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Exploring the Performance Heritage of Nissan

Last updated 6 years ago

Upon visiting your Fairfax-area Nissan dealership, you will find sport and character in every Nissan on the lot. Of course, the new Nissan 370Z will be present as well, and possibly even the legendary Nissan GTR. Nissan’s attitude of making their vehicles practical, while still being fun to drive, comes from a long history of excellence and performance. Although it may be said that the true history of Nissan Motorsports began when the company was birthed—there are a few cars that took this story to the next level.


The Fairlady Roadster was Nissan’s first, truly influential performance vehicle, back when Nissan was known in North America as Datsun. The Fairlady Roadster was originally based on the design of the Datsun S210. The S210 attracted some real attention for Datsun at the time by winning first place in a famous Australian rally. Datsun also received a Good Sportsmanship award for helping an opposing team out who had crashed their vehicle. The true Fairlady debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show of 1960 and received international acclaim. 1967 saw the release of the 1600 and 2000 roadsters. These became some of the most well-known of the Fairlady series, and brought the legendary Datsun racers, Bob Sharp and Pete Brock to the scene.


The Datsun 510 was originally going to be a very economical car with high fuel economy. Yutaka Katayama, referred to as “Father of the Z Car”, was persistent in making sure the 510 would make an impression on the United States. The suspension was re-designed, the engine was taken from the Fairlady Roadster, and the 510 became a true driving machine. In fact, the 510 became one of the greatest rally cars of its time, winning numerous competitions.


Yutaka Katayama’s true dream was realized with the release of the Datsun 240Z. The Datsun 240Z was one of the biggest factors in the success of Nissan Motor Company. In fact, the Nissan Z-car is the best-selling sports-car of all time. Professional racecar drivers Bob Sharp and Pete Brock took the early Z-cars to fame, winning numerous races and championships.

Head over to Browns Fairfax Nissan to see how Nissan continues their history of performance. To learn more, call us at (703) 591-8009.


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