You’ve probably never heard about the Nissan 1400. It was a small truck that was manufactured by the Japanese automaker between 1971 and 2008 in South Africa. For our East European readers - yes, it does look a little like a Moskvich 412 with a cargo bed, but the two were not related. The 1400 pickup was regarded as the most successful truck in Africa and was nicknamed "Champion of Africa." It was never meant to be exciting and performance-oriented, though.
One Nissan 1400 owner from South Africa was probably not happy with the way the truck looked and performed on the road, and decided to modify it in a unique way. And what this guy made is absolutely fantastic - all hand-built to an outstanding craftsmanship quality. Just wait until you hear the juicy details.
It took Stephan Fouche at Mad Dog Racing about 700 hours of work to create this truck designed mainly for track use. It features a stripped-out exterior and a naturally aspirated Honda motorcycle engine revving to more than 12,000 rpm. The revvy engine may not have big output numbers but the truck is extremely light at just over 1,455 pounds (660 kilograms), which makes it quick and nimble.
The video at the top of this page, courtesy of Cars.co.za, details the awesome project with a Honda CBR 1.0-liter engine. The motor is probably not even the best part of this build as the inboard suspension layout is truly genius. The Frankenstein truck rides on Porsche wheels which give it a rather special look.
As the host of the video explains, the vehicle feels extremely light and fun to drive on a track. And with its fantastic look and screaming motorcycle sound, it’s also a sight to behold.