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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Advert: The New 510 (Datsun 510)

The whole ‘New 510’ thing was never going to wash with American buyers, particularly those who had experienced the original 510. The ‘New’ 510 was in fact a Datsun Violet A10 model, which elsewhere in the world was known as a Datsun 140J or 160J, or as a Stanza down under. With its live axle rear suspension, its dynamics were no match for the original PL510 model sold in the US, although it did go on to great racing (and rallying) success. It just never gained the cult status of the original.

This hatchback version arrived in on the UK market only in 160J ┬áSSS form, with a twin carburettor 1.6 and 5 speed gearbox, although I’m not sure if it would have been any faster than its American sibling, which came with a 2.0 litre single carburettor L20B.

I have always liked this series of illustrated adverts (there are others for 620 and B210 too) as the main illustration looks like the box artwork on old 1970’s Matchbox cars…

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What happened to…

The three door Stanza? I was flicking through an early (November 1981) T11 Stanza brochure yesterday and it got me thinking about the three door variant. The more I looked at the pictures, the more I became convinced that I’ve never actually seen one.. ever! Now the five door hatch, that’s quite familiar… and whilst considerably more scarce than the five door, so is the slightly odd looking saloon. But that three door most definitely isn’t. It’s quite curious just how different it is from the five door version. Not only are the rear lights different and the side vent not present, but the three door even has a different tailgate. The differences don’t stop there either. The three door sports a roof-line some 20mm lower than its saloon and five door siblings, combined with a slightly more raked windscreen to give it a sleeker overall profile. It kind of looks like a cross between a Toyota Corolla and a Hyundai Pony from the rear three quarter view…

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Advert: Driving You Glad (Datsun 1800J-GL)

This is a bit of an odd one as it’s from South Africa where the A10 model was sold as a 1600J or 1800J rather than the Violet, Stanza, Auster as in Japan or Oz, or even the 140J or 160J as in Europe. Presumably these came with an L-series engine rather than the old OHV J-series as some South American markets seem to have had…

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RWD A14 into FWD F10

Here in the UK our F10s are cursed with having a mere 988cc to pull them along (unless you own the “big block” 1171cc coupe). Why Datsun decided that Europe only needed an A10 when the US got A14s I cannot begin to imagine. Maybe smog gear on US spec cars require the extra capacity to make up for the power loss?

My daily work horse is an F10 wagon (because nobody will steal it), which I decided was just way too slow, especially when loaded up with engines (no, I’m not joking), so I decided to fit an A12 for a bit more go. But what I really wanted was an A14. The only source for a proper front wheel drive A14 was an N10 Cherry coupe (sold as a 310 in the US), which aren’t exactly common, so I figured I’d try a RWD engine from a B310 Sunny (that’s a 210 in the US).

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