SVRA 2011 Watkins Glen All Datsun race start
Video from my Datsun 2000 during the start of the Datsun feature race at the Glenora Vintage Grand Prix Sept. 8-11, 2011. That's Tom Bork blasting past in turn 2 in his historic VIN #8 Datsun 240Z. Also good racing with Peter Bauer's beautiful blue/white/red Datsun 510. I couldn't catch Joe Maloy in his fast red ex-Shafer 2.5 TA 510. The double yellow came out and I was glad as my car was overheating and I needed to back off. Nice to see so many wonderful Datsuns on track. Thanks to the owners and SVRA.
Datsun Fairlady 2000  SR311
Spotting a nice find in Mira Mesa in a while so I had to take some pics of this clean 1969 Datsun Fairlady 2000 SR311
Nujabes - The Space Between Two Worlds
Datsun SPL 311 1600 (Fairlady)
By Miguel Caparros
In the early to mid 60's Datsun was the one on the move in the US market while Toyota was still sleeping. Datsun was taking on the British car industry head on as it recuperated from WWII. Datsun was one of the companies that benefited from the leadership of W. Edwards Deming, Who was chosen by Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (SCAP) was the title held by General Douglas MacArthur during the Occupation of Japan following World War II. I remember the first time I saw an SPL 311 and my reaction to it. The quality of build seemed much better than the MG, Triumph or Alfa Romeo, given the fact that much of the technology was under license from US and Great Britain. As great as the quality of the mechanical aspects were concerned, the quality of the interior vinyl and plastics left much to be desire. In spite of that they slowly chipped away at the established manufacturers with a product of superior mechanical quality and value for the money spent.
The SPL 311 line finished in 1970 with the Datsun 2000, A car that had to be taken very seriously as a performance sports car. But it was the follow up that put the final nail in the coffin of the British dominance, the 240Z, Fairlady.
Driving impression of the Datsun 1600 from 1968. First thing I noticed was the size of the car, it felt bigger than an MG Midget but smaller than the MGB. The controls and switch gear had a quality feel to it and the standard Am Fm radio was completely integrated into the dash. Also well integrated was the heating and ventilation levers and switches and they had a light feel as opposed to some of the British cars that felt as if you were trying to move a rail road track change lever with a tooth pick.
One stab of the gas pedal and a light pull of the choke and the car started right up and the choke was not needed after a few seconds and the engine settled to a smooth idle. The clutch was unusually light as was the shift the lever. As I took off I could immediately sense that although the steering was light it did not have the precision of the British rack and pinion and the ride motion was both soft and choppy at the same time. Getting on the power made me smile as the little 1600 had power equal to if not better than the 1800 in the MGB. But it was the great feel of the gearbox that got my attention. Both precise in movement and light in feel. Taking it through my favorite set of twisties in Coral Gables It felt good but not as well planted as an MGB or my own Alfa. But there was no question in my mind that Datsun had a winner here, specially when you take into consideration the price.
Nissan Fairlady 2000 SR311
Nissan Fairlady 2000/Datsun 2000 Roadster being driven round a bit, listen to that engine!! Superb! Unknown source but I'm sure that car has been used on a Best Motoring vid or something.
BRE Datsun 2000
By Miguel Caparros
It was a good thing that I got drafted in 1971 as it spared me the embarrassment of having my Alfa Romeo race team decimated in the Trans Am by BRE. But this is the story of the first group of cars and characters that Peter Brock embarrassed. In case you do not know who Peter Brock is, Peter has a slightly impressive resume, a couple of his more noted accomplishments, he designed the original Sting Ray, he also did a little job for Carroll Shelby creating the Daytona Coupe that drove Ferrari out of racing, and won the FIA World Championship for the first time by an American manufacturer. I am including a link at the end of this article to the BRE history page. for more details directly from the horses mouth, so here is the short version. Datsun was not Peters first choice to go racing, he was trying to get the contract to race the super smooth, 6 cylinder signature car, the Toyota 2000 GT. Shelby got the Toyota contract and Peter decided to beat his old boss out on the racetrack. DP or class D for Production vehicles was the hot bed of competition in the Sport Car Club of America. Peter being an engineer/racer took a very structured and clinical way to prepare the cars. The Datsun 2000 sports roadster was based on the 1600 a car that was somewhere between the MG Midget and the MGB in size. Basically Datsun, to be competitive shoved the largest engine they could fit into the engine compartment. BRE did something with the 2000 that no one thought was possible. Made it handle and got gobs of horsepower out of the engine, more than enough to win the Championship first time out and send Toyota home with its tail tucked between their legs.