Nissan is ramping up for the revival of its Datsun brand, which will hit the spotlight this year with its first product introductions.
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10. 2014 Porsche Cayman S
Make no mistake, this IS as much of a bucket-list as it is a dream list of cars. I’ve yet to drive many of these sublime examples of motoring, but if I was ever given the opportunity, I’d jump at it, potentially re-scheduling a birthday party, religious holiday or anniversary to get a chance behind one of these vehicles. If (or until) these opportunities arise, I’ll have to just dream.
Picture a classic car in your head: likely it’s an American icon like a late ‘60s Mustang or even earlier like a ‘50s Fairlane. Maybe your taste is a bit more exotic and you’re imagining a classic Ferrari or even a British sports car like an MG or Triumph.
Instead, those who really want a collectible Datsun should check out the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction where this 1974 260Z is set to sell with no reserve price. The entire vehicle has been rotisserie restored with a Chevrolet 350-ci V8 engine under the hood mated to a Tremec five-speed transmission.
The auction listing states that the 260Z has only put on 800 miles since the rebuild, which also saw all-new wiring from Painless and new suspension during the process. While the chassis was stripped down to bare metal, all new Nissan parts and urethane bushings were installed along with Eibach springs and Tokico shocks.
Giving it some modern technology is a set of HID headlights, LED brake, turn, running, and side marker lights while the car rolls on more modern Konig Rewind wheels wrapped with BF Goodrich rubber. Completing the build is a full stereo system from Kenwood while the seats, dash, and interior panels were reupholstered with faux leather and is all French stitched.
The Palm Beach, Florida Barrett-Jackson Auction kicks off on April 5th, 2012.
GALLERY: 1974 Datsun 260Z
Datsun made its debut in the U.S. all the way back in 1958, and lasted almost 25 years in North America before it was phased out. Today, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has confirmed that Datsun will live, and carry Nissan’s products into new and emerging markets such as Indonesia, Russia and India.
Indonesia will see an investment of $400 million from Nissan in an attempt to double the labor work force and triple the amount of dealers already selling cars there. ”The priority (for Nissan Motors in Indonesia) is for the Indonesian market,” Carlos Ghosn said, “If there is any room for more capacity it will be located for the domestic (market) rather than for exports, although cost is competitive.”
In other parts of the world, Nissan is relying on partnerships with domestically established companies to help them move Datsun product. In India, a partnership with Ashok Leyland Ltd is already established and the joint venture is designing a small city car which they hope to sell by 2014. Nissan also has ties with French company Renault SA, and together they are looking to make a deal with Russian based AvtoVAZ, the maker of Lada automobiles in Russia to help aid in Datsun’s re-emergence into the Russian automotive world.
The revival of Datsun is necessary for Nissan to be able to have separate branding and marketing strategies, with Nissan cars as a little more expensive and upscale, and Datsun as a low cost option for the common man. Nissan CEO Ghosn says about Datsun, “It’s a green car, affordable car, small displacement, high local content, It’s going to be a generous car.”
Funny how old becomes new again, with the Dodge Dart, Dodge Barracuda Fiat 500, Toyota 86 and Dodge Challenger as just a few nameplates which have been dug up from the past and revived as modern day iterations of the classics they share a name with. Now, Datsun can join the list as the newest revival in the auto industry.
See the new Datsun Logo in the gallery below.
GALLERY: 2014 Datsun Logo
Japanese automaker Nissan is readying a revival of its Datsun nameplate, but it won’t be making its presence known in America. Instead, the Datsun brand will be used for Nissan’s entry-level models in emerging markets like India, Indonesia, and Russia.
According to reports, the revival could come as soon as 2014 and the Datsun-branded models will also be produced in those emerging markets. The price range for these vehicles will simply be affordable and economical, with a range of around 500,000-yen or $6,200. Nissan is hoping to sell around 300,000 Datsun vehicles annually.
The Datsun name brand started to get phased out in 1986 in America, as the newly renamed Nissan started to emerge. The automaker wants to separate these cheaper, lower-end models from their Nissan brand in order to not dilute the prestige it has established over the years. The same strategy is used by other manufacturers, such as Volkswagen with their SEAT and Skoda names.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
What Inside Line did was pit an old Datsun 510 versus a new Nissan Juke. You might think that the Juke would have an unfair advantage, but the 510 they brought out to this comparo was not an ordinary, run of the mill model. No, it is a rally spec version that has been gutted of its interior to save weight and been given a roll cage for safety. It also has skid plates to protect its parts.
The Juke on the other hand was a completely stock model. Both cars recorded their time on a 2.6-mile gravel road.
And the winner is… well you’ll have to watch the video to find out which was just less than a second quicker.
