Back in 2014, a team of just eight Nissan people from Barcelona, Spain, decided an important piece of the company’s motorsport history deserved some spotlight time almost three decades after shining in the limelight.
They decided to restore the 1987 Patrol that competed in the Paris-Dakar rally and now the model is again running in between sand dunes. The model has an important history to share – back then during the 1987 Paris-Dakar Rally the Patrol was the first vehicle to show diesel-powered vehicles can withstand the grueling event. The SUV had a 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel with 146 horsepower (109 kilowatts), as well as eye-catching bespoke bodywork with yellow and blue livery due to Fanta Limon sponsorship. It didn’t secure a victory but it was the first diesel to rank among the top ten – finishing ninth overall.
Of course today these diesel-powered cars have become the norm – last year’s prize catcher was the Peugeot 2008 DKR with a biturbo V6 splashing 340 horsepower (254 kilowatts). Following the race the Patrol resided in an automotive museum in Girona, Spain, and after decades of rusting out it was acquired by the team from Nissan’s European Technical Center. Since the rally-spec Patrol was constructed there three decades ago, the team had easy access to all needed documentation so it has the exact same guise as it did in Africa.