The Complete Guide to Classic Datsun Cars and Trucks

1953 Datsun DB-5 Model

 The Datsun DB-5 was released in 1953. The body of the DB-5 is essentially the same as that of the previous DB-4 model, with only one exception. On the DB-4 on the section above the grille, in between the headlights, there was a blank panel that housed a large round emblem. On the DB-5 that section now houses two square air intakes with a large round Datsun emblem situated between them. Each of these air intakes has two horizontal chrome bars crossing them. Apart from that the bodies are the same. 
 The biggest change to the vehicle was to it's engine. The DB-5 features the first all new Datsun engine since the war. The new engine is the Datsun D-10, which is essentially a stroked version of the old Type 7 engine. Still a side valve design, the new unit has a displacement of 860cc and produces 25hp. Top speed increases to 78kph. The bigger engine was the reason the car needed those extra air intakes above the grille. 
 In late 1953 there were a couple of changes made to the DB-5. The most noticable of these was to the back windscreen. On the DB-4 and the first of the DB-5s the rear windscreen was fairly narrow. On the upgraded model the width of the rear windscreen is dramatically increased. On this model the glass now wraps around the side of the rear pillar and comes to within about three inches of the door opening. The other difference is to the side indicators. On the previous models there is a pop-out side indicator located on the side of the front guards, just in front of the cabin air intake flap. On the new model the pop-out indicators are located in a little nacelle mounted to the front pillar. 
 The Datsun DB-5 deLuxe was built during 1953 and part of 1954. It was replaced in 1954 by the Datsun DB-6.

The Great Nissan Strike of 1953 
The Americans weren't the only auto workers in the world holding lengthy strikes during the post-war years. During the early 1950s a strong left-wing union had essentially taken control of the shop floor. In the company's official history, the five-month strike of 1953 is portrayed as a triumph over a communist union. The heart of the matter, however, was over the union's control not only of wages but also of promotions, the pace of work, and job assignments. In effect it was a fight over control the factory's shop floor, which was now basically run by the left-wing union. This union organized powerful shop committees throughout the Nissan factory. These committees, consisting of one member for every ten workers came to control overtime work assignments and employee transfers.   

By 1953 Nissan had finally had enough of the state of affairs in it's factories, with the support of Nikkeiren, the new national management federation, which feared that the Nissan committee system would spread, and with special loans from the government's Industrial Bank and the private Fuji Bank, Nissan took advantage of a strike over wages called early in the year by the union and used it as an opportunity to confront and destroy the union. The company succeeded. By late 1953, a second union called the All Nissan Auto Workers Union was formed, which became the dominant union, and the first union collapsed as it lost control.

A sales brochure for the Datsun DB-5
A photo showing the wider rear windscreen design

1953 Datsun DB-5 Sedan Specifications  
Length - 3805mm   
Width - 1480mm   
Height - 1560mm   
Wheelbase - 2150mm   
Weight - 890kg   
Top speed - 78kph 

Transmission - Floor change 3 speed

Engine Specifications 
Model - Type D-10 
Side Valve 4 Cylinder  
Capacity - 860cc   
Bore & Stroke 60x75mm   
Power - 25bhp@3600rpm   
Torque- 4.9kg/m@2400rpm   
Compression - 6.6 : 1   
Carburettor - Hitachi VA26-1 single throat down draught   

Final drive - 6.5 : 1


Model Variations
Datsun DB-5  
 The early model Datsun DB-5 had a narrow rear windscreen.
Datsun DB-5  
 The later version of the Datsun DB-5 had a much wider rear windscreen that wrapped around the side of the vehicle.

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