Cars of Coolhaven

An exploration of extraordinary cars in an ordinary neighborhood

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Datsun Sports / Fairlady 1600 (SPL311) 1965-1970

April 6th, 2008 by Rolph · 1 Comment

On the parking lot of Diergaarde Blijdorp, this perky little two-seater roadster is parked. A MG? Fiat? Lancia perhaps? Nope! It is a… Datsun! Imagine my surprise. Only a few of these sports cars were shipped to Europe, let alone the Netherlands. It looks rather boxy, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The hood scoop looks the part, the lines on the car are nice. I am a happy car spotter! Granted, an early Datsun Fairlady 1200 would have been even better (let’s ignore the Sports 1000, the curvy S211 being a bit rare 😉 ), but this SPL311 is still rare enough for my book.

Datsun sports cars, in certain markets, were known as Fairlady. These were a series of roadsters produced in the 1960’s and a predecessor to the Z car.  In 1959 Datsun introduced a sports car, the S211, powered by 988 cc engine capable of producing just under 40 horsepower. Production was low with only 20 cars being produced. The following year the S212 was put into production outfitted with a slightly larger engine at 1.2 liter and producing nearly 50 horsepower. The S212 was the first vehicle to be fitted with the Fairlady name.

In 1961 performance was slightly increased with the adoption of a dual-carburetor, brining horsepower up to 60. Not bad for a small car. During its production lifespan lasting only two years, 217 examples were created. The Datsun 1500 Roadster, the SP310, was introduced to the public at the 1961 Tokyo Motor Show. It was powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine capable of producing 77 horsepower. In 1964 a second SU carburetor was added and the horsepower increased to 85. A final revision of the 1500 was introduced in 1965, complete with a new interior. The dash layout was redesigned and the back seat was removed.

In 1965 a 96 horsepower engine was introduced and continued in production until 1970. This 1.6-liter engine meant the name of the 1500 Roadster was changed to the 1600, SP311, to reflect the new engine displacement size. The L added to the series designation indicates a left hand drive car.

Any interesting facts or URL’s are appreciated!

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Tags: Cabriolet/Convertible · Datsun · Nice cars · Oldies

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Rolph // Apr 17, 2008 at 0:33

    Dudes why is nobody reacting to this posting?! I soo dig this car! I really like it, and who in their right mind can say that he or she has seen a Datsun that really was nice to look at?! Well, now I can! More and more reasons to be excited about this little sports car

    Oh well, maybe it is just me. This spot, I really appreciated it. It got thrown in my lap, granted, but still. These are the cars I hope to run into. Cars I know little to nothing about, but still cars that are interesting and nicely designed. And these are the cars I hope that you, highly regarded visitors of my site, are excited about as well, these must be the cars that you all can add interesting facts and little-known remarks to my clumsy and incomplete story.

    Or so I hope 🙂 Oh well, if all else fails, let’s hope you’ll enjoy the pictures LOL


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