Very rare early Japanese two seat sports car available now in this 1969 Datsun 2000. Back in the 1960s this model won many SCCA races, helping to put Datsun on the map as a sports car marque. This 2.0 liter droptop roadster was a force to be reckoned with in the right hands. It led directly to the creation of the Datsun 240Z, and the Z car series that remains in production to the current day. This particular example is dressed in red and white racing tribute livery with a black interior and black convertible top. As stated by the previous owner, this 1600 has 88,809 original miles and includes a recent rebuild of the engine, transmission, and rear differential all within the last year. This Datsun is powered by 2.0L Inline 4. Power is put to the ground through a 4-speed manual gear box. While the vehicle runs very well, we would recommend a brake service before being completely roadworthy.

Datsun originally started out as the Kwaishinsha (Kaishinsha) Motor Car Works in 1911. Three years later in 1914 the company released their first car, a very simple design that used many locally-produced components โ€“ they called it the DAT. The name came from taking the first letter of each of the company’s investor’s surnames: Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama, Meitaro Takeuchi. The company formally changed its name to DAT Jidosha & Co. in 1925, by this time they were making small trucks almost exclusively, due to the fact that local demand for automobiles was so low.

In 1931 the company came out with a new car named the Type 11 but better known as the “Datson,” as in “son of DAT.” The Type 11 was near clone of the popular British Austin 7, funnily enough around the same time a company over in Germany was producing their own (licensed) copy of the Austin 7 called the BMW Dixi.

From 1934 onwards DAT began building Austin 7s officially under license. The company continued to grow, offering a vast array of models, and by the 1960s they were making concerted efforts to enter the lucrative Western markets in Europe and the United States.

The Datsun was designed very much in-keeping with the visual cues of these European sports cars, possibly because German automobile designer Albrecht Goertz had a hand in the final styling.

Once Datsun’s Roadsters had proven their mettle the Japanese automaker released the Datsun 240Z, a car that became an icon in its own right, and gave rise to the Z series cars still being built today by Nissan.

Price: Auction

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Location: Staunton, Illinois, United States