I’m pretty sure I have never posted any Datsun literature from Belgium before so this might be the first. This marketing material is in the form of a Magazine (this is issue Nr.1) and it dates from Autumn 1974. The range shown is pretty much the same as that sold in the UK and most other Western European countries with the exception of the C110 Skyline hardtop, a model which never made it to the UK. There’s a little bit in there about the Datsun ESV too, about which it says something like;
‘Not just a safety prototype, but additionally looks very nice also. The front visibility is optimal by construction without windscreen pillars. The special bumpers play a dual role: a collision softener for passengers, but on the other hand they protect the pedestrian as much as possible. Steering wheel and dashboard are specially refined and moreover reflect the same safety philosophy” .
I’m collecting some info together to write a piece about Nissan’s ESV projects so watch for that in the future.
Often, the facelifted saloon version of the 710 model is regarded as a bit of an ugly duckling with it’s notch back and squared off boot but I suspect that’s because most export versions, especially the Datsun 140J and 160J sold in Europe, didn’t get the big tail lights and smooth centre panel like Japanese domestic version, the Nissan Violet. They certainly look pretty good in this Japanese brochure, especially in SSS guise.
The SSS saloon wasn’t sold in Europe as far as I am aware. Like the SSS hardtop, it had independent rear suspension and the Violet SSS-E, got electronic fuel injection as well. Plus there were extras like electric mirrors and an awesome top loading cassette deck! 1976 (Showa 51) also saw the introduction of the Nissan Anti-Pollution System (NAPS) so the 1600 models came equipped with a catalytic converter and evaporative emission controls. These NAPS cars are usually designated as being a 711 model rather than 710.
About a month ago I posted up a fantastic Nissan brochure for 1970 which covered some of the concept cars as well as the model range from that year. I have a few brochures of this sort from what was arguably Nissan’s golden age, where they were producing some advanced, nicely styled and very well engineered cars as well as showing of some pretty wild concepts. The brochure shown here is one of a couple I have from 1971 and it covers the 216X concept car as well a a beautifully illustrated company history section, which unfortunately for us Europeans, is all in Japanese! Click through to have a look…
This is no nice I had to share it. Tweeted by Nissan (@Nissan) earlier, this is fantastic publicity shot of their 1967 range. I have seen this image before in publicity material but rarely in colour and certainly not as large or as high quality as this. It’s interesting to note how they have a few left-hand drive American spec models in there, namely the Datsun 510, Roadster and 520 pickup. Clearly the US was regarded as an important market. The range at this time was quite varied thanks to Nissan having absorbed Prince Motor company the previous year, yet some of the fruits of that merger were yet to appear… namely the C30 laurel and C10 Skyline.
You can follow Nissan’s official Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/Nissan
At the very start of the 1970s, Nissan were very busy developing all manner of advanced projects and concept cars. Fortunately for us, they were also very keen on producing quite elaborate and informative brochures. This one is from 1970 and is absolutely packed with interesting stuff, even though the text is all in Japanese. There’s the wild concept cars, the Nissan 126X, the Cherry based 270X and the 315x electric car. There’s some lesser known projects such as the 130 based Cedric EL Special which made use of complex (for 1970!) electronics technology and the 150 model President Proto-AX which featured advanced emissions controls. There’s also Nissan’s experimental gas turbine engine, a mention of air bags and craziest of all a steam powered 510 wagon! Plus there’s a beautifully illustrated guide to their model line up at the time. Click through to take a look…
As Ratdat.com is now hosted by Datsun-France, I thought it might be appropriate to scan and post up this neat little French Datsun brochure I have. This is a slightly unusual one because, apart from it’s diminutive size at just 15cm by 7cm, it also has lovely illustrations of the cars rather than the usual photographs. Interestingly, in ’76 the Datsun E10 Cherry was still available in both 2 and 4 door form alongside the newer F10 Cherry models, although the latter seems to have driopped the “Cherry” name. Another thing I noticed is that the 710 only appears as an 160J SSS hardtop… were there no 710 saloons in France?! Click on to have a look…
The motoring media lambasted the ill fated Alfa Romeo ARNA back in the late 1980’s for it’s dull as cold porridge styling, as clearly it was not what was expected from the innately stylish Italians. Such is the Italian sense of style that Carrozzeria Studio Minardi stepped in to improve matters by applying their coach building talents to the boxy Italian/Japanese offspring. Only I’m not sure that actually did. I know little about this particular car other that what’s in the obscure brochure I have. Needless to say, the coach built version on offer here really doesn’t seem to offer much more in the way of good looks than did the original. If anything it’s actually slightly uglier!
For as long as cars have been around there has been a market for accessories for the enthusiastic motorist, who would attempt to individualize his or her chosen means of transport with all manner of bolt on goodies. This is the same the world over and aftermarket accessories were as readily available here in the UK from your local dealer as they were in Japan, Australia and the States, although it has to be said, often not quite in the same quantity or variety. All Datsun dealers through the 1970’s and early 1980’s had on offer an array of items from the practical, such as seat covers, air conditioning and driving lights, to products for those who wanted to really customise their ride such as stripes, chrome trim and alloy wheels . Aftermarket parts was big business and a great deal of time was put into thinking up new ideas for saleable accessories, particularly in the Japanese market where a bewildering array of parts was available. The American market catered for every model in the lineup with a selection of parts suited to each as seen in this selection from 1979…
I have previously made mention of Nissan’s curious partnership with Alfa Romeo before on this site when I finally managed to acquire one of the unloved products that emerged from this tie-up, a Nissan Cherry Europe GTi. But the Cherry Europe was only part of the story as elsewhere in Europe the same line of models (the 920 series) was marketed by Alfa Romeo themselves as the ARNA. The model would most likely have been entirely sold as Alfa Romeos, had their UK importer not decided that the ARNA was too downmarket for their image in the UK, which meant the cars were adorned with Nissan badging and sold through Nissan UK dealers. UK Alfa Romeo dealers were not happy though, as they jealously watched Nissan dealers chalk up sales on a model they rightly saw as their own, and at the same time had no small model of their own to sell.