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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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  SSS 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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Datsun 160J SSS Turbo

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I won’t go into too much detail here regarding the history of Nissan Motorsport’s Datsun 160J SSS Turbo race cars… I’ll save that for a future post… but for now here’s a brief outline of the story. Nissan had been dabbling a little with turbo technology from the start of the 1970’s, and in 1974 it unveiled its wild, 300 horsepower LZ20B, Turbo powered Violet SSS (KP710 model). Unfortunately, the timing was pretty poor, as the fuel crisis had hit hard in Japan and it wasn’t really viable for Nissan to take its fire breathing, gas guzzling Violets racing in there. So the racers were shipped off to Malaysia, where they were entered into the Selangor Grand Prix, via Datsun importer Tan Chong and Sons. In the export markets the Nissan Violet was known as the Datsun 160J, so the cars were title and liveried accordingly…

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