Rare Off-Roader: 1979 Nissan Patrol

As the seller rightly points out, if you were an American buyer in 1979 who had their heart set on owning a new Nissan Patrol, you were out of luck. The model was only sold in the US between 1962 and 1969, which means that this one reached our roads via a slightly unusual route. The current owner purchased the Patrol in 2018 and set about restoring it to its former splendor. He has decided to part with it, so he has listed it for sale here at Hemmings. It is located in Port Everglades, Florida, and the bidding has worked past the reserve to sit at $22,000 at the time of writing.

The owner describes the exterior as being finished in Tan, but a check of the 1979 Nissan color charts indicates that it is a shade called Pearl White. As befits a vehicle that has only clocked around 8,000 miles since the seller restored it, its overall condition is close to perfect. The paint shines nicely, while the panels are straight. The canvas top was custom-made from the original design. The underside of the Patrol is just as impressive as the exterior, with no evidence of any rust issues or prior accident damage. There have been no aftermarket additions like bigger wheels, although the foglights mounted on the front bumper are a nice touch. It seems that the Nissan found its way onto US soil via Colombia. The story is that it was the personal vehicle of the wife of a Japanese diplomat in that country during the early 1980s. It is understood that the Japanese Consulate maintained the vehicle until around 1989 before finding its way here. The current owner purchased it in 2018, and he was the one who performed the restoration work.

It is no surprise to learn that the owner didn’t confine his hard work to the Patrol’s panels and paint. He chose to pull the drivetrain in 2018, treating the motor, transmission, and transfer case to a refresh. The engine is a 3,956cc unit that should be producing 128hp and 217 ft/lbs of torque. Bolted to this are a 3-speed manual transmission and a dual-range transfer case. While the engine offers the potential of a ¼-mile ET of 20.2 seconds, the power and torque make this an accomplished performer when the going gets rough. The engine bay presents almost perfectly, with no issues or problems. The underside photos reveal no evidence of fluid leaks, and this Nissan runs and drives perfectly. I have included a video clip at the bottom of this article that not only confirms this but demonstrates how effectively that six will pull from low speeds in surprisingly high gears.

The interior of the Patrol presents just as impressively as the rest of the vehicle, and apart from a Pioneer radio/cassette player, it seems to be unmolested. The front seats are upholstered in Tan vinyl, while the door trims and rear seats have been treated to the same material. There is no evidence of wear or damage, and the owner has made the sensible decision to protect the Brown rubber flooring with additional rubber mats. The painted surfaces are flawless, while the dash and wheel are in as-new condition. This is an interior that would seem to need nothing.

When the owner listed this 1979 Patrol for sale, he set the bidding to open at $10,000. It has only received three bids to this point, but they have pushed it beyond the reserve. There is still a week left on the listing, and with 49 people currently watching, there’s a chance that things will heat up for this classic. Given its condition and its relative rarity in the US, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the bidding inch towards $30,000. If it does reach that level, would you still be willing to make a play for this one?


  1. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Why in the world is he wearing a mask inside his car while driving alone????

    Like 19
    • Escofon Escofon

      Hello. Can you be more specific with your question?

    • Gary D.

      Driving alone? Then who is manning the camera?

      Like 1
      • Escofon Escofon

        Hello. The person who drives and someone who directs the recording or photos goes. I hope you don’t bother to bring a cameraman to show the driving experience.
        Thank you.

        Like 1
      • Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

        @Gary D – No one is “manning” the camera… It is a mounted GoPro.

        Like 3
  2. rustylink

    gotta love a crank hole….I wonder if it works..

    Like 3
    • Escofon Escofon

      Yes, you can go to the auction link, there are lots of photos and videos. You can watch the crank ignition video.

  3. RJ

    The Volvo/MB dealership where I worked in the early 70’s had one for snow removal. I was able to use it on week-ends for plowing my own very long driveway. Easy driving at 60 mph and very capable of moving deep snow. On the other hand, it was treacherous when pulling a car trailer. Horses for courses.

    Like 2
  4. ace10

    No photos or videos of the vehicle legally on the ground in Florida?

    Hard pass.

    Like 2
    • Escofon Escofon

      You can visit it in the winery in the port.
      There are also documents of legalization and approved customs

  5. chrlsful

    “…Easy driving at 60…”
    my concern, eliminated. Many of foreign shore, esp Japanese – were too low geared (hi #s) for usa style use (drive there, then 4W it).
    Also the i6 4L many of us use to this purpose. last
    ‘pretty smooth’ for a jeep. Nice to see. Japan, pretty influenced by GB (& a lill of ‘the Continent’) might have taken some Rover notes here (NOT Land Rover but some of those seen too). (plez, don’t need the seller’s comments following my own – just some comments from an EB owner).

    Like 2
  6. cAROLINE Davis

    wow, nice rig!, is that a 235 chevy Six Clone?

    • RJ

      Not positive in the Patrol, but my FJ-40 Land Cruiser was. I learned after I sold the FJ (like I usually do) that going to a Chevy carb and dizzy would have bumped up the mileage about 40%.

      Like 1

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