by Dominic Franco
In May 1981
was replaced with the Bluebird. The
styling of the Bluebird moved towards a more European
look with lower waistlines and simple lines. Retaining
much of the running gear from the 200B, with a front engine,
rear drive layout.
The initial reaction to the Bluebird was pretty ordinary, many dubbing the newcomer the "Blandbird". But despite its detractors, it became a very important part of the Datsun/Nissan sales success through the early 1980's, proving particularly popular with fleet buyers.
The same L20B engine was carried over as well as gearbox
and suspension. Released as a sedan and wagon only.
trim levels were GL, GX for the sedan and wagon with a
luxury LX sedan model which featured alloy wheels, a 5-speed
gearbox and shadow tone paint as an option. All models
were locally assembled.
A two door SSS hardtop was released in overseas market.
The styling of the interior of the Bluebird was also more
in keeping with the exterior with the fussiness of previous
dashboards being replaced by a simple and modern instrument
panel that included an 'econometer'.
The seats were again the unique design that was introduced
as part of the revised 200B. As with the 200B SX, in June 1982
a sportier version of the Bluebird was introduced.
A unique 'flags' decal on the side signified all the countries
the Bluebird was sold in. Called the Bluebird TRX it featured
front and rear spoilers, a front centre roof mounted antenna,
alloy wheels and new trim and instruments.
As with the LX, the TRX was available with a 5-speed gearbox.
In September 1983
, the Series II Bluebird was released
with revised color coded bumpers and a shovel nose styled
grille. On the sedans the rear lights were also revised.
In April 1985
the Series III Bluebird introduced a new
engine (borrowed from the Nissan Gazelle). The engine
was a twin spark (two spark plugs per cylinder). The shovel
nose grille was revised and the indicators were frosted
white cover with amber lamps.
The model changes were also changed from GL and GX to
GXE, and GXE Ultra. The TRX badge remained. Limited optioned
up models of the Bluebird sedan and wagons were introduced
. Called the Venturer, these were models that
had air conditioning as standard. The Bluebird was replaced
by the 4 cylinder version of the Skyline - the