Baywatch-Worthy Hardbody: One-Owner 1997 Nissan Pickup 4x4 King Cab SE 5-Speed

  • December 16, 2020
Why We Like It

Having built pickup-style trucks since the Type 13 debuted in 1934, Japan’s Nissan entered the American light-duty truck market with its 521 model in 1968. Steadily updated and improved more to American tastes and needs, Nissan’s pickups reached a new peak by mid-1986 with its new D21 series “Hardbody” models, named in recognition of their tough double-wall cargo beds and rugged, purposeful styling cues. These pickups were manufactured in two basic body styles, the Japanese-designed “A” body in single-and dual cab versions, plus the “S” body King Cab designed at Nissan’s styling studios in San Diego, California. Both styles featured different frontal styling, with North American models utilizing a different hood and wider, flared front fenders, with both Standard and King Cab versions available. These pickups would give rise to the soon-to-be popular Pathfinder SUV, initially designated WD21, and success was strong for the pickups from the get-go, with the Hardbody line quickly earning respect for its durability. Both 4-cylinder and V6 engines were available, and Nissan’s renowned 4x4 drivetrains provided the ability to traverse some of North America’s worst roads and most demanding terrain.

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baywatch-worthy-hardbody-one-owner-1997-nissan-pickup-4x4-king-cab-se-543684244706.569370289.IM1.10.1600x1200 A.1600x1200This one owner D21 Hardbody from 1997 is a very nice survivor, featuring the 4X4 drivetrain, upscale SE trim and interior level, and extended King Cab body style. A 5-speed manual transmission delivers ample power from the fuel injected 2.4L ‘four’. Extremely nice and clean, it benefits from dealer maintenance and includes extensive service receipts. According to the seller, part of its excellent looks come from garage storage and no off-road use. The original Black paint finish looks great and features include power steering, power brakes, cruise, tilt, power windows, mirrors, locks, SRS, ABS, window tint, and factory 4-speaker stereo, plus a bolt-on suspension lift with no other modifications. In fact, if you like these trucks, you need to head to the online sale listing, with far too many details to fully list here without overwhelming you. The seller encourages interested potential buyers to bring along their best mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection and a review of the service records since the Hardbody was new 79,000 miles ago in 1997. It even comes with the original window sticker and owners’ manual. It is offered reluctantly due to health and the owner clearly has treated this extremely well equipped pickup as their pride and joy.

Nissan’s pickups of the 1980s and 1990s totally established the company’s reputation for reliability and quality construction in this increasingly lucrative market space. You could order one tailored to your specific needs and wishes and do pretty much anything you wanted, looking good all the way, whether to the home-supply store or soccer field, with equal aplomb. Unsurprisingly (considering their relative rarity), few of these very desirable Hardbodies have been offered over the past few years. Nonetheless, a few have passed through Bring a Trailer, yielding premium prices for the highly equipped, lower-mileage examples. Regardless, with proper maintenance and care, these Nissans live up to their “Hardbody” nickname admirably, and this one looks great in its color combination and very well-preserved condition, not to mention its many choice upgrades. Very nicely representing Nissan’s top-of-the-line pickups, we have to consider this one fair market at or around the seller’s affordable asking price. It even looks like a “Hardbody” worthy of use by the sleekly sculpted sirens of Baywatch. We see a veritable handful of comparable Toyotas each week, but not these Nissans, so if you want something solid, proven and a little different…baywatch-worthy-hardbody-one-owner-1997-nissan-pickup-4x4-king-cab-se-543684244718.569370289.IM1.22.1600x1200 A.1600x1200

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