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The Cars

 A look at the different models represented by the 
Datsun Sports Owners Assn. Inc.
These are the details of the right hand drive Australian delivered cars, the Japanese domestic models, and cars destined for other foreign countries are often slightly different.
Some photos shown here are of overseas and left hand drive cars, some of these cars don't have over riders, they may also have other items the Australian cars don't have such as side marker lights, amber front indicators, red rear indicators, emission control systems, etc.

1962-1963 DATSUN FAIRLADY 1500 SPORTS  SP310 
(In production from October 1962 to May 1963)

The first Datsun sports car sold in Australia was the Fairlady 1500, which is also known as the 1500 Sports. This first model has the 1488cc 4 cylinder pushrod "G" series engine. This first model had a single side draught Hitachi "SU" style carburetor, it developed  75 horsepower at 5000rpm. This model has 13 inch wheels, drum brakes on all four wheels and a 4 speed floor change gearbox with no synchromesh on 1st gear. These early models are actually 3 seaters, with a small sideways facing 3rd seat mounted behind the driver's seat. Many early 1500s are missing their 3rd seat, they are often removed to allow the driver's seat to be moved back to give extra legroom. The battery in these cars is mounted under the 3rd seat. The dashboard is painted the same colour as the outside of the car and features 4 large round gauges. These cars can be identified by the chrome strips that travel the full length of the car, external boot lid hinges, a large handle on the boot, a smaller air intake on the bonnet, a one piece 'Datsun' bonnet badge and a grille with 5 chrome horizontal bars and 9 vertical bars. The fabric section of the soft top comes off the bows and is stored in the boot, the chrome plated bows stow away inside the back of the cabin. Side badges say "Fairlady" and the back badge is the same as the bonnet badge. Only 300 of the single carb 1500s were built, only a tiny number, possibly only one, came to Australia.

(In production from June 1963 to July 1964)

This model is pretty much identical to the car described above but the new model has twin Hitachi "SU" style carburetors. There were also some changes to the camshaft, cylinder head and extractor design and the  engine now developed 85 horsepower at 5600rpm. The DC generator in the first model has been swapped for an AC alternator, and this is now mounted on the same side as the distributor. The side badges say  "Fairlady" and the rear badge says "Datsun 1500". A total of 4906 of this model was built.

(In production from August 1964 to April 1965)

This model is most commonly referred to as the 2 seater 1500. As this suggests, this model now has 2 seats, the novel 3rd seat was dropped for 1965. People often mistakenly think when they see this car, that it is a car that the owner has made it up from the parts of a 1500 and a 1600, but it is actually a changeover model that has some of the features of the soon to be released 1600 Sports. It continues to use the mechanicals of the previous 1500 model but it has a different interior, with a silver/grey painted dashboard with 2 large round guages and 5 smaller ones. The soft top is a different design and it now folds down behind the seats.  It has external boot lid hinges but no longer has the handle on the boot lid, it now has a small thin chrome strip handle on the rear edge of the boot lid. The air intake on the bonnet is a little taller and the bonnet now has individual "D-A-T-S-U-N" badges, but some early ones continued to have the old one piece "Datsun" badge.  Badges on the side say "Fairlady" and the back badge says "Datsun 1500". 1500 of this model was made. 

(In production from May 1965 to February 1967)

The first of these cars were sold in Australia as the Fairlady 1600, but some
marketing guru in Australia decided to change it's name and most were sold as the Datsun 1600 Sports, even though it was still sold as the Fairlady in Japan. This car has the 1595cc 4 cylinder "R" series  engine with twin Hitachi "SU" style carburetors, it develops 96 horsepower at 6000 rpm. It has disc brakes on the front wheels with Dunlop Sumitomo twin piston calipers, and drum brakes at the rear. The gearbox is a 4 speed floor change unit but it now has synchromesh on all four forward gears. It now has 14 inch wheels, because of the larger wheel arches needed to accommodate the bigger wheels there is no longer the room for the chrome strips on the front guards, the 1600 strips now start from behind the wheel arch. The size of the wheel arch flares has been increased. Boot lid hinges are now internal and the grille now has 3 wide horizontal bars. Badges on early cars say "Fairlady" on the side and "Datsun 1600" at the back, later cars have "Datsun 1600" badges back and sides. A total of 10883 were made.

1967 DATSUN 1600 SPORTS SP311 
(In production from March 1967 to October 1967)

This model is most often referred to as the 1967 1/2 1600. A number of minor changes were made to this model. Mechanically the engine now has an alloy cylinder head, and the crankshaft now has 5 main bearings instead of the previous engine's 3. The rear drums are now an alloy finned design with cast iron inserts. The brake master cylinder is now a tandem type, and the rear suspension has a torque bar on the driver's side. The dashboard now has 2 large gauges and 3  smaller, 2 of them are combination gauges. At about this time the authorities in the USA were starting to get a bit funny about car safety, as a result anything that was chromed on the dashboard is now painted dull black or gray.  Sun visors are now fitted for the first time and headrests were also available. Side badges now say "Datsun" above the chrome strip and "1600" below it. Rear badges now say "Datsun" and under it is a "1600" badge. 5452 1600s were made in 1967.

