1965 Datsun Fairlady Sport - Today's Tempter

By: Spencer Leech, Unique Cars magazine

Fairlady heralded a new era of reliability for sports car lovers.

1965 Datsun Fairlady Sport - Today's Tempter
Early Japanese sports cars like this Fairlady have become very collectible.

To some people, the Datsun Fairlady Sport represents the beginning of the end for British roadsters. No longer did people have to put up with clunky mechanicals and temperamental electronics. The Dato may not have had the same charm that an MG, Triumph or Sunbeam provided, but it proved itself as stiff competition as soon as it arrived.

The Datsun roadsters from the 60s had a hard time winning-over purists, who didn’t take long to accuse Nissan of copying the MGB, despite the fact that the first Datsun Sport was unveiled at the 1962 New York Auto Show, months before the MGB was revealed.

The Japanese ragtop was first released with a 1.5-litre pushrod engine though it was later upgraded to a similar 1.6-litre and finally a 2.0-litre SOHC four-cylinder. The 1.5-litre engine produced a modest 85hp with its twin SU carburettors built under license by Hitachi.

Independent suspension with leaf springs were found at the front and a live rear axle managed the rear. Braking was handled by a front disc setup at the front and drum brakes at the rear, which were said to be very competent for the time.

Here we have one of the early 1.5-litre Datsun Fairlady Sports. The car is said to be in excellent condition, with a five-speed manual transmission and just 57,750kms on the clock. The seller is asking $25,000.

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