Check out the video after the jump
As an automaker, Datsun may have had its issues, and rebranding the company in North America in 1982 as Nissan proved a smart move by execs. Still, few have forgotten cars like the 510, the many Z sports cars and even the 720 pickup truck.
News of the brand’s revival (according to a report by the Nikkei), should have nostalgic enthusiasts rejoicing. But not so fast. While unconfirmed, even if the project does get the go-ahead it’s not destined for our shores. Instead, Nissan is planning to revive Datsun as an entry-level brand targeted at emerging markets, offering vehicles that cost around $5,000.
[Source: Nikkei via TTAC]
Production will end for the Ford Ranger on December 22, according to the United Auto Workers 879 June-August newsletter. The Ranger is currently built in Ford’s Twin Cities assembly plant and the truck has been built since January 1982.
The Ranger originally replaced the Ford Courier which was based on the Mazda B-Series small truck. The Ranger was built to work hard, achieve decent gas mileage and compete against small Japanese and American trucks like the Datsun, Toyota and Chevrolet pickups. So far, more than 7 million Ranger trucks have been built since first produced.
Ford has yet to announce a replacement for the Ranger. So far the F-150 has a new 3.7-liter V6 that is most comparable to the outgoing vehicle. However, an all-new Ford Ranger goes on sale later this year for markets outside of North America.
[Source: Pickup Trucks]
SEMA is so vast that it’s hard to truly see it all. Thanks to our eagle-eyed photographers, we’ve been able to cherry pick the best cars over the past few days, starting with the cars of the wheel and tire exhibit.
Rather than the usual dubs and donks, the wheel and tire exhibit had everything from a Lexus LFA to a gaggle of Ferraris to a perfectly restored 1953 MG TD. We even saw a Gumpert Apollo, a rare beast on this side of the Atlantic. The full gallery is below – it’s massive, but definitely worth your time.
Gallery: Wheel & Tire Expo
The story of Datusn (and later Nissan) in the United States is probably the most fascinating of all the Japanese auto makers . While early Toyota’s and Honda’s were ridiculed for their diminutive size and propensity to rust, Datsun was the first Japanese manufacturer to establish a reputation as a respected car maker. The 240Z sports car showed that it was possible to have European style and performance with perfect reliable and a fraction of the cost, while the 510 brought Alfa Romeo and BMW to its knees in amateur road racing.
Datsun’s hub of popularity has always been in Southern California, and the once-dominant brand is being feted at the San Diego Automotive Museum, in a special exhibit called “Datsun/Nissan: The American Story”. You can expect all your favorite classic Datsun cars to be there, like the 510, the Datsun Roadster (basically a Miata, 30 years before the Miata came out), the legendary Z cars, as well as some more obscure models that are only in the hands of a few collectors.
[Source: Japanese Nostalgic Car]
There’s not a single member of the Autoguide staff who does not admire the Honda’s of the company’s “Golden Age”. Spanning the period from 1983, when the CRX was released, to 2001, when the last Integra Type-R rolled off the line, subsequent Honda’s have been excellent cars, but have never quite lived up to the magic that their predecessors were able to wield over us.
Right around the turn of the last decade, Honda’s dominance in the import tuner market looked set to end as drifting, the new motorsports craze, seemed destined to take over. With their front-drive layout, the big H couldn’t compete in the rear-wheel-driven motorsport. But as drifting’s popularity grew, the popularity of Honda cars experienced a parallel renaissance that continues to this day.
Eibach Springs holds an annual Honda meet for afficionados of the brand, described as the “Concours D’Elegance” for Honda cars. While some scoff at the notion that Japanese cars will ever be historically important, there are now multiple generations that grew up with cars from the Land of the Rising Sun, living out their teenage and young adult years behind the wheel of Datsuns, rear-drive Toyotas and Civic hatchbacks. As the crowd gets older, the 1970′s machinery is becoming increasingly collectible and the fan base is becoming more affluent. The Eibach show is a great way for those with high dollar Hondas to show off their babies to others admirers of the brand.
Nissan‘s Datsun 240Z broke ground in the early 1970′s by offering bulletproof reliability and the performance of a Jaguar E-Type for a third of the cost. The next generation Z-car could be similarly important by mating a hybrid drivetrain into a serious performance car, if reports coming out of Japan are accurate.
While the reports are mostly speculation, rumors of a Nissan GTR hybrid, as well as a Lexus LFA hybrid lend credence to the speculation. If Honda’s CR-Z hybrid sports car does well in North America (it’s currently a hit in Japan) you can expect that Nissan will be eager to get in the market, albeit at a higher pricepoint.
[Source: Zer Customs]