Project Hardbody, as the name suggests, pays homage to one of the most iconic Nissan trucks ever, the Nissan D21 “Hardbody.” It was the first truck design completed at NDA. Project Hardbody is built on a 2022 Frontier Crew Cab SV 4×4. It features a 3-inch lift kit with adjustable upper control arms, overfenders from the current PRO-4X model, classic Hardbody block-style wheels designed and milled at NDA mounted with 33-inch tires, bed-mounted spare tire carrier, sport bar with modern 10-inch rectangular LED lights, blacked-out front end and door graphics with ’80s-style shadow outlining.
“It is still unmistakable on the road as a pure, modern design, even today,” said Hiren Patel, project lead designer, Nissan Design America, Inc. The “Hardbody” name came from its double-wall bed and aggressive stance and was a champion in on- and off-road in competitions and on the beaches of Southern California. The D21 series were called Nissan Hardbody in the United States. “Hardbody” refers to the truck’s double-wall bed and overall styling.
The Hardbody was produced for the US market from November 1985 until 1997, and were direct competition to the Toyota compact pickup. The move from the 720 to the D21 Nissan series body style changed in January 1986 for the 1986½ model year so the new D21 and later Hardbody can easily be distinguished from the earlier 720 body style by its two large headlights rather than four smaller lights and a less boxy, more aggressive appearance. The Nissan Pathfinder was derived from the Hardbody Truck and started in the same model year with chassis code WD21.
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