets. The new engine was the 1189cc over head valve E series engine, which produced 48hp. The new E engine has the same bore as the Stone engine, but is stroked a further 12mm to give it it's extra capacity.
The 221 was replaced by the 222 in 1960. The 222 is visually identical to the 221, except for it's cargo section. The bottom of the cargo section on the 221 ends just below the height of the wheel, on the 222 a small skirt section has been added.
The first model 221 had a grille that had wide horizontal bars.
At some point during 1959 an upgraded version of the 221 truck was introduced. The most noticable change to this model was the the 221 Mark II started to use the same grille as the Datsun 211 sedan, which was the grille that was being used on the 221 vans and double cabs right from the time of their introduction. This grille features eight thin horizontal bars instead of the thick horizontal bars used on the initial 221 truck.
The VP221 is a new version of the delivery van. Whereas the previous vans, and the new VG221 shown below, all have a pillar above the rear wheel, giving the van a '3 window' look, the VP221 has a single opening that runs from the door to the back of the vehicle, with no pillar.
The VP221 has two rows of seats, and has stide strips that run along the front guards and the doors, but not to the back of the vehicle. The van uses a different grille to the 221 truck, and instead uses the grille from the Datsun 211 sedan.
The VG221 was a delivery van version of the 221 truck. The VG221 has a pillar above the rear wheels, unlike the VP221 shown above. On this model the central pillat slopes towards the front of the vehicle at about a 20deg. angle, on the previous V220 this pillar was nearly vertical.
The VG221 has substantially different side strips. It has two strips that run parallel to each other along the back guards and come together to a point on the doors. The previous V220 had no side strips, and the VP221 had strips on the front guards and doors only.
The U221 was a double cab version of the 221 truck. It featured two rows of seats and a substantially smaller cargo area. The U221 uses a different grille to the 221 truck, and instead uses the grille from the Datsun 211 sedan. The U221 has no side strips at all.
The 221 was essentially the same vehicle as it's little brother, the 125. While the 221 had the larger and more powerful 988cc C series OHV engine, the 125 was a budget version that continued to plod along with it's old side valve engine. More information about this vehicle can be found on the Datsun 125 page.
The 221 truck was based on the same chassis and mechanicals as the Datsun 211 series, which included a sedan and a wagon. More information about these vehicles can be found in the Datsun 211 section.
Length - 3752mm
Width - 1466mm
Height - 1625mm
Wheelbase - 2220mm
Weight - 915kg
Top speed - 103kph
Transmission - Column change 4 speed
OHV 4 Cylinder
Model - C
Capacity - 988cc
Bore & Stroke 73x59mm
Power - 37bhp@4600rpm
Torque - 49ft/lb@2400rpm
Compression - 7.5 : 1
Carburettor - Hitachi Solex VA-26-6 26mm single throat down draught
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