Datsun 1600 SSS
1967 - 1972
|4 spd. man
From 1967 to 1972 there was a car that won the respect
of nearly everyone that drove it.
Perhaps with less
showroom appeal than the competition, the Datsun 1600
quickly etched itself into the psyche of many young
Australians as arguably the first true "Performance 4".
There was no doubting the allure of the big, and expensive,
V8's of the day such as the Falcon GT, but to many
of the younger generation the 1600, and in particular
"SSS", were a cheaper alternative and, given the right
road conditions, could easily blow a V8 away.
mate could stand aside his GT and claim "King of the Bitumen";
you could stand aside a 1600 and claim "King of the Dirt".
The 1600 would win the infamous East Africa Safari
Rally, one of the world's toughest motor sport events,
and in the US the famous No. 46 "Brock Racing Enterprises" Datsun
1600 would take out the under 2.5 liter "Trans-am" Series
in a cliffhanger final race beating the best of Europe,
including manufacturers BMW and Alfa Romeo.
It was after
these races that the legend of the Datsun 1600 was born,
and thousands of car lovers today still look in reverence
at these unimposing but potent Japanese "sports sedans".
From 1968 to 1970 the Datsun 1600 SSS was supplied
to Australia from Japan on special order, and unfortunately
their lack of availability resulted in very low sales.
Very early examples were specially imported by John
Roxborough's factory backed "Datsun Racing Team" to
compete in the first 500 mile endurance car races at
Phillip Island, later Bathurst.
In 1970 changes to the "Australian Design Rules" required
all new cars to be fitted with a collapsible steering
column. The Japanese built Datsun 1600 SSS was not
fitted with one, and as their factory was some way
off making the required changes it was decided to switch
production to the Melbourne factory in Clayton.
every legislative change to safety or emissions resulted
in the early demise of a particular model, but in this
case the once rare (on Australian roads) 1600 became
rather more ubiquitous! In Australia, Datsun 1600s were very successfully rallied
by almost everybody in the 1970's through to the late
1990's, over 20 years of dominance! Geoff Portman and
Ross Runnells were the rally team that cemented the
legend in Australia.
Here seen in the 1978 Repco Alpine
Rally in their famous IFK 250, powered by the also
legendary Les Collins built, Datrally "grunter" engine.
It took specialized 4wd turbocharged forest racers
to put Datsun 1600's out of contention at the top the
sport. At club rally level you still see Datsun 1600's in
the high placings. Datsun 1600's have become collector
items as many were destroyed in competition or driven
until they "dropped" - and this often took 30 years!
Most sought after today are the earlier 1967 and 1968
models fully imported from Japan, the Australian built
cars being more prone to rust. Younger Datsun 1600
enthusiasts are now fitting high performance Nissan
turbo engines, as the basic bodies are strong and there
is 30 years knowledge of readily available upgrades
to handle the increased performance.
Datsun 1600's were sold in Australia from 1967 to 1972,
being first fully imported, until local production at
Clayton, Victoria commenced from late 1969. Datsun 1600
production ceased in 1972 when it was replaced by Datsun
Datsun 1600 SSS Specifications:
- Datsun 1600 SSS - 1967 -1972
- Model Designation P510 - hence the US tern "Five and Dime"
- also called a Datsun "Bluebird" in other markets.
- Body: 4 Door Sedan - also available as 2 door Sedan and
2 door coupe, most exports going to the USA, as demand
- Full instrumentation, black interior trim, SSS sports
steering wheel, SSS gear knob, "SSS" badging, engine
- Engine: 1595cc fitted with twin SU Type, hitachi built,
38mm side draft carburetors
- Power: 109BHP @ 6000 RPM
- Gearbox: 4 Speed manual and reverse Diff: R160 Independent,
3.7:1 Ratio Brakes: Disc (F) Drum (R)
- Wheels: 4.5" width by 13" dia. fitted with radial tires
- Front, independent McPherson Stuts.
- Rear, independent semi trailing arms. Stiffer springs, re-rated
shock absorbers, stiffer anti roll bar.
- Top Speed: 105 MPH
- Fuel consumption average. 28 mpg (10 liters / 100K)>
- Price $A new. $3000 (about $A800 above the "standard" Datsun 1600