The Datsun name was dropped by Nissan in 1983, timed to aid in an all out assault the company was determined to make on the European market. Nissan purchased a controlling interest in Motor Iberica of Spain, and soon had the company building Nissan Patrol 4x4’s. They then built a brand new factory in Sunderland, UK to build the Bluebird.
The expansion programme was not without cost, and given the Button plan for car manufacturer rationalisation in Australia, most knew it would be Nissan that would close – although the company did not want to abandon the Aussie market, and output in Japan was increased to help compensate. The Sunderland UK plant expanded, as did a plant in Tennesse, USA, mostly thanks to the popularity of the company’s new micro car, aptly named the “Micra”.
The “Z” cars had lost much of their past appeal, and so the company desperately needed a new hero car. The 200 and 240SX’s went some of the way, but the flagship was undeniably the Skyline GT-R. It lacked a little of the power of the ZX, but the 208.8 kW 158.7 kW 2.6 litre twin turbo straight six was tractable and smooth, and when linked to a viscous-coupled four wheel drive and four wheel steering system it made to a simply stunning and awesome drive. But unlike other Japanese manufacturers, it is arguably the 4 wheel drive iterations that the company is best known for, the Patrol being joined by the X-Trail “soft roader” where both either hold, or challenge, for top position in their respective categories.
1962 - 1975
The 31 series featured a new front end treatment, with the headlights now mounted horizontally inside a new cast alloy grille. It had a metal dash board with two large round dials. As with the previous model, there was a choice of two engines, the 1488cc 71hp OHV 4cyl. G series engine or the new 1883cc 95hp OHV 4cyl. H series engine. Available in 4 door sedan (31) and 5 door wagon (WP31). More>>
1963 - 1965
The Cedric Special was a long wheel base version of the Cedric 30 and Cedric 31 series. The extra length was needed to accomodate the 2825cc 118hp OHV 6 cylinder K series engine. Distinguishing it from the lesser Cedric's was the different grille and lashings of extra bright-work. More>>
1965 - 1970
The 130 series featured a whole new look for the Cedric. The new body was designed by Italian stylist Pininfarina, and was available with several different engines. There was the 1983cc 99hp OHV 4cyl. H20 engine, the 1992cc 109hp OHV 6cyl. J20 engine or the 1998cc 112hp OHC 6cyl. L20 engine. The Special 6 had a twin carb. version of the L20 engine producing 123hp. More>>
1967 - 1968
Nissan didn't wait long to instil some magic into the GT Prince after its take-over of this smaller Japanese company. The car didn’t lose from the merger - in A200 GT form it had gained. The ideas were almost certainly from the competition prone Prince side of the organisation but the money, the incentive and the backing were equally as attributable to Nissan. More>>
1980 - 1989
Over the years Nissan did very little to a design it got right to begin with. Occasionally a headlight or indicator were moved, and an extra instrument added to the dash, but that was about all. Back then, you really had to know Nissans to pick a 1968 model from a 1979 example. But that all changed in June 1980, when Nissan announced their new Patrol. The new model was officially called the Datsun Patrol, in deference to Nissan's normal product tag. More>>
1983 - 1987
The Pulsar will be remembered in the anals of automotive history as brilliantly mediocre, however there was one particular Pulsar that was far from being forgettable. Right from the get-out, the EXA received a positive reception and went a long way to establishing the credentials of compact turbocharged performance cars that we all take for granted today. More>>
1983 - 1988
For its time, the Gazelle was a modern, elegant and feature packed vehicle that, from an engineering perspective (both in exterior design and mechanically), stood head and shoulders above the rest. There are too few cars from the 1980's that remain appealing, most designs mimicking a "box-on-wheels" approach. The Nissan Gazelle is a rare exception. More>>
1990 - 1995
The Primera may have been a Nissan in name, but for all intents and purposes it was a European car. The Primera, a car only loosely descended from the Tokyo Show car of the same name, was designed not just with Europe in mind, but with a specific focus on what the European consumer wanted. More>>