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.
Also see: Datsun Car Reviews
| The History of Datsun