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Datsun Type 14 goes on show at Beaulieu

Published 04 July 2016

A 1935 Datsun Type 14 is the latest addition to the collection at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu. The Type 14 is often credited as marking the birth of the Japanese car industry, although the car was never sold in the UK.

This particular example was shipped from Japan to Britain by car making magnate Sir Herbert Austin to check for patent infringement on the Austin 7 Ruby. No action was taken and the car was never road-registered – instead being put into long-term storage.

Decades later, with the help of Nissan Europe, this historically significant but barely-used car is now part of the collection at Beaulieu in Hampshire.

Car-building giant Nissan can trace its history right back to this extraordinary little car. The Nissan story starts in 1914, when a fledgling Japanese motor manufacturer launched its first car, named the DAT after the initials of the company’s three investors.

By 1931, a new, but much smaller car was unveiled, and dubbed the ‘son of DAT’, or ‘Datson’. When this diminutive car went on sale the following year, its name was changed to Datsun, in honour of Japan’s rising sun symbol.

The Type 14 of 1935 was the first mass-produced Datsun, starting the manufacturer on its way to producing millions of Datsuns and Nissans over the following decades.

With bodywork inspired by other European and American cars of the era, this compact saloon could propel four people at up to 51mph, owing to the 15bhp produced by its 747cc engine.

The Datsun Type 14 can now be seen in the National Motor Museum as part of a visit to the whole Beaulieu attraction, which includes On Screen Cars and the World of Top Gear.

Entrance to the National Motor Museum is included in the Beaulieu admission price and discounted tickets can be bought in advance online at


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