1967 DATSUN 2000 SPORTS SR311 
(In production from March 1967 to October 1967)

This model is often referred to as the low screen 2000 or the 1967 1/2 2000. The 2000 model has the new overhead cam 1982cc 4 cylinder "U20" series engine, with twin dual throat Solex carburetors, it developed 150 horsepower at 6000 rpm. In some overseas countries the U20 was available with twin Hitachi "SU" style carburetors, these engines developed 135 horsepower at 6000 rpm. It has a 5 speed floor change gearbox. The 1967 2000 is pretty much identical to the 1967 1600, the only major noticeable differences are that the 2000 models have a different grille design with a large "D" emblem in the centre and they have a thin chrome trim around the number plate recess. The chrome headlight scoops have a dull finish. Side badges say "Datsun" above the chrome strip and "2000" below it. Rear badges say "Datsun" with "2000" underneath. A total of 1000 of these low screen 2000s were made.

1968 DATSUN 2000 SPORTS SR311
(In production from October 1967 to November 1968)

This is the model referred to as the high screen 2000. Over 85% of all the Datsun sports cars built were sold in the USA, the 1968 model was designed to better suit the typically taller American driver by increasing the windscreen height by 2 inches. On previous models the windscreen frame was bolted to the car, in the high screen cars the windscreen frame is actually a part of the body. This model has a deformable black plastic dashboard and centre console. The outside door handles are a pull-out type rather than the push button type on earlier cars. The chrome headlight scoops have a dull finish. Side badges say "Datsun" above the chrome strip and "2000" below it. Rear badges say "Datsun" with "2000" underneath.

1968 DATSUN 1600 SPORTS SP311 
(In production from October 1967 to November 1968)

This model is known as the high screen 1600. Apart from having the smaller 1600 engine and 4 speed gearbox it is pretty much identical to the 1968 2000, except that it has the 1600 grille, shiny headlight scoops and the badges say "Datsun" above the chrome strip and "1600" below it, the rear badges have "Datsun" with "1600" underneath.

1969 DATSUN 2000 SPORTS SR311
(In production from November 1968 to June 1969)

Starting in late 1969 the 2000 was fitted with a new recirculation ball type steering box to improve the feel of the steering. This involved a small modification to the front suspension cross member of the chassis and a change in the radiator design. There were a few changes to the electrical system at the same time. The car's appearance is pretty much the same as the 1968 models, except that the 2000 went back to having shiny chrome headlight scoops instead of the dull finish scoops used on the 1967 and 1968 2000s. Also the rear bumpers now have a rubber block on the side of the car between the bumper and the body. A secondary bonnet latch is now fitted too.

1969 DATSUN 1600 SPORTS SP311
(In production from November 1968 to June 1969)

The 1600 version of the high screen model was available alongside the 2000 Sports right up until production ended in 1970, the high screen 1600s were popular in the United States but they are fairly uncommon in Australia. Apart from the smaller engine, the 1969 1600 is pretty well identical to the 2000 except for the 1600 grille.

1970 DATSUN 2000 SPORTS SR311 
(In production from July 1969 to sometime in 1970)

No specific date is given for the end of sports car production, but it ended sometime in 1970. The only major differences between the 1970 and 1969 models is that they have a different front indicator/park light design that has no chrome ring around it, and the knobs on the dashboard are a different design. In all 14006 of the 1968-1970 high screen 2000s were built.

1970 DATSUN 1600 SPORTS SP311
(In production from July 1969 to sometime in 1970)

As with the 1969 model, the 1970 1600 is pretty much identical to the 1970 2000 except for the engine and gearbox.  The 1970 cars in the USA had horrific big ugly red reflectors that were the same size as the tail lights and were mounted beside the stop lights, fortunately Australia was spared this modification. In total 11049 high screen 1600s were built between 1968 and the end of production in 1970.

(In production from 1964 to 1968)

The Nissan Silvia is a 2 seater coupe based on the chassis and mechanicals of the 1600 Sports. It used the 1595cc 4 cylinder "R" series engine with twin Hitachi "SU" style carburetors, producing 96 horsepower at 6000 rpm. It featured a hand built body that was penned by the German designer Albrecht Goertz. It's cost when new was about 50% more than the 1600 Sports. Only 554 were built between 1964 and 1968, the majority of them were built in 1965.
To learn more about the Silvia visit the Nissan Silvia Homepage .