Why Datsun 1600 was a icon of the 70's

Why Datsun 1600 was a icon of the 70's


The Datsun 1600 was one of the most popular cars globally during the 70’s and for good reason.

Now if you are like me and not a big car lover than that is okay, this isn’t one of those blog posts ranting and raving about all the finer details and aspects of the car, however I will be covering off on some of the basics incase you are a car lover.

If you are still reading this then in some way I have peaked your interest and can tell you will appreciate a heart felt nostalgic car story. Now buckle up and get ready for the day the Datsun stopped by.

Now it all started last month whilst playing building blocks with my eldest son waiting for the arrival of my mother-in-law and brother-in-law from out of town. I could hear the low rumble of a car off in the distance. Gradually this rumble was getting louder, closer and sure enough this unfamiliar sound was coming down our drive. Now like I said I am not a big car nut by any means but from the rumble and roar of the engine I could tell it wasn’t your average car.

As we headed outside to greet our guests I was instantly mezmerized by what was staring back at us. This sexy and magical daintree green vintage car, well to be honest it looked more like a racing or speed way car, was none other than my brother-in-laws restored 1972 Datsun 1600.

The 1600 is a 1.6 litre with an overhead cam design that was copied from Mercedes. It also featured fully independent rear suspension.

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*Caption: The Datsun 1600, she's a beauty.

 Datsun originated in Japan in 1911 where they were built sturdy and durable, yet light weight. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that Datsun merged with Nissan and started manufacturing in Australia in 1966 (Datsun 510). These cars were considered a small to mid sized family car but also due to its light weight, unbreakable and easy to work on engines it was a popular choice for racing and off road rally racing.


*Caption: Original interior.

Seeing this car took me back to a memory in the early 90’s with my 2 sisters and I sitting in the back of my older sisters first car, yep you guessed it a Datto and to be more exact it was a mustard yellow Datsun 510. Now I can remember seeing these types of cars everywhere, I guess you can say they were the Mazda 3 or 6 of it's day with almost everyone driving them.

I have great memories of sitting on the tanned leather seats with the windows down listening to Kylie Minogue and bopping along to locomotion. Now I am not sure if I am a little bit sensitive and aware of my retro lifestyle but it always seems and has been a massive part of my life.

So what is your vehicle that instantly returns you to your childhood? Perhaps you grew up close to the coast and the Holden Sandman takes you back, or your youth was spent in the country and paddock bashing in an old ute.


*Caption: My cheeky eldest son, helping his Uncle serivce the Datto.

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