'The quality-minded sport car for the economy-minded people' was the advertising slogan for this automobile first shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 1961.
This automobile was known as the 'Fairlady' until 1965. The engine is a 1600cc, 96 horsepower, 4-cylinder.
There never was an actual 'Datsun' firm. The name was created in 1931 by the DAT Motorcar Co. for a new car model, spelling it as 'Datson' to indicate its smaller size when compared to the existing, larger DAT car. Later, in 1933 after Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. took control of DAT Motorcar Co., the last syllable of Datson was changed to 'sun', because 'son' also means 'loss' in Japanese, hence the name 'Datsun.'
Datsun built by Nissan Motor Company LTD in Yokohama Japan was introduced as a concept car at the 1961 Tokyo Auto Show and was not released until 1965 as the 1600.
Production volume of the 1600 from 1965 to 67 was 10,400. This car is truly a love affair and was owned since 1973 and driven until 1980, stored until 2000 when the owner did a five year restoration of the 1600.
The engine is a 96hp 1600cc (thus the name 1600) overhead valve straight 4.
Sport Roadster Convertible Chassis Num: 14328 Engine Num: 07826
Datsun's type number was SPL311 - S for Sports - and in Japan was known as the Fairlady, in the USA simply the 1600. Datsun goes back to the 19-teens: as DAT-son, son of DAT (initials of the surnames of the three founders) soon changed to Datsun because Datson sounded much like a word meaning 'to lose money!' The Bluebird overhead valve, 4-cylinder motor was both tough and powerful for the day - 96 horsepower at 5600 RPM and 77 lb of torque at 2800 RPM, with all synchro 4-speed. The car weighed close to 2000 pounds so performance was strong. At $2,446 it compared well with the MGB at $2,615 for similar performance on the road.
Sold for $8,525 at 2014 Russo & Steele. High bid of $8,000 at 2014 Mecum. (did not sell) This 1967 Datsun 1600 Roadster is a rare steel dash model with toggle switches and short windshield. It was given a restoration in the early 2000s and finished in red metallic with tan interior and black convertible top. It has newer tires, new clutch, and AM/FM CD player, and the original spare and jack. By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2014
Sold for $15,400 at 2017 Motostalgia. In the early 1960s, Nissan's Datsun brand was gaining some popularity, especially their light duty pickups which were praised for being reliable, durable, and economical. Their Patrol 4X4 vehicles promoted by cowboy star Roy Rogers, however, put only a small dent in the off-road market. Thanks in part to a boost in power, the sedans were starting to be seen on more and more streets in the United States. In the world of sports cars, Datsun was ahead of all other Japanese competitors and carving out a little market niche of its owner. The 1500cc Fairlady, model SPL310, was replaced in 1965 by a new and improved model, the SPL311, 1600 version. It was this model that started to capture those wanting to get into the sports scene on a tight budget. Actor turned race-car driver Paul Newman used a Fairlady for his first racing events which led him to become a major supporter of Peter Brock's BRE Datsun team.
This particular example is an early production model of the 1600, and features what appears to be its original drive trains. It is finished in its original shade of white with black vinyl bucket seats. It has a vintage Momo 'Team' steering wheel and has been upgraded with a set of custom sport alloy wheels. Power is from a 1596cc overhead valve four-cylinder engine fitted with two HS4 carburetors and producing nearly 100 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual transmission and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2017
Datsun sports cars, in certain markets, were known as Fairlady. These were a series of roadsters produced in the 1960's and a predecessor to the Z car. The series designation for the Fairlady's included S212, S213, SP310, SP311, and SRL311.
In 1959 Datsun introduced a sports car, the S211, powered by 988 cc engine capable of producing just under 40 horsepower. Production was low with only 20 examples being produced. The following year the S212 was put into production outfitted with a slightly larger engine at 1.2 liter and producing nearly 50 horsepower. The S212 was the first vehicle to be adorned with the Fairlady name.
In 1961 performance was slightly increased with the adoption of a dual-carburetor, brining horsepower up to 60. Not bad for a small car. During its production lifespan lasting only two years, 217 examples were created.
The Datsun 1500 Roadster, the SP310, was introduced to the public at the 1961 Tokyo Motor Show. It was powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine capable of producing 77 horsepower. In 1964 a second SU carburetor was added and the horsepower increased to 85. A final revision of the 1500 was introduced in 1965, complete with a new interior. The dash layout was redesigned and the back seat was removed.
In 1966 a 96 horsepower engine was introduced and continued in production until mid-1970. This 1.6-liter power-plant meant the name of the 1500 Roadster was changed to the 1600, SP311, to reflect the new engine displacement size.
A 135 horsepower 2 liter engine, complete with dual SU carburetors, was introduced in 1967. Vehicles outfitted with this power-plant were referred to as the 2000 roadster, or SRL311. The Datsun 2000 was built for racing with hopes of creating a sporty image for Datsun. It was raced in SCCA in the D-Production class where it had very consistent strong finishes. Paul Newman was one of the more famous of the drivers to pilot the car. Production of the 2000 roadster ceased in 1970 when Datsun introduced the famous 240-Z car. By Daniel Vaughan | Sep 2006
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