One thing that can become very confusing in the Datsun world is the use of different names for the same model in different countries. For example, a Datsun 510 in the United States is better known as a Bluebird in Japan, or as a Datsun 1600 in Australia and here in the UK. To help clarify this confusion I’ve compiled a table to give the comparitive names for each model in various countries. It’s not really possible to cover all varients in all countries so this only covers the mainstream models in the major markets. The table below is split into sections to group the various models into their ‘families’ as dictated by the Japanese market.
Gone are the days where I just aquired cars endlessly without giving much thought as to what I was going to do with them. When I reached to point of owning fifty cars at the same time, cold hard reality hit me and I realised I was a little out of my depth. These days, I try to maintain something like a sensible balance and a reasonably sized stable of cars, meaning that often, when a new car arrives, something else usually goes to make way. So with the arrival yesterday of the early N12 Cherry I bought at the beginning of the year, it was time to wave goodbye to the KB110 Datsun 1200 coupe project I have been storing in the shed.
I’m posing this question in order to maybe shed a little light on the whereabouts of a couple of unusual Japanese spec Nissan hardtop coupes which appeared in the UK nearly ten years ago, only to disappear again, seemingly without trace. These cars were at one time in the Datsun Owners Club and one of them even appeared at a car show, but little has been seen or heard of them since. If you know anything about the whereabouts of any of these cars, or even if you own one of them, I’d be very happy to hear from you!
First up is this extremely rare C230 Laurel two door hardtop. These were never sold in the UK and this particular one was pictured in the Datsun Owners Club magazine back in 1999. At the time it belonged to John Gorman or Cleveland and was rumoured to have been a Hong Kong police courtesy car before being imported to the UK in 1981. A quick search on the DLVA’s website reveals that the road tax last expired at the end of May 2003 and it’s not market as exported, so where is it now?
Second is a car that put in an appearance at the Japanese Auto Extravaganza at Northampton back in 1998. This 330 Cedric two door hardtop is almost certainly the only one in the UK and is still out there somewhere. A DVLA check reveals it to be currently taxed until the end of August 2008 so it’s clearly still in use. It would be great to find out where this car is now and what sort of condition it’s in, ten years later. If you are the proud owner of this Cedric then drop me a line!
Having taken a nice long break over the Christmas holiday it’s time to get back on with things and what better way to celebrate the new year that by acquiring yet another Datsun. I originally considered this N12 with a view to using it to repair my Cherry Europe GTi but after viewing it, it seems a shame to pull it apart. This N12 Cherry is one of the earliest sold here, having been registered in April 1983 and as such has “Datsun” badging, rubbing strips high on the body sides and the early style interior with funky single spoke steering wheel. It’s also a GL model so comes with a 5 speed transmission as standard.
I have known about this Datsun 1000 saloon for quite a while and said when I first heard about it that if it ever came up for sale I would buy it. And it has…. so I have. This B10 (B10-080016) was built in late 1967 and apparently was amongst the first batch of Datsuns to be officially imported by Datsun UK. A check on the VIN number confirms it’s build date and although there is no actual information on the destination of that VIN number, the Japanese export record shows only one B10 having been shipped to the UK in April 1968. This was the only one car shipped during the period from September 1967 through to June 1968 and as it is known that this B10 arrived here prior to June 1968 this would seem to indicate that this was indeed the first Datsun Sunny to arrive here officially. I think I’ll have to do a little more research on this before I can say for sure but all indications point towards it being so.
Retro styled cars are becoming popular with motor manufacturers so I began to wonder what Datsun could be remanufactured to look ‘new’ with the minimum of changes, much like the Rover group achieved with the MG R-V8 back in 1992. In fact, considering the manner in which the RV8 was done, how about doing the same with a Fairlady Roadster? I did this somewhat hasty photoshop to give an idea of what could be done. At first glance it doesn’t look too much different to the original but that’s the idea. The changes are comprehensive though as you’ll see…
Just how many rare Datsuns can one man find? Svein-Erik has acquired yet another desirable Datsun, this time a 1968 520 wagon. Technically this is a van rather than a wagon due to it having two doors rather than four. It looks to be in fair condition and I can’t wait to get a close look at it later this year when I’ll be attending the annual Datsun / PMC register show in Vikersund, Norway.