The Complete Guide to Classic Datsun Cars and Trucks

1969 Nissan R382

 Nissan had won the previous Japanese Grand Prix, comfortably beating the Porsche 910. While they no doubt savoured their victory, it was a hollow one, as the R381 had become the only factory race car in their history not to have used a Nissan engine. Development of their new 6 litre V12 had fallen behind schedule, and reluctantly the head of their design team, Shinichiro Sakurai, had gone to the United States and had returned with some worked Chevrolet V8s to power the cars. Nissan now had another year to prepare their new engine, and to redesign their car after a major change to the Group 7 regulations.
 There would be no delays this time around with the engines, and the all new Nissan GRX-3 was ready long before the car was. The GRX-3 was a major technological achievement for Nissan's engineers. At close to 600hp it was the most powerful engine ever built in Japan by a long margin. The engine was a 5954cc twelve cylinder engine with twin cam cylinder heads, four valves per cylinder and a Lucas mechanical fuel injection system. The engine produced 580hp at 7500rpm.
The chassis and aerodynamics of the previous R381 worked exceptionally well, especially the high-mounted adjustable rear wing. Nissan would have been happy to have continued to use this set-up, but events in Europe were about to end that plan. The high wings found on the early Can-Am cars, which were similar to the ones on the previous Nissan R381, had originated in the United States in the Can-Am series, but had quickly come to the attention of the Formula 1 designers who quickly adapted them to their designs. There had been some terrible Formula 1 crashes that had been caused by failures of these high-set wings, and as a result the FIA banned them from all FIA sanctioned events, including the Group 7 category Nissan were competing in at the time. So it was back to the drawing board again for Sakurai and his team.
With the big wing at the back removed downforce had to be found elsewhere, and that was done by sculpting the body. The new car featured a much more angular nose section and a high kicked-up tail end to generate more downforce. Nissan appeared to have taked a long hard look at the McLaren M8B Can-Am car, as a lot of the new car's features mirrored that of the McLaren, especially it's front. Nissan made the most of the high tail, which was so high it was close to being the highest point of the car, and installed the car's radiator up there in the air flow to maximise cooling to the huge V12. The car also featured a huge air box that sat on the engine, which was similar to that used in Formula 1 cars. The new car was to be called the Nissan R382, and it was ready to race.
 Nissan may have had their most powerful car ever at the 1969 Japanese Grand Prix, but it was not going to be a walk in the park for them, as the competition was more fierce than ever. Toyota had been hard at work on their Toyota 7 cars and they were now producing around 600hp, and in the meantime Isuzu had viewed last year's Nissan-Chevrolets with great interest and had developed their own racing prototype called the Isuzu R7, which also used the Chevrolet V8. But the biggest threat came again from Porsche, who had entered their new Porsche 917K, a car that would go on to win the LeMans 24 hour race the next year. Driving the factory entered Porsche was Formula 1 winner and Porsche sports car racer Jo Siffert, a man who had just won the Daytona 24 hour race and the Sebring 12 hour in 1968 in a Porsche 907. Nissan entered three R382s in the race and ended up winning the race and coming second as well. Third place went to a Toyota 7, which had done surprisingly well to beat the Porsche, but was ultimately a lap down on the winning Nissan at the end of the race.
 Nissan went straight to work on the R382's replacement, the R383. But if fate had thrown them a curve-ball in 1969 this was nothing compared to what awaited them in 1970.

1969 Nissan R382 Specifications 
Length - 4045mm   
Width - 1870mm   
Height - 925mm   
Wheelbase - 2400mm   
Weight - 790kg   
Top speed - unknown 
Transmission - unknown

Engine Specifications 
Model - GRX-3 
Capacity - 5954cc   
Bore & Stroke - unknown  
Power - 600hp@7500rpm 
Torque - 62kg/m 
Compression - unknown 
Fuel system - Lucas mechanical fuel injection  

Final Drive - unknown


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