For as long as cars have been around, there has been a market for accessories for the enthusiastic motorist, who would attempt to individualize his or her chosen means of transport with all manner of bolt on goodies. This is the same the world over and aftermarket accessories were as readily available here in the UK from your local dealer as they were in Japan, Australia and the States, although it has to be said, often not quite in the same quantity or variety. All Datsun dealers through the 1970’s and early 1980’s had on offer an array of items from the practical, such as seat covers, air conditioning and driving lights, to products for those who wanted to really customise their ride such as stripes, chrome trim and alloy wheels . Aftermarket parts was big business and a great deal of time was put into thinking up new ideas for saleable accessories, particularly in the Japanese market where a bewildering array of parts was available. The American market catered for every model in the lineup with a selection of parts suited to each as seen in this selection from 1979…
In their day, Datsuns were very well equipped cars, but still owners were eager to buy items to dress their car up visually, such as wheel trims, alloy wheels, luggage racks and window louvres. The latter is one item that was hugely popular during the Datsun era, especially in warmer climates like Australia and the US. Even in European countries, the rear window louvre was a common sight, although now its certainly one accessory that’s now been consigned to the history books. The market for alloy wheels was also on the rise through the 1970s and Nissan not only offered their own line through Datsun dealers, but the local importers would also source different styles from local manufacturers such as American Racing Equipment in the States or here in the UK from companies like K&N and 100+.
Owners in countries with colder climates could add various practical accessories to their Datsuns such as engine block heaters, electric demisters and even battery warmer jackets. Furry seat covers added a little extra warmth and tailor made rubber mats help keep the carpet clean. Driving and fog lights were also a popular addition, not only in cold countries but worldwide with products coming from not just from Nissan’s own suppliers, but also from big names such as Cibie and Carrello. Some countries even got the option of headlight wipers on early 70’s models like B210 and F10 (in Sweden they were fitted as standard!).
Datsun UK Limited had their own parts and accessories department which went under the name of “Pardat”. Pardat offered a range of car care products and accessories as well as a range of service parts which were often UK made by local manufacturers rather than imported. In contrast the Danish importer also offered a range of accessories but unlike the UK’s range, these were largely Japanese option parts with only a few items such as cassette players, speakers and mudflaps being local supplied.
For full blown accessory heaven, you have to look to Japan. Not only did the cars themselves there come in an astonishing number of trim levels, but they had a massive number of optional parts from the factory. So much so, that there were comprehensive brochures for accessories for individual models. With the number of options in the showroom car sales catalogues, it’s a wonder Nissan could think up any more to put in these accessory catalogues, but as the two examples below show, Nissan were not short of ideas when it came to the marketing of optional parts.