Datsun is a car brand created by Nissan in 1931. Firstly, it was called Datson for it was a smaller car comparing to a DAT truck that was already being produced. In following years with new executive personnel, the name was changed to “Datsun” as “son” in Japanese translates to “loss” which might have been a bad sign for the company. “Sun” was also a reference to the national flag of Japan.
In the early 1930s, before the company turned to truck production for the army during the war with China in 1937, Datsun had already produced three passenger car models, Type 10, Type 11 and Type 12. After the war, the company returned to car building and the British Austin Seven, Devon and Somerset provided inspiration for Datsun DB introduced in 1948 and Datsun DS that appeared two years later. The last cars of Datsun had been assembled in the 1980s until 2012 when Nissan made a decision to relaunch Datsun for the purpose of an economical car make trade.
One of the most popular models of Datsun, also appearing with the Nissan’s logo, was 240Z (known also as 260Z, 280Z, Nissan Fairlady Z, or Nissan S30). This two-seat sport coupe, assembled between 1969 and 1978, impressed dealers and buyers with its design, engineering, price and performance. It won a prestigious east-African rally, the Safari Rally, twice, in 1971 and 1973. Datsun 240Z became a bestseller on the American market and is considered one of the top sports cars of the 1970s.
Another model, Datsun 510 (also called 1300, 1500, 1600, or Bluebird) was as popular and successful as 240Z. It won Trans-American Championship in 1970, as well as Ampo Trial in Australia the same year, and ARC (Australian Rally Championship) two years in a row, in 1982 and 1983. Nissan’s contemporary models, IDx Freeflow and NISMO are inspired by Datsun 510 (“D” and “X” are Roman numbers 500 and 10).