I’m tired of trade talk…let’s talk about Datsuns

A fan can only take SO MUCH NBA trade rumors so I thought it was about time I go back to my first true love…CARS.

I thought it’d be fun to educate and remember how awesome Datsun’s were. I can’t wait to get my hands on one when I have the cash too.

But before that, here’s some basic info on Datsun:

Datsun was a marketing brand thought up by DAT Motorcar Co in 1931 but initially it was called the Datson to refer to the smaller size of the vehicle. The name DAT is an acronym from the 3 founders names. You know, kind of like N’Sync. Or at least I think that’s what it was…I can’t even remember now. But anyways, after Nissan took over they changed the “son” part to “sun” to give honor to the Japanese Sun that is part of the logo and because “son” () meant loss in Japanese. But Nissan phased out the car by 1986. Even before WW2 Datsuns were a very popular brand and Nissan produced all their cars, except for the trucks, as Datsuns. If anything the Datsun has its roots and story going as far back as Fords. Seriously, starting from early 1900s these babies have been in production! But the reason why they phased out the name was because the new president of Nissan wanted to strengthen the brand power behind the name NISSAN not Datsun. What a fat bastard right?

The cool thing about Datsuns is that they are not just comprised of the average sedan and light weight truck. They are a part of racing history!

With over 80 SSCA racing titles, consecutive Daytona wins and over 200 IMSA victories, Datsuns were a BEAST! They’d take their cars all over the world to race competitively!

Imagine racing one of these babies starting as early as the 1930s, if not earlier!

And every time they lost in a race they just went back to the drawing board to come up with an even better concept that would wow the judges come the next racing season.

But when did Datsun come to America?

Well service men who had been in Japan because of the war had been sneaking them over…somehow. God only knows how those people do it. I once had a friend who’s grandfather sent home piece by piece a German motorcycle and when he got home from the war he rebuilt it himself. Now THAT’S dedication. But after showing at the 1958 Los Angeles Import Car Show they got a few inquiries and they decided to test it out and it was out on the local beach in California that same year. But do you want to know what REALLY got sales rolling? The Fairlady and the bluebird (for obvious reasons).

If only they still made cars like these right?

After that sales just kept getting better for Nissan/Datsun.

But what car MADE Datsun in the US? The 510.

Not only are future Nissans based on it’s design but because of the low cost, great styling and up to date engineering the 510 was nothing but a steal!

Sales just skyrocketed year after year starting at 58,000 in 1968 all the way up to 154,000 in 1970. That’s a LOT of cars sold.

And of course they came out with newer models but like I said earlier they nixed using the name Datsun and started creating the Nissan sedan. It just wasn’t the same after that.

The real downfall of Datsun was when Nissan decided to “let go” of Mr. Yutaka Katayama who in his 15 years at Datsun really turned things around and made a name for Nissan in America but his bold and American Business-like tactics were not well accepted so they moved him to a subsidiary. After he was gone Nissan as well as Datsun just became the norm. There was nothing new and stunning about the cars that had come after his leave. He made Datsun what it is today but I guess it’s what happened to the guy who made Carl’s Jr. right? Just farm him out somewhere. Such a shame sometimes what big corporations can do to ruin themselves. Oh well…

And on a side note, I’m sorry but the new 2002 Datsuns suck. That’s it.

Well I hope you learned something new about cars and about America! Yay cars!

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6 thoughts on “I’m tired of trade talk…let’s talk about Datsuns

  1. FrankC says:

    I love these boxy 70’s imports. The 1980 civic wagon got me into the sports wagons 🙂

  2. thekevinchen says:

    Love Fairladies, especially Datsun roadsters! I agree, late-model Nissans are lackluster. Would be nice if they revived a Datsun coupe in the next few years to compete with Toyota/Subaru’s GT86/BRZ.

  3. Keith says:

    Holy cow you sure love your Datsuns and love your cars! My mum used to have a Datsun Cherry, was a classic.

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