1968 Datsun 1600 Roadster


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The Datsun Sports (called Datsun Fairlady in the home market), was a series of roadsters produced by Nissan in the 1960s. The series was a predecessor to the Z-car in the Fairlady line, and offered an inexpensive alternative to the European MG, Triumph, Fiat and Alfa Romeo sports cars. The line began with the 1959 “S211″ and continued through 1970 with the “SP311″ and “SR311″ line. The Fairlady saw competitors follow its introduction, with examples called the Honda S500, the Toyota Sports 800, and the Daihatsu Compagno.

The first Datsun Sports model was the 1959 S211. It used a 988 cc C-series straight-4 producing 37 PS (27 kW; 36 hp). The S211 was based on the Datsun 211 sedan. Incorporated into the side trim were the side badges, which said “Datsun 1000″. It was designed by Yuichi Ohta, who had previously designed the Datsun DC-3 and the prototype to the S211, the A80X.

Early in 1968 the 1600, just as the bigger 2000, was updated to meet new safety legislation. Toggle switches, a padded dashboard and padded center of the steering wheel were new inside. The door handles were flush fit lifting units, while the windshield was taller with a top mounted internal rear view mirror.

The 1600 we possess was originally red but has been painted blue since and while in need of some cosmetic attention, it is fully capable of being enjoyed in its current condition and presents well. The interior may require specific attention but has held up well and is quite comfortable. It has been driven recently and passed muster with regard to the road test. Being a Datsun/Nissan, it runs wonderfully. The underside is extremely solid and this is a great entry level collector.