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 |  May 24 2010, 12:16 PM


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]