Datsun 15

1936 15 Model

The Datsun 15 featured an all new body that was substantially different to the previous Datsun 14. 


The Datsun 15 went into production in May 1936. The new body was significantly longer than the Datsun 14, with the overall length going from 2800mm to 3187mm on the new model, and a wheelbase that went from 1980mm up to 2005mm. Much of this extra length went into the cabin area, where the interior dimensions were notably larger. The Datsun 15 had a longer bonnet, but this extra length was mainly due to the 15 having a much more upright radiator grille. 


The base of the grille was in roughly the same location as it was on the 14, but the grille on the 15 is now almost vertical, unlike the one on the 14 which sloped at an angle, all of which increased the distance from the top of the radiator to the windscreen.

The grille itself is much deeper than that on the 14. As materials such as chrome were getting harder to source thanks to the war effort in Manchuria, the cars began to use less of it. On the Datsun 15 pretty much all of the grille is painted the same colour as the body, with the only chrome being a thin strip around the outside and a couple of horizontal bars. The cute leaping rabbit from last year has been replaced by an odd stylised mascot that looks almost like a streamlined rabbit with huge ears.

The other distinctive feature of the Datsun 15 is the vents on the bonnet. On the Datsun 14 there was a series of sixteen almost vertical slots on the side of the bonnet. On the Datsun 15 there are a series of five wide vents on the side of the bonnet arranged in a horizontal fashion. On the Datsun 15 there are two horizontal chrome strips that run through the middle of these vents, spaced about 2 inches apart. On the Datsun 16 that came after this car there were two chrome strips, but these strips were arranged with one on top of the row of vents, and another one below them.

The new design front section of the car gave the Datsun 15 and almost American look to the car, except in about 2/3 scale. Not all of the previous Datsuns featured bumper bars, which seemed to have been an option, but for the Datsun 15 all models had bumpers.

Mechanically the Datsun 15 was pretty much the same as the Datsun 14. They both used the same 722cc 4 cylinder engine, but for the 15 the compression ratio was increased from 5.2 to 5.4, which resulted in an increase in power from 15hp to 16hp. The gearing remained the same, so the top speed remained at 80kph.

The Datsun 15 was in production from May 1936 until the Datsun 16 was released in April 1937. Export sales continued to grow slowly, with 87 Datsun 15s heading overseas in 1936.


Model Variations


Datsun 15 Phaeton

 The four seater phaeton body continued to be built.  


Datsun 15 Sedan

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



Datsun 15 Roadster

 The Datsun 15 was also available as a two seater roadster.  

Model Variations


Datsun 15 Coupe

 A rather unusual little coupe version of the Datsun 15 was also built in 1936.  


Datsun 15T Truck

 As with the previous Datsun 14T truck, the Datsun 15T shared the same grille as the Datsun 15 passenger cars. More details about the Datsun 15T can be found on the Datsun 15T page.  


Datsun 15 Van

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

1936 Datsun 15 Specifications

Length - 3187mm
Width - 1190mm
Height - unknown
Wheelbase - 2005mm
Weight - unknown
Top speed - 80kph
Transmission - Floor
change 3 speed

Engine Specifications

Model - Type 7
Side Valve 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 722cc
Bore & Stroke 55x79mm
Power - 16hp@3600rpm
Torque- unknown
Compression - unknown
Carburettor - unknown
Final drive - unknown

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