Nissan Hardbody Name Celebrates 25 Years in South Africa
While here in the States Nissan has long moved on from the "Hardbody" name to the Frontier, in other areas of the world Nissan continued naming its basic trucks the "Hardbody" as it had garnered an almost legendary status.
Nissan Hardbodies became known for being tough, cheap trucks able to handle nearly any task thrown at them. This is the reason why the name persists today in places like South Africa where, alongside the Nissan Navara (our Nissan Frontier here in the States since '05) Nissan continues to produce "Hardbodies". These Hardbodies are not the old school ones we remember here in the States from the early to mid 90's but are instead diesel and de-contented versions of the 1st Generation Frontiers. That platform still underpins the true working class of Nissan trucks throughout Africa and much of the third world where the diesel powerplant and simple design have been long admired.
The Hardbody/1st Generation Frontier has also been a stalwart in offroad motorsports as well competing numerous times in the Dakar in the early '00s with drivers like Colin McRae and Ari Vatanen as drivers.
South Africa is now offering a 25th anniversary edition with a special warranty to go along with it. If only we had a small, tough, diesel (or petrol) truck like the Hardbody available here.