Datsun 14

1935 14 Model

In the years before the Datsun name arrived, the company building these cars was called DAT. The company was named DAT, using the initial of each of the original investors in the company Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi. DAT also happened to be the Japanese word for hare, or fast rabbit.
In 1935 Nissan decided to make the most of the rabbit accociation, and to incorporate a rabbit into the design of the new Datsun 14. Ryuichi Tomiya designed a beautiful leaping rabbit radiator mascot for the Datsun 14, which was along the same lines as the Lincoln Greyhound mascot and the later Jaguar leaping cat. Sadly this beautiful and distinctive feature was only used on the Datsun 14.


The body of the Datsun 14 was pretty much the same as that of the previous Datsun 13, with the only notable difference being the addition of the leaping bunny rabbit emblem. Mechanically she was different though. The old DAT engine of the Datsun 13 was replaced with the new Datsun Type 7 engine, which was a side valve 4 cylinder engine with a displacement of 722cc. The new engine was actually slightly smaller than the old DAT engine, but at 15hp it was more powerful.

Behind the scenes lots of interesting things were happening at Nissan. The company was now being run by it's new President Auykama. Auykama was friends with a gentleman by the name of William Gorham, who was an American engineer who had moved to Japan in the 1920s. Gorham was a car enthusiast, and he even managed to start a business in Japan building his own cars, named the Gorham. Auykama was well aware that Nissan still had a lot to learn with regards to car manufacturing, and Gorham offered to return to the United States to try to recruit some more American engineers to work at Nissan and teach the Japanese more about mass production of cars.


While Gorham was in the United States he visited a recently closed factory of the American car manufacturer Graham Paige. Graham Paige had a fairly modern factory and equipment, which was now sitting idle. Gorham contacted Auykama back in Japan and suggested that Nissan should purchase the production line equipment from the Graham Paige factory. Auykama agreed to the plan and a deal was done that netted Nissan all the equipment, and the rights to build the big Graham Paige Crusader.

Nissan built a new factory in Yokahama in 1934, and all the old Graham Paige equipment was installed in the new factory. This huge investment gave Nissan the largest and most modern factory in Japan, and the basis on which to expand and grow. The new factory came online in 1935, in time for the start of production of the Datsun 14. This marked the first time that the bodies and chassis were all built in the same factory, rather than having them built by subcontractors.

The Datsun 14 marked the zenith of pre-war Datsuns. The 14 was a beautiful and well built little car, made using good quality materials, and built with some of the best equipment available. The cars that followed were still good cars, but didn't match the 14 for quality. By the end of 1935 Japan was at war with China, and many materials were becoming harder to source. Later models had noticably less chrome and much sparcer interiors.

The Datsun 14 was in production from April 1935 until April 1936, a total of 3800 were built, of which 53 were exported.


Model Variations


Datsun 14 Phaeton

 The phaeton body continued to be built, and as with the Datsun 13, it had the spare wheel recessed into the body at the rear.  


Datsun 14 Sedan

 A four seater sedan version was also built. These were popular as taxis in Japan at the time.  


 Datsun 14 Roadster

 The Datsun 14 was also available as a two seater roadster.  

Model Variations


Datsun 14T Truck

 The previous Datsun 13T truck had a very basic painted pressed steel grille, but for the 14T the same heart shaped grille and leaping rabbit emblem were used. More details about the Datsun 14T can be found on the Datsun 14T page.  


Datsun 14 Van

 A commercial vehicle delivery van version was also made, with twin door on the back.  

1935 Datsun 14 Specifications

Length - 2800mm
Width - 1200mm
Height - 1600mm
Wheelbase - 1980mm
Weight - unknown
Top speed - 80kph
Transmission - Floor change 3 speed

Engine Specifications

Model - Type 7
Side Valve 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 722cc
Bore & Stroke 55x76mm
Power - 15hp@3600rpm
Torque- unknown
Compression - unknown
Carburettor - unknown
Final drive - unknown

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