Happy Couple

I love this blurry little photo, which was included as part of a “World of Datsun” spread in a 1976 brochure called “A Guide to Nissan Motor Co. Ltd”. This couple from Singapore are clearly loving life, most probably because they have a brand new scarlet Violet SSS Hardtop, slammed on polished slot mags. Awesome.


The Lost Ones

The first wave of Datsuns arrived in the UK during 1968, with the entire model line up consisting of just four models, the 510 Bluebird, B10 Sunny and 130 Cedric… with the C30 Laurel arriving shortly after. These models all sold in tiny numbers, so you would naturally expect these early Datsuns to be the ones to have disappeared entirely. Yet this is not so. Though extremely rare, I know of at least one example of each of these. The same applies to the next generation of each model, even though the range expanded to include a variety of body styles such as coupes and estates. Later models have sometimes not fared so well…

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Goodbye Datsun… again

According to news reports today, a mere seven years after announcing its revival for emerging markets, the Datsun brand name is once again going to be retired. Nissan has been struggling with a lack of profitability, so as part of 2.8 billion dollars worth of cuts, the Datsun line-up is to be axed once more.
Nissan originally phased out the name back around 1983, as part of its globalization program, with the intention of using only the Nissan name on all of its export and domestic models. 30 years on, the brand rose from the ashes once more, for economy models sold in East Asia, South Africa and Russia, beginning with sales of the Datsun Go.
I suspect this time the name could well be gone for good… although looking at the modern lineup of Datsuns, maybe that’s not such a bad thing, eh?


If you have ever wondered what 414hp (420ps) at 9000 rpm from a normally aspirated L-series straight six sounds like… Well wonder no more. Feast your ears with the video above. Not that this is just any ordinary hot L6 of course. OS Giken worked its magic back in 1980 to produce the exotic TC24-B1… a bespoke 24 valve DOHC cylinder head for the venerable L-series, which breathed new life into the old favourite. In 2012 they overhauled it to produce this, the TC24-B1Z….

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The March of Time

When I started this website, the first generation Nissan Micra was not a particularly old car. The oldest ones in the UK were around seventeen years old and the youngest a mere eight. They were just everyday transport for the multitudes back then and thus not really of great interest. As always, the years fly by and attitudes change 20 years on. What was once common has all but disappeared and the original premise of simple, fun motoring has been lost. Three more generations of Micra have come and gone since that first K10 model and the model line has evolved and grown. The current 5th generation K14 model is very far removed from its ancestor. It’s not exactly “Micra” for a start. Perhaps the time has come to show the old K10 a little love…

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Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman

I’m not entirely sure how this film has not come to my attention before, as it came out five years ago. I finally watched it on Amazon a few days ago and, not only is it a solid documentary film which paints a good picture of the man himself and his passion for racing, it’s probably an essential watch for all Datsun freaks. Newman started out racing a Datsun 510 before moving to a 610, the an S10 Silvia (200SX) and finally numerous Z models from the S30 to the Z31. His passion for racing ruled his life and he continued to race into his old age, even taking pole position in his last race at the age of 82!
Needless to say, this film is packed with fantastic Datsun racing footage from end to end and features some of the big movers in the Datsun world back then, such as racing school owner, Bob Bondurant and BREs Trans-Am winning 510 driver ,John Morton. You can pay to watch the full film on YouTube, or if you have Amazon Prime you can see it there for free. Check out the film trailer below…

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Twenty Years

After a prolonged absence, it’s quite fitting that Radat.com is back online in time to celebrate its twentieth birthday. Yes, 20 years today! The 2nd of May 2000 was when Ratdat.com started, hosted on a server providing only 2Mb of space! The banner above is from the site back in 2001. It’s hard to believe that it was possible to create a website that small back then! There’s now around 1.2Gb of images on here and soon there will be a lot more…

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Engine Museum

The modernist style building you see above started life in 1934, as Nissan’s first head office, in front of its original factory, in Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama. Remarkably, given the huge post war expansion of the company, it continued to serve this function until 1968, when the head office was re-located to a new, larger office block in Ginza,¬†Tokyo. The old building remained in use as a guest hall for the Yokohama plant, which sits behind it, until 2003 when it started a new life. Having been designated as a heritage building by Yokohama city and also by the Japanese Government as an important heritage industrial site, the building has remained well preserved, complete with most of its original 1930s features, both inside and out. Perfect then, for the location of Nissan’s ode to eighty five years of first class engine design…

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Project: Silvia

It’s been a nice sunny day so I decided to haul the Silvia out of the shed and make a short walk-around video. I finally got the Silvia MOT’d and UK registered just before winter and given the various unpainted areas of the body, I decided that it would be foolish to use it on the nasty, salty winter roads. So it’s been laid up the the garage all winter and of course, now that the good weather has finally returned and the roads are clean and dry, I can’t drive it anywhere because we’re under pandemic lockdown! Gah!