nrv_05I recently acquired a short Datsun UK press release relating to the NRVII (Nissan Research Vehicle II) from 1983 which lead me to take a closer look at this concept. This car was a pretty advanced project for its time which featured all sorts of technology that today is commonplace such as a navigation system, automatic lights and wipers, tyre pressure warning as well adaptive cruise control. Based on a B11 Sunny (Sentra), the RVII ran a methanol powered turbocharged 1.3 (E13 engine) which put out 120bhp. Along with the weight savings (over an already light car!) afforded by the use of plastics for things like the windows, fuel tank and even the wheels, this must have been a pretty lively performer!

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j9_01

I  did make mention of this van some time ago and it has occasionally sneaked into frame in pictures I have posted so I thought I’d post up some better pics of it. A friend in France bought this 1982 Peugeot J9 and came over in it back in February. He left it here for me to register and sell on his behalf. Having made some use of it recently, I think it’s a brilliant vehicle… it’s much like a French version of the old Commer PB or Spacevan, only much better!

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So, here’s the reason I have been a little tied up this last month. After a night of very high winds at the end of last month, I awoke to find a large section of the roof of my workshop lying in the yard! I guess it’s fortunate that the damage was as limited as shown here, although one sheet did hit the side of our Alfa 156 putting some big scratches and a dent in the rear quarter.

roof01 roof02

 I had intended to re-roof and extend my workshop this year anyway but hadn’t planned on doing it yet, however it seemed mother nature had other ideas. So, after clearing up the debris and making some temporary repairs to ensure the rest of the sheets stayed put, I sat down to draw up some plans…

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trans

OK, so there has been another long gap between posts but I shall explain why shortly. There has also not been much work done on my Datsuns in the last month but I still seem to keep accruing Datsun stuff regardless. I was particularly excited to find this old Datsun technical poster on eBay. This lovely transmission cutaway illustration is part of a set of large posters which detail various technical aspects, in this case of the 330 series Cedric. Presumably Nissan made these sets of posters featuring other models, although to date I have only ever see one other set and they were for a C30 Laurel. The reason why this was such a fantastic find is it was the only poster missing from a set which I have owned for a number of years!

Naturally, the artwork on these posters dates from an era before digital rendering and were done by hand with a combination of airbrush and painting making them real works of art created by very a talented technical artist. Eventually, I hope to be able to display these in my garage but I have a way to go yet before I have a garage worthy of them! I dug the rest of the set out and snapped some pictures of them so click through to have a look…

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920LCHa

This morning my Nissan Cherry Europe GTi was rudely awoken from its winter slumber and wheeled out into the rain for a trip to the testing station. Normally, I refrain from taking it out in the rain if I can help it but the MOT test was already booked so I didn’t have a lot of choice. I have had its fruity little Alfa boxer engine running at least once a month over the winter but this was its first time out on the road since September last year. It’s good to have it back on the road as it’s a fun car to hustle along on twisty back lanes, even in the wet.

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aikawa01

Some years ago, I purchased this old, framed photograph of Nissan’s first President, Yoshisuke Aikawa. It dates from 1956, a period during which he was a member of the Japanese government. I thought it to be quite an unusual thing to find at the time, but more on the photo in a moment. Firstly, for those who are unfamiliar with the name… who was this man? As regular readers would expect, naturally there’s a Datsun connection because Yoshisuke Aikawa was instrumental in the creation of Nissan Motor Company in the 1930’s and was a major force in Japanese industry before the Second World War. After the defeat of Japan he again became a key factor in the country’s post war recovery…

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s10craigslist

I’d wager that there aren’t many examples of the S10 model left in the world, especially as they were sold in few countries to start with. This one is for sale in Oregon at the moment and looks to be a really great shape. Launched in 1975, the S10 model was the second generation Nissan Silvia, preceded by the Fairlady based CSP311 which had ceased its very limited production in 1968 after only 554 were built. In the US, the model was badged as a Datsun 200SX and came complete with colossal Federal spec bumpers to replace the svelte versions seen on the Japanese models. I don’t believe this model was sold in Europe at all. I did once see images online of one in Portugal, although that looked to be a US import as it featured ‘those’ bumpers. Continue Reading

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312ex01

Spring is nearly here so it’s time to think about getting cars out of their winter hibernation. I usually aim to have them on the road for late April so, as I’ve got a ton of other stuff to do at the moment, I figured that I better make a start now! The first one into the workshop is Ol’ Bluey, my 1962 Bluebird wagon which needs it’s exhaust fixing as it had started to leak at the end of last year. Back in 2011, when I got the Ol’ Bluey back on the road after it’s thirty eight year slumber, I fabricated a new exhaust system for it but only from the existing front pipe back. On reflection, I should have done the front pipe as well as it’s a bit of a mess…

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Space!

drivedone1

After a great deal of work using the minidigger which I borrowed from my neighbour, plus a fair amount of backbreaking work with a shovel, I now have a completed yard and driveway. I could have done with all of this parking space a few years back when I had loads more cars! There’s still plenty of work to do to finish the job such as putting in an edging along the side of it and some paving (the existing concrete paths are getting paved with Victorian Diamond pattern bricks). I also need to take up all of the concrete next to the house and grass that area. It’s really nice to  have lots of space in the yard though, especially as it’s no longer muddy when it rains. I had the opportunity to roll the surface with a huge industrial vibrating roller so it’s now compacted hard enough to jack cars up on. I’m keen to get the ground work finished as I want to start on the workshop itself… new cladding, an extension and new window frames. Lots more work!

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t14matchbox

I acquired this interesting item earlier this week. It’s a tiny printed paper (35mm x 55mm) which has apparently been taken from an old box of matches… and judging by the illustration on it, it must have been a very old matchbox as that’s a Datsun Type 14 Phaeton from around 1935! Either that or it’s possibly a later commemorative but that seems unlikely as those sort of things usual feature the Datsun Type 11 which is regarded as the first Datsun. It’s unusual to see any commercial advertising relating to pre-war Datsuns. If anyone can shed any light on what the text says, I would be very interested to know!

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