What is this website all about ?

What's earlydatsun.com all about ?

earlydatsun.com is a website dedicated to pre-1968 Datsun and Nissan passenger cars and commercial vehicles. It is both a model identification guide and a celebration of of these unique and special vehicles.

What's in the website ?

Every Nissan and Datsun car and commercial vehicle built between 1930 and 1968 is represented here.

What's not here ?

This website solely concentrates on the products of the Nissan Motor Company, vehicles built by Nissan subsidiaries such as the larger trucks built by Nissan Minsei, Nissan Diesel and UD are not included in earlydatsun.com . Apart from a brief section still left from the old version of earlydatsun.com , which is still accessable at the bottom of the main page, there is nothing on the website about pre-1930 DAT and Lila cars, which were the direct ancestors of Nissan and Datsun. At this stage our research in incomplete, and we will not be presenting anything from that era until the quality of our research matches the rest of the project.

With the exception of a few 1968-1970 models there are no post-1968 vehicles listed here. There are no plans to add any newer vehicles at any stage in the future. Our passion is for the early classic era vehicles, plus the later models are well represented in many other quality websites all around the world.

What about Prince and Cony vehicles ?

Prince and Cony were two Japanese car manufacturers that were merged into the Nissan Motor Company in the mid-1960s. Stage two of the website, which we are working on now, will include information about Prince and Cony cars and commercial vehicles that will be presented in a similar format to the rest of the website. 

Why pre-1968 ?

1968 marked the end of the classic era in Datsun and Nissan vehicles. 1968 saw the introduction of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Act in the United States. From 1968 onwards a large number of mandatory safety features were required for cars sold in the USA, most notably the introduction of deformable plastic dashboards and the drastic reduction of chrome plated items, especially those in the driver's field of vision. These new safety features were not confined to cars destined only for the United States, Nissan carried these features through most of the Nissan range at this time. Whilst many of these new features undoubtedly improved safety, they also spelled the end of the era when designers could create cars exactly as they wanted them to be.

So you don't like modern era Datsuns ?

We do like modern Datsuns too! There are lots of great post-1968 Datsuns and Nissans that we like, in fact as well as our fleet of classic models we have also owned seven modern era Datsuns ourselves over the years. There are lots of websites devoted to the newer cars, but this website is dedicated to the classic era.

You have included a few post-1968 vehicles, why ?

Cars such as the 1968-1970 Nissan Cedric and Datsun Fairlady were included because they were both a continuation of a model that was introduced well before 1968 and in the interest of completing the full story of these models their history was carried through until the series ended. Plus they are great cars and it would be a crime not to include them.

Vehicles such as the Nissan Laurel and Nissan Gloria were introduced in 1968 and were definately modern era cars, but due to the fact that there is so little information available about these cars we felt that it was appropriate to include them here as well.

... but on another website it says something different about that car !

There is a lot of conflicting imformation out there, both in books and on the internet. In particular there is a lot of confusion about the pre-1955 era. There are some great Datsun websites out there that have managed to get some of the facts wrong over the years, and rather embarrasingly even earlier versions of earlydatsun.com contained some information that was clearly incorrect. It doesn't help that Nissan's own websites contain some glaring inaccuracies about their own products as well. The fact that they regularly display their beautifully restored Datsun 12 and present it as the first model Datsun, when in fact the Datsun 11 from 1932 pre-dated it by a whole year gives you an indication that even Nissan themselves struggle with exact details about their own history.

Enthusiasts like us create websites with the best intentions, but if we ourselves are working off inaccurate source material the inaccuracies are perpetuated, then these "facts" are copied and pasted into Wikipedia and they then become the accepted truth. We have gone to great and painstaking lengths to ensure that the information we have presented here is as accurate as possible.

How does the research on earlydatsun.com differ from other Datsun books and websites ?

We started our research by tracking down genuine Nissan Motor Company literature from the period as the basis for our research. Over the course of many years we gained access to as many genuine sales brochures as possible to provide specifications and visual verification of each model, this way the facts and photos were based on information from when the vehicle was built rather than rely on potentially questionable newer source materials. Other source materials included genuine parts catalogs, service manuals, service bulletins and other factory literature from the period. A bibliography of source materials is included on the website.

All the photos are old ones, why don't you use some better quality more recent photos ?

We believe that any book or website that provides recent photos as a visual reference is fundamentally flawed. We feel that it is infinately better to use a grainy old photo from the time the vehicle was produced rather than to use a high quality image of a potentially non-original restored vehicle. The use of stock photos from the era show exactly how the car was intended to look. The only times we have used recent images is when we could not locate an original stock photo, or if the stock photos we had were of an extremely poor quality.

Some of the information is repeated on different pages !

We have worked off the assumption that very few people will read the entire website in the sequence it is presented. As a result some information that is relevant to several different models, especially in the case of cars and commercial vehicles from the same year, will end up being repeated on a couple of different pages.

I think you got something completely wrong !

We are not perfect, and as hard as we have tried there are bound to be the occasional thing or two that we got wrong. If you believe something is not correct please let us know about it. We will however require solid evidence to back up any claim before we carry out any investigations and change anything on the website.

I have a better photo than the one you used, would you like me to send you a copy ?

Hell yes ! If you can improve on any of the items in the website please send us an email, we would love to hear from you.


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