|The Datsun Bluebird 312 went into production in August 1962, and
was the last model of the body shape that began with the 1959 Bluebird
310. It was also the last Datsun sedan to be built with a seperate chassis,
the Fairlady sports car continued to use a seperate chassis until 1970,
but after the Bluebird 312 all sedans would be unitary construction.
Even though the general appearence of the 312 is very similar
to the previous mode, the 312 featured several substantial changes. The
new 312 has a different grille design to the 310 and 311 models. The early
Bluebirds had a narrow grille that sat between the front indicators, on
the 312 the grille is much wider and now partially encircles the indicators.
The grille features a wide bar top and bottom with six narrow bars inbetween.
Above the top bar there is a raised section with four horizontal slots.
A square section of the grille in the middle protrudes slightly from the
rest of the grille. The new grille design required new front guards, which
are a different shape at the front.
On the 310 and 311 models the fold that runs along the side of the car,
just under the side strips, drops downwards dramatically at the back of
the car, on the 312 this fold no longer drops down and instead continues
all the way to the back of the car. The tail light design is significantly
different. On the early cars they have a small kidney shaped tail light
design, on the 1962 312 the tail lights are a very tall shape, similar
in appearence to the 30 series Nissan Cedric. They feature a one piece
lens that has an amber indicator on top and a red stop light below. The
312 has full length strips that run down the side of the car, on standard
models the strips are narrow and on the deLuxe versions the strips are
twice as wide. DeLuxe models have stainless steel door window frames and
trim around the windscreens, the Standard versions do not. Badges on the
side of the car say Bluebird, and at the back of the car they say either
Datsun 1200 or Datsun 1000, depending on which engine was used.
Inside the car the dashboard is completely new. On the previous
models the dash slopes at about a 20deg. angle, while on the 312 the dash
is almost vertical. It also has a lip ath the top the protrudes outwards.
The 310 and 311 had a flat plane steering wheel, while the new 312 has
a slight conical shape. Mechanically the car is the same as the previous
311 model, using the 1189cc 60hp E1 engine or the 988ss 45hp C1 engine
on the base model.
In September 1962 there was a change made to the Bluebird 312, which
involved a change to the grille and
tail light design. The new grille again partially encircles the indicators,
but now no longer has the square section in the middle that protrudes slightly.
The grille again has six horizontal bars set between two wide bars, but
on this model bars number 1 and 2, 3 and 4, and 5 and 6 are set closer
to each other, with a wider gap between 2 and 3, and 4 and 5. Above the
top bar there is a raised section that has eight horizontal slots, the
previous 312 had 4 slots in the same place.
The tail lights are very different, and feature a much larger
chrome area. They now have a two piece lens design with the red stop light
on top and a square amber indicator below. There is a chrome section seperating
the two lenses.
In late 1961 Nissan became the first car manufacturer to
built a car specifically for a female driver, the car was called the Datsun
Bluebird Fancy deLuxe. What they built was a car full of all the features
that a man probably thought a woman would want in a car, the result would
be considered condescending by most 21st century females. The Fancy deLuxe
was painted pale yellow and had a pale yellow and grey interior. It had
a high heel shoe holder under the dash, a drivers side vanity mirror on
the back of the driver's side sun visor, an indicator flasher relay that
played music box sounds instead of simply just clicking, curtains, an automatic
clutch, and just to insult female drivers a bit more, it had bigger mirrors.
The Fancy deLuxe must have been something of a success, as a 410 model
Fancy deLuxe was built after the 312 ended production.
The last of the Bluebird 312s were built in September 1963, when
the car was replaced with the all new unitary construction 410 series Bluebird.
|A Daewoo Datsun ?
As unlikely as it may sound Datsuns are related, by marriage,
to a Daewoo. We all have this image that the Korean car industry emerged
from nowhere in the mid 1980s with the arrival of Hyundai on the international
scene in that decade, but the reality is that the first Korean cars were
built in 1937 when a Korean businessman named Kim Young-joo set up Guksan
Automobiles. Rather worryingly Guksan means 'home-made' in Korean. In 1944
Kyeongseong Precision Industry built a small number of cars and trucks,
but instead concentrated on building bicycles. In 1952 Kyeongseong changed
it's name to Kia, which derived it's name from the Korean word "ki", which
means "to come out of", and "a" representing "Asia", to mean "to come out
of Asia". Kia started building motorcycles in 1957, and started building
trucks in late 1962 and cars in 1974.
