Selling your classic car? It's FREE to list your car on Honest John Classics | No thanks

Nissan Datsun Fairlady (1962 - 1969)

Last updated 1 October 2013

Like a British roadster, but without oil leaks and histrionics
Not as nice to drive as an MGB or Triumph TR
were produced
Read Owners' Reviews


The Japanese motor industry was effectively still in its infancy in the 1960s, but that didn’t stop Nissan having a go at developing its own rival for the all-conquering MGA and TR3, and aiming it at the American market. For a first attempt at building a sports car, it was pretty good – and although similar in layout and style to the MGB it appeared on the market two years before the British roadster. However, under the pretty skin, it was a step behind technically - unlike the MG it had a separate chassis with front coil spring suspension and double wishbones. At the rear was a live axle, which was hung on semi-elliptic springs.

Initially powered by a 1499cc engine that produced only 71bhp it wasn’t exactly quick – taking over 15 seconds to get from 0-60mph and that way behind contemporary UK cars. However, a programme of development saw that rise – to a more usable 85bhp in 1963; then, in 1967, a 1596cc engine producing 96bhp was introduced, along with synchromesh on first gear and front disc brakes. The ultimate Fairlady appeared in 1967 – it featured a brand new overhead camshaft 1982cc engine producing 135bhp.