In August 1964 the Datsun Fairlady SP310 underwent some significant modifications. While the exterior remained largely unchanged the car featured a completely new interior, which included one of the best looking sports car dashboards ever made.
The alterations made to the SP310 should have been enough to have warranted a new designation, yet Nissan continued along calling this car the SP310, though it is most commonly known as the Two Seater 1500. As the name suggests, unlike the previous model with it's three seater interior, this new car has only two seats. This modification was not as simple as it may seem. The three seater 1500 Fairlady had a third seat in the back that faced sideways. Opposite the 3rd seat there was a box shaped footwell, where the third passenger placed his feet. Under the third seat there was another box sunken into the floor, this is where the battery lived on these cars. Where the third seat sat in the previous model was now replaced with a large flat parcel shelf, which required all new body panels in the back of the cabin area. The battery was also relocated to the engine bay.
The other big change to the interior was to the dashboard. The previous model had a dash that was painted the same colour as the body of the car, and had all the gauges arranged in four large round dials. The new dash was completely different, and was now painted in a grey wrinkle finish. There was a thin chrome trim that encircled the flat panel of the dash, and in front of the driver was seven separate gauges with chrome rings, the speedometer and tachometer were a large size and the other five gauges were all significantly smaller. A black covered foam dash pad sits on top of the dash and also encircles the flat dash panel. On the previous model the dash pad sat only on top of the dash.
Under the dash there was a centre console which went from the dash to the transmission tunnel, and then along the tunnel to surround the gear lever and then to incorporate an ashtray behind the gear lever. An armrest with a lift-up lid sat between the seats.
The seats were a vast improvement on the old model. The three seaters had seats with fibreglass bases that had an upholstered cushion that sat in them. The new model had seats with a tubular steel frame that were much more comfortable and supportive. This model has a new soft top design which folds down behind the seats instead of the assemble it yourself roof on the three seater.
On the exterior of the car the changes were more subtle. The boot lid no longer had the 'turn to lift' T handle on top of the boot, and instead had a small chrome horizontal handle on the back of the lid, and now had the key hole on the rear panel just above the number plate. This involved a new panel at the back of the car and a new boot lid. The doors were different as well and now had opening quarter glass windows instead of the non-opening ones on the previous model. The key hole was also different and no longer had the slide aside flap over the key hole. The first of these cars used the same wings shaped Datsun badge on the bonnet as the three seater, but most of them have individual letters that say Datsun. Side badges say Fairlady and the rear badge says Datsun 1500. Some American cars were delivered with a Datsun badge on the sides and back and no Fairlady badges. The grille was the same as the previous model.
Mechanically the cars were pretty much the same as the previous model, and continued to use the 1488cc 85hp G series engine. The gearbox was a floor change 4 speed with no synchro on first, the brakes were drums on all four wheels.
The 1965 Datsun Fairlady SP310 was in production from August 1964 until May 1965, it was replaced by the bigger engined Datsun Fairlady SP311.
The first of the 1965 two seater Fairladys had the same bonnet badge as the earlier three seater cars.
Most of the two seater 1500s had a badge on the bonnet that had individual chrome letter that said Datsun.
The Datsun Fairlady SP310 was based on the chassis of the Datsun Bluebird sedan. More information about this vehicle can be found on the Datsun Bluebird 310 page.
Length - 3953mm
Width - 1495mm
Height - 1305mm
Wheelbase - 2280mm
Weight - 910kg
Top speed - 155kph
Transmission - 4 speed Floor change
Model - G
OHV 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 1488cc
Bore & Stroke - 80x74mm
Power - 85hp@5000rpm
Torque - 87ft/lb@3600rpm
Compression - 9.0 : 1
Carburettors - twin side draught 38HJB Hitachi
Final Drive - 3.889 : 1
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