It is hard to believe that it is 30 years since Datsun’s parent company Nissan started to phase out the use of the Datsun brand name from global markets at an estimated cost in the USA alone of some US$500.
So it was a surprise to learn that Nissan are to reactivate the brand for base models that will capture markets in India, Russia and Indonesia from 2014 in an effort to win an 8% global market share.
The Datsun name is a derivative of the Datson model that was marketed in 1931 by the DAT Jidosha & Co.,Ltd, a name born in 1925 out of three financial backers of the Kaishinsha Motorcar Co (1918) and it earlier incarnation Kaishinsha Motor Car Works (1911) founded by Masujiro Hashimoto called Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama and Meitaro Takeuchi .
At the time the company sold two models the larger DAT and smaller Datson, son translates as son in Japanese. Because son also means ‘disadvantage’ in Japanese the name was later changed to Datsun in 1932. Following a couple of mergers Datsun was taken over in by Nihon, Sangyo Co., Ltd 1934 who changed the corporate name of the manufacturer but continued to use the Datsun brand name particularly in export markets.
The second generation 120A F-II was known in Japan as the Cherry and marketed through ‘Nissan Cherry Shop’ Dealerships.
120A F-II refers to the A12 4 cylinder motor with a capacity of 1,171 cc 71 cui, a smaller version 100A was also produced, production of the 100A continued in New Zealand until 1980.
While the styling of the 120A F-II was a tad wayward by contemporary European standards the reliability of the 100A & 120A meant that by the time they hit the scrap yards they usually had much higher mileages than the better looking European models of the time. The 100A and 120A F-II models were in production from 1974 to 1977.