1971 Datsun 521 Pickup Takes Home Award at Concours d’Elegance of Texas
Minitruck Honored as Class Winner in Truck Category
A well-preserved 1971 Datsun 521 pickup won its class at the 2017 Concours d’Elegance of Texas last week, beating out other vintage trucks for top honors.
Currently owned by the Nissan Heritage Collection in Franklin, Tennessee, the Datsun is affectionately nicknamed “Sweet Pea,” for its oh-so-’70s paint color. Prior to the pickup's addition to the company’s historical collection, Marvin Askew owned Sweet Pea for more than 42 years. He purchased the lovely pickup new on November 30, 1971, and took religious care of it, giving it oil changes every 2,000 miles as recorded in his handwritten maintenance log. Sweet Pea currently has about 150,000 miles on the once-rolled-over odometer.
At the Concours d’Elegance of Texas, the 521 was honored as a Class Winner in the Truck Category. It was among 125 entrants overall at the Concours, held at Richard Greene Linear Park in Arlington, Texas. Nissan says a pickup category isn’t common for most concours events, and we admit, we haven’t seen too many utility vehicles at these kinds of shows in the past.
The truck, which Marvin bought for just $2,111, is based on the mechanicals of the popular Nissan/Datsun 510 sedan, including a 1.6L I-4 that made 96 hp and 100 lb-ft when new. The Datsun 521 is fast becoming a collectible pickup, and it’s not hard to see why. Its trim styling and widespread parts availability make it a fun, easy entry into the world of classic trucks.
Nissan reunited Sweet Pea and Marvin last year. Watch and hear Marvin talk about his old truck in the video embedded above.