In 1955 the first mass produced Korean vehicle was built,
called the Sibal. The Sibal was basically a locally built version of the
Willys Jeep fitted with an ugly grille. (What is it with Korean cars and
their ugly grilles?) The Sibal was built in small numbers until they went
broke in 1962. The next car manufacturer on the scene was a company called
Saenara, who were a much more serious concern.
Saenara was started by a Korean-Japanese businessman called Park No-jeong.
With assistance from the Korean government a factory was built in Bupyeong
that was capable of building 6000 cars a year. No-jeong singed a licencing
deal with the Nissan Motor Company in 1962, and in November 1962 Saenara
started building their own version of the P312 Datsun Bluebird sedan.
But the project was doomed from the start. As was the case
with many Asian governments in that era, government officials were more
interested in lining their own wallets rather than doing their job properly,
and as a result the amount the government charged Saenara for their new
state-built factory was over double the original cost. As a result the
selling price of the Saenara Bluebird was made substantially higher than
originally planned in an effort to recoup the additional costs, and because
of this the car sold very poorly. The situation the company was in worsened
in early 1963 as they entered into a dispute with the government. This,
combined with worsening sales spelled the end for the fledgling company
and they shut down in May 1963, having built only 2773 cars.
In 1957 a company called Sinjin was set up by a man called Kim Chang-won.
Initially they concentrated on repairing and remodelling old Jeeps left
in the country by the Americans during the Korean War. After Saenara collapsed
Sinjin decided to expand and they ended up taking over the Saenara factory
and started building the Bluebird under the name of Sinsung-ho, which means
"New Star". The Sinsung-ho was very different to the original Saenara,
which was a straight copy of the Bluebird. All Sinjin knew was Jeeps, and
as a result the Sinsung-ho ended up being a Bluebird with a Jeep engine.
This was a less than staggering success, and only 322 Sinsung-hos were
Sinjin eventually signed an agreement with Toyota and started
building their own versions of the Toyota 700, the Corona and the Crown,
though this time with Toyota engines rather than Jeep engines. In 1972
the company changed it's name to Saehan, and when the Toyota deal expired
they got desperate and bought the licence to build the god-awful LJ Holden
Torana, which was sold as the Saehan Camina. After that they built their
own version of the Holden/Isuzu Gemini, and then in 1978 they started buying
CKD kits from Holden of the VB-VC Commodore, which they fitted with a 59hp
4 cylinder engine and called the Saehan Royale. In 1983 Saehan was taken
over by the Daewoo group, who were an electronics and shipbuilding company,
and the cars were then sold as Daewoos. Daewoo means "Great Universe" in
Korean, in case you were wondering.
So, the next time you are driving along in your Datsun and
you see a Daewoo, you can proudly say "I'm related to that". ....err, on
second thoughts, lets just keep this to ourselves and not tell anyone.
The photo of the green car at the
top is a Saenara Bluebird, the second photo is the Sinsung-ho.
A Japanese language sales brochure for the 310
There were several different model variations for the 312 series,
and these can usually be identified by their model code. If the model code
begins with a W, then the vehicle is a wagon. P is the code meaning 'power
up', which is Nissan speak for a larger engine. If a 310 series car is
a P310, then it has an E series engine, if it is just a 310, then it has
the C series engine. L indicates that the car is a left hand drive version.
Length - 3910mm
Width - 1496mm
Height - 1460mm
Wheelbase - 2280mm
Weight - 870kg
Top speed - 1000 110kph
- 1200 125kph
Transmission - Column change
1000 - 5.125 : 1
1200 - 4.625 : 1
Model - C-1
OHV 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 988cc
Bore & Stroke 73x59mm
Power - 45bhp@4600rpm
Torque - 7.2kg/m@4000rpm
Compression - 8.0 : 1
Carburettor - Hitachi DAB-286-1
dual throat down draught
Model - E-1
OHV 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 1189cc
Bore & Stroke 73x71mm
Power - 60bhp@4800rpm
Compression - 8.2 : 1
Carburettor - Nikki 2D-30C
dual throat down draught