1 April 2019

Miscellaneous classics #2: Nissan Cabstar F23

As a continuation of my old lorry appreciation posts, I will be sharing about one of the most common trucks on our roads. Nissan trucks have always been one of the crucial movers of our economy: the intermediate goods that contributes to the end product among our midst [such as barrels, ladders, paint cans], not to mention the ferrying of migrant workers that help to build our infrastructure that we take for granted. This humble 1998 Nissan Cabstar F23 has been through a lot, but none of you would recognise the importance it has in our history.

The Nissan Cabstar, or technically known as the Nissan Atlas in Japan, is a small and medium-duty truck sold by Nissan Motors. The Cabstar name was used to refer to another series of trucks made between 1968 to 1982. The "Atlas" name refers to the Greek god Atlas, who carried the world on his shoulders; it alludes to Nissan's aim of having this truck carry the country, both figuratively and literally.

Currently, there are 3 generations of the smaller Cabstar/Atlas and I am sure most of you have seen them before. The 2nd generation was known as the F23 series and was made between 1992 to 2007. It was powered by a 3153 cc QD32 i4 diesel engine and was 4460 mm long. Its unladen weight was 1620 kg while the maximum laden weight was more than twice at 3350 kg.

Some of you may be wondering why this particular truck is considered a classic when there are still many of them on the road. Let's compare the above with this model here made in 2005. There was a facelift done in 1999, and as you can see, the lights became trapezoidal rather than rectangular, while the Nissan logo was now part of the grille. The bumpers were also changed as a result although it is hard to see from here. Another clue is by looking at the number plate: GQ to GT plates were issued between 1998 to 2000, while GU to GZ plates were issued between 2000 to 2005.

A check on the database revealed that the lorry had been scrapped on October 2018, since it has already reached its 20-year lifespan. This makes it all the more pertinent to see them before they are definitely gone in a few years time. It is a pity that most people do not care about lorries simply because they are not as cool as a car. I hope this has been informative to you and personally, I feel I have done my part in capturing a piece of history that future generations could look back at [if we are not using lorries anymore]...

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