Strangely, the 710 model Datsun 140J/160, or Violet as it’s known in Japan, is not a particularly popular car, nor it seems, has it ever been. Introduced in 1973, it was intended to replace the outgoing 510 in the line-up. The 610 introduced in 1970, which is technically the next model on from the 510, as part of the Bluebird series, was considerably and the 510 remained on sale beside it until 1973. The 710 was similar in size to the 510 and the SSS variants carried the same independent rear suspension. Alas, the two biggest markets for the 510, Australia and the USA, never got the 710 in SSS form, which no doubt is one of the factors in the car’s negligible popularity today. In fact, Australia never officially got any 710s at all, so it’s all the more strange then that one of its greatest rally victories was in the Australian Southern Cross rally in 1977. Nissan certainly made good use of this success in this advertising campaign from 1977 for the Violet SSS hardtop…

In fact, not only did a 710 win the 1977 Southern Cross, they placed in the top three places, first and second being taken by the Nissan Australia works team. First was taken by Aaltonen/Beaumont and second by Kallstrom/Billstam with the Gerry Ball Tuning Service team of Watson/Godden coming in third. The winning car now resides amongst Nissan’s other many examples of illustrious Motorsport history in Nissan’s Zama Factory collection.

1977 was also a good year in the 710s very short world rally championship career, with the model placing third and fifth in the Acropolis Rally, and second, eight, ninth and eleventh in the Safari Rally. The points gained in these events were enough to gain sixth place for Datsun in the manufacturers championship that year.

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