Nissan 126X

1970 Concept Car


Nissan never were never really into show cars or concept cars throughout their classic era. Since the first motor show was held in the outdoor venue of Hibiya Park in Tokyo in 1954 Nissan had a habit of displaying either production cars, pre-production cars or race cars, but never a fully fledged show car. The show cars that they did display were things like the CSP311 Nissan Silvia prototype or the SP310 Datsun Fairlady prototype, but while these cars drew huge crowds of spectators they differed from being a regular show car in the they were cars that were about to go into production rather than just a flight of fantasy by a designer that never had a hope of reaching production.

What they did display quite proudly was their race cars. Towards the end of the 1960s cars such as the R380 series of Japanese Grand Prix winners, and speed record breakers, occupied pride of place in Nissan's display area. These cars were special enough that they replaced the need for a show car, plus true to Nissan's philosophy the performance of the cars were more impressive that the racer's sleek lines.

 By the time of the 1969 show Nissan had become the only Japanese car maker that didn't have a modernistic show car on display. Honda, Isuzu, Mazda, even Daihatsu all had concept cars on display that year, but worst of all Nissan's arch rival Toyota fielded a pair of stunning concept cars in 1969 in the form of the Toyota EX-III and the Toyota EX-I that literally stole the show. They had no choice, Nissan had to respond the next year with their own car of the future concept.

What they came up with for the 1970 show was a real stunner, which went by the name of the Nissan 126X. The 126X had some of the most extreme wedge styling ever seen in a show car, with a straight line from the front of the car to the top of the windscreen, and then from the windscreen to the back of the car was close to being completely flat. Instead of having a conventional door arangement the car had a lift-up canopy arrangement where the windscreen, roof and the panels right down to the sills were all in one piece which lifted up, being hinged at the front just under the windscreen.

 The car's other odd feature was the wide strip that ran from the windscreen down to the front of the car. This section contained ten coloured lights, with three red, two yellow and five green lights. These lights lit up to indicate what the car was doing at the time. If the car was accellerating then the green lights lit up, if the car was slowing down then the red lights lit up, and if the car was cruising at a stable speed the yellow lights would light up. This feature alledgedly existed for the benefit of pedestrians, to let them know what the approaching 126X was doing.

 Mechanically the car had a three litre version of the Nissan L series six cylinder engine, which was mounted transversely at the back. The engine was cantered at an angle to get it to fit under the low engine cover. Whilst it may have had an engine in the back there was no evidence that the cars was actually capable of moving under it's own power, this was purely a show pony.

 I can remember having a Matchbox Toys model of this car when I was very young, which gives you an idea of the impact this car had at the time. A British toy maker building a model of a Japanese show car would have been unimaginable only a few years earlier.


1970 Nissan 126X Specifications

Length - unknown
Width - unknown
Height - unknown
Wheelbase - unknown
Weight - unknown
Top speed - unknown
Transmission - unknown

Engine Specifications

Model - L series
OHC 6 cylinder
Capacity - 3 litre
Bore & Stroke - unknown
Power - unknown
Torque - unknown
Compression - unknown
Fuel system - unknown
Final Drive - unknown

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