Early in 1969 Datsun was to release their "family six" alternative to the big Aussie sedans of the day, the handsome "Big Datsun Six". But Australia was one of some fifty-seven countries where the all new car was unveiled, it truly being a world car.
The new style Datsun not only had more power, but importantly a re-styled exterior that differentiated it clearly from the then outdated appearance of the previous Cedric's.
There was more safety, an all-new Nissan automatic transmission and two models from which to choose. The Personal Six had the usual vast array of standard Datsun inclusions, while the Super Six received even more standard kit.
The deisgners were able to eliminate all protruding parts by recessing them into the thick padded facia, making for neatness and safety. The instrument panel, the horn centre and the seating back rests were all fully padded, the rear-view mirror detached on impact and even the exterior mirrors were safety sprung - all standard fare these days, but in 1969 well ahead of their time.
And it didn't stop there. There were anti-lift wipers with an expanded wiper area and variable speed, anti-burst door locks, and even an independent headlamp fuse to keep the side-lights working even if the headlights burnt out.
But what attracted many buyers was the rugged dependability that Datsun's had become renowned for. Datsun's had proved themselves in the East Africa Safari, Shell 4000 Canadian Rally, and even our own Bathurst 500
. Sure, much of the credit was due to the incredible little Datsun 1600
, but for the family man the six represented a touch of class and greater practacility.
The 2.3 liter overhead-cam engine developed a healthy 123bhp , and when mated to either the Nissan 3 speed manual or automatic, pulled strongly and effortlessly.
Both the Personal Six and Super Six featured front coil and rear leaf suspension that provided a smooth, if not a little firm ride. Many commentators of the day were to comment on the firmness of the ride, particularly given the more elitist nature of the big Datsun. Nevertheless the ride was compliant, and the handling predictable.
The brakes were completely self adjusting, and were afforded a large swept area along with front disc brakes. There was a 3 speed heater/demister, electric clock, power-jet ventilation on both sides of the instrument panel, dial control of the front quarter-vent windows, cigarette lighters front and rear, deep pile carpets, interior courtesy door lights with safety reflectors, individual rear passenger reading lamps, a rheostat instrument panel dimming unit and arguably the best ever radio to have been fitted to a regular production sedan up to that time, a Clarion push button radio that featured front and rear push button/manual tuning, automatic station seeking tuning, automatic long-distance station boosting and a press button aerial.
The Big Datsun Six offered power, luxury and safety all at a modest price. It was a good car, and it seems a shame not thought of today as a collectable classic.