1968 Datsun 2000


Called the Datsun Fairlady in the home market, the Datsun Sports was a sequence of roadsters that were produced by Nissan during the 1960s. The predecessor to the Z-car, the Fairlady line was an inexpensive alternative to the Triumph, Fiat, European MG and Alfa Romeo sports cars. The line started with the 1959 'S211' and continued through 1970 with the 'SP311' and 'SR311' line. SRL311 was the official model series identification for left-hand-drive 2000's.

The Datsun 2000, which was also called the Fairlady/Sports 2000 SR311/SRL311 was introduced in March 15th of 1967 and continued in production until April of 1970. Featuring a 5-speed manual transmission with an 89.9-inch wheelbase, the length measured 155.7 inches, had a width of 58.9 inches and a height of 52.2 inches. The 2000 used a 2.0 L U20 engine and featured a five-speed manual transmission. This was quite out of the ordinary for a production vehicle at the time. This 2-liter roadster came from an extensive line of Datsun roadsters.

Less than 2,000 first-year cars were produced and today continue to be a desirable purchase since they were free of emission and safety changes that occurred in 1968. The 2000 featured the new SOHC engine that produced 135 PS, 133 hp. Buyers could opt for a Competition package came with dual Mikuni/Solex carburetors and a special camshaft for 150 PS, 110 kW; 150 hp. None of these emission restrictions were in Australia so all of the 2.0 liter vehicles were fitted with the Competition package as standard.

Reputed as a bargain sports car, the Datsun 2000 was produced to help build the Datsun racing image up. With a lower price tag than any vehicle in its class, the 2000 won its class in C Production and D-Production, in SCCA racing on a consistent basis even after production was over. The Datsun 2000 was raced by John Morton, Bob Sharp and several others.

The Datsun 2000 was able to achieve 120 mph and redlined at precisely 7000 rpm and 140 mph in fourth gear with a 5-speed manual. The more popular Z series replaced the Datsun 2000. 1967 models featured a 'fiat dash' much like earlier models. Since '67 was the first and last year the 2000 wasn't required to meet any DOT or EPA standards the vehicle allowed for a factory option known as the Solex kit to be installed. With this kit the power was bumped up to 150 hp. Original Solex models are quite rare and sought after today. The upgrade consisted of dual Mikuni/Solex carbs, a Solex camshaft and a seven quart finned aluminum oil pan that assisted in the cooling.

The whole lineup was revamped for 1968 and received a new body that featured a taller integrated windshield with an integrated rear-view mirror, lifting door handles, a padded dashboard with non-toggle switches. New this year were engines fitted with all-new emissions controls, and the lesser 1600 continued alongside as a companion models until the end of production.



By Jessica Donaldson
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
Introduced on March 15, 1967, the Datsun 2000 was a 2-liter roadster.

The Datsun Sports 2000 had an official model series identification of SRL311 for left hand drive cars SR311 for right hand drive cars. More commonly, the 'Sports' was dropped out of the vehicle description.

Called Fairlady in the home market, the Datsun Sports was a series of roadsters that were produced by Nissan during the 1960s. Following the Z-car in the Fairlady line, the Datsun 2000 was a cheaper alternative to the Triumph sports cars and European MG.

The SR311 used a 2.0 L U20 engine that offered a 5-speed manual transmission. The new SOHC engine had the ability to produce 135 hp.

Launched as a bargain sportscar, the vehicle was produced to build the Datsun image as a racing icon. Raced by John Morton, Paul Newman and others, the vehicle won its class in C Production and D-Production and in SCCA racing.

Beginning1959 was the 'S211', the line continued with the SP311 and SR311 line until 1970.

The original Datsun Sports model was the S211 in 1959, and utilized a 988 cc C-sesries straight-4 that was capable of producing 37 hp. A total of 20 models were constructed.

Introduced in 1960, the SPL212 was built in a larger volume with a total of 288 units produced until 1961. The vehicle came with a 1.2 E-series straight-4 engine that was able to produce 48 hp.

Drum brakes were used in the entirety of the vehicle, and the a-arm suspension with torsion bars was used in the front. A 4-speed manual transmission was specified and this was the first vehicle that bore the 'Fairlady' name.

Produced during 1961 and 1962, the SPL213 was very similar to the previous model the SPL212. The only main different being the dual-carburetor engine which now pumped out 60 hp. A total of 217 models were produced.

The original Datsun sports vehicle was the SP310 'Fairlady 1500' model produced 1963. A total of 15,000 2-liter roadsters were produced until 1970 when production ended. Nissan had a limited production of less than 1000 vehicles during its introductory model year which made the 1967 2000 a very desirable roadster model. The 2000 model also had the distinction of sharing the charm and vintage styling of the earlier low windshield and 'flat dash' roadsters.
As a factory option in the U.S., 1967 was the only year that a unique 150 hp competition kit with Solex carburetors was available.

'Original Solex' vehicles are considered to be very rare vehicles that were very much sought after. The 1967 Datsun 2000's were available in a range of seven colors, thunder black, beige gray, sora blue, off-white, Spanish red, yellow and gray. The Datsun 2000 was capable of reaching 120 mph. In 1968 a variety of significant changes were made to the Datsun 2000. The windshield height was raised two inches, the windshield mounted rear view mirror was replaced with a dash mounted mirror.

Replacing the vintage flat medal dash and toggle switches was a padded 'safety' dash with recessed gauges and push/pull switches. Fuse boxes were moved to the glove compartment from under the hood, and the rear was restyled with an indent around the license plate. Completely newly renovated body panels, cowl and floor were updated and lift up door handles replaced the original push button handles.

In 1968 the windshield was also raised to meet a DOT requirement for the area that was swept by the wipers. Vehicles will small windshield could not pas without modifications. The earliest 1967 SRL311 known to exist is thought to be the SRL311-00004. Currently owned by Bob Klemme of California, it was originally a factory-backed 'prototype' race car that was driven by Duane Feurheim in 1967.
It was also raced by Jack Scoville in 1968 until 1970.

By Jessica Donaldson

1968 Vehicle Profiles

1968 Datsun 2000 vehicle information

Sport Convertible

The Fairlady SRL311 Roadster was the 2000 Sports in North America. The successor to the 1600 Roadster had a 1982cc overhead cam 4-cylidner with a quoted 145 horsepower. It was lighter than the 1600 making the claimed top speed of 125 mph likely. In 1....[continue reading]

Sport Convertible

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Price Comparison

1968 2000

$1,995 - $2,205

Model Year Production

1973Chevrolet (2,579,509)Ford (2,349,815)Fiat (1,390,251)231,191
1972Chevrolet (2,420,564)Ford (2,246,563)Fiat (1,368,216)268,666
1971Ford (2,054,351)Chevrolet (1,830,319)Volkswagen (1,128,784)185,155
1970Ford (2,096,184)Chevrolet (1,451,305)Volkswagen (1,193,853)104,067
1969Chevrolet (2,092,947)Ford (1,826,777)Volkswagen (1,241,580)58,467
1968Chevrolet (2,139,290)Ford (1,753,334)Volkswagen (1,191,854)58,467
1967Chevrolet (2,206,639)Ford (1,730,224)Toyota (1,068,321)45,496
1966Ford (2,212,415)Chevrolet (2,206,639)Volkswagen (1,168,146)29,239
1965Chevrolet (2,375,118)Ford (2,170,795)Volkswagen (1,174,687)29,239
1964Chevrolet (2,318,619)Ford (1,594,053)Toyota (1,068,321)10,315
1963Chevrolet (2,237,201)Ford (1,525,404)Fiat (957,941)

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