Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1
The World's Most Popular Small Car
Released in 1967
, the Datsun 1000 would quickly become one of the world's most popular small cars, and in just 2 short years Datsun had managed to manufacture and sell over half-a-million of them.
It helped that the Datsun 1000 was such a handy little racer, it winninly many rallies throughout Australia, and none more noteable than a win at the 1969 Surfers Paradise 24 hour enduro.
Despite blinding rain, an oil-soaked track and two track mishaps, the Datsun 1000 managed to break 16 Australian speed records for its class. This would have been quite a feat in good weather, but that the 1000 endured some of the worst conditions experienced on a course up until that time makes the effort that much more impressive.
Over the years, Datsun gradually increased the range of 1000 models, they being available as either 2 or 4 door, manual or automatic, Coupe or Wagon.
The 2 door remained the most popular, particularly with the young, who were won over by the cars reliability and good looks, although by 1970 things had changed, and the practicality oa 4 door eventually won the day in the sales race.
When optioned with an automatic, the Datsun 1000 was the lowest priced 3 speed auto for sale in Australia. Best of all, the little 988cc engine was amazingly tractable, and proved capable of being mated to the auto without modification, and with only a minor power hit.
The Coupe followed the 4 door onto the market in 1969, it being marketed as "Groovy Wheels". As far as fastback configurations were concerned, the Datsun topped all others, including the nippy Mazda 1200 Coupe
, due to its generous headroom and ample luggage space, then best in its class.
There were plenty of options too, such as a three speed heater/demister, push button radio, plush carpet, contoured seats and padded dash. The car rode well, was nimble in traffic while still being able to take on the highways, frugal at the bowser and cheap to service.