Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: My tryst with a Vintage Datsun

  1. #1
    Marshal mnemonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    639
    View My Garage
    Rep Power
    100

    My tryst with a Vintage Datsun

    There is something about classics, modern classics in particular. Those boxy lines, those simple shapes, that understated charm etc etc. Yesterday, I got the opportunity to meet, drool and spend some time with a modern classic, the Datsun from Nissan. Datsuns are special to me, they take me back to memory lane when an aunt of mine got me a Datsun toy car from the gelf. This was in the hot wheels era of the 80s and if you were around by then and especially a child, you would know what I am talking about. So, the 45 odd minutes I spent in the car, pretty much left me in tears and with a firm smile on my face which i don't think I can get off my face.

    This white Datsun-as stock as stock can possibly get, has been well cared for and was in perfect running condition with a working AC. Now if an AC works in a modern classic, you can be rest assured that the rest of the stuff work too. I shall let the images do the talking now...

    The Datsun-loud and clear

    Attachment 3476


    A closer look at the clean lines:


    Attachment 3477

    The D


    Attachment 3478

    The gorgeous headlamp


    Attachment 3479

    A Clean Engine Bay


    Attachment 3480

    The intake of the carb


    Attachment 3481

    Clean controls- everything works including the cigarette lighter


    Attachment 3482

    You can wrap the steering with a finger


    Attachment 3483


    Clarion-with auto reverse


    Attachment 3485

    The 4 speed- floor shifter


    Attachment 3486

    You need all the braking you can get


    Attachment 3487

    Behind the wheel of a LHD


    Attachment 3488

    My Precious


    Attachment 3489

    and finally

    The man who made my day

    Attachment 3484


    Driving experience to follow......
    cheers,
    Last edited by mnemonic; 07-04-2013 at 10:22 PM. Reason: typo
    If everything is in control, you aren't going fast enough.

  2. #2
    Marshal roms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Mumbai, India
    Posts
    852
    View My Garage
    Rep Power
    333

    Re: My tryst with a Vintage Datsun

    mnemonic, eagerly waiting for the drive experience. You said it, there is a certain charm about the boxiness in design of these cars from the 80's and 90's. I particularly liked the layout and design of the instrument cluster, the only thing missing is the rev counter.

    What took my surprise the identity of the owner of the vehicle...but I won't reveal that now..let Multijet reveal the same.
    The Italian - 2007 Canary Yellow Fiat Palio 1.6 Sport a.k.a The Bumble Bee - Sold
    The Czech/German - 2012 Candy White Skoda Rapid 1.6 MPI Automatic
    The French - 2013 b'twin ROCKRIDER 5.0

  3. #3
    D.L.
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Pune Mah.
    Posts
    42
    View My Garage
    Rep Power
    106

    Re: My tryst with a Vintage Datsun

    mnemonic, waiting for the driving experience. Roms rev counters were a dream to have back then. Only pro drivers used to get those
    fitted. Remember drooling at a Datsun parked at a building on my way to school though was not aware of the brand and origin of the car.
    The boxy look remained for a long times.
    Sanjeevs expression leaves some insight from him, he's literally smiling from ear to ear.

  4. #4
    Marshal mnemonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    639
    View My Garage
    Rep Power
    100

    Re: My tryst with a Vintage Datsun

    Thanks Roms and Ketan, your posts certainly egged me to pen the experience down.

    When I first laid my eyes on the beauty at Multijet's garage, where I had been to bleed the clutch of my 1.6, my heart pretty much started palpitating. The fact that I was seeing an LHD Datsun in flesh did really get me excited and I was really keen to spend some time with her. Multijet, being the gracious host that he is, let me click a load of pictures, look into the nooks and crannies of the car, sit in both shotgun and driver's seats and also let me driver her a bit. Now that the photos pretty much conveyed what I wanted to on the design front, here goes the driving experience.

    The Lead Up:


    The Datsun was parked up the slope leading to Multijet's garage and a couple of interesting contraptions behind the rear tyres acted as chocks which were supposed to prevent the car from rolling back. Multijet being the man that he is, got behind the wheel, which was on the wrong side and cranked her up. No tantrums here, the car cranked like a gem and there she was purring away, not in a quiet sort of way but in an aggressive manner. The carburrated engine was loud enough to make her presence felt in the neighborhood, but not as loud as the PAL Padmini. Multi being multi, slotted the car in reverse and drove right over the chocks, perhaps it was his way of testing the design of the chocks. In either case, the design did not live up to the task and the Datsun rolled over it with a mild "crunch". Easing her out onto the road, our man steps out and hands me the rein, err wheel of the sun.

    I got in to the low slung sun and found myself being a classy brown themed dash, steering assembly and panel inserts. I generally don't like brown color schemes in car interiors, might be because of the XUV, Rapid/Vento and i20 treatments that are there in India, but I must admit that the color scheme of the Datsun pretty much blew me off. It was classy, yet understated, nice to touch yet firm. To cut a long story short, she was what you would like your girl friend to be. While we are at it, I must confess that I found the steering wheel to be really slender, as if the designer had been inspired by those leggy lasses walking the ramps in the early 80s in Japan. For someone who is used to the steering wheels of the Linea and the 1.6 Sport, the transition was like moving from a carnivore to a vegan. But hey, the steering wheel did just fine as I was about to find out later.

    Engine-Gearbox-Transmission:

    As I had mentioned earlier, the engine note of the carburrated Datusn was quite robust, so as I slipped behind the wheel and slotted the floor shifter into first gear, I expected the engine to perform well and she did not disappoint me. With a linear power delivery, the Datsun rolled off with no hint of lag and I did not find the car wanting for power. One thing about the cars from the 80s is that more noise from engine= more speed, there is none of the faked noise of FFEs or the muted notes of a TC engine, it is raw, racy and purely mechanical. The 4 speeder was a real joy which slotted into gears smoothly with that characteristic "slotting" feel of the cars from that era. 1st was good enough for 20 and 2nd had enough torque to cope with the urban crawl that Panvel is notorious for. As I found a decent bit of road after pulling out of the New Panvel industrial estate, I gave the car some more juice and she did pick up pace. Not in a hurried fashion but with the laid back approach of the 80s, where you feel that people had all the time in the world, pretty much nothing to look forward to and drive around town with a lady alongside. With my Rayban Aviators on, I did feel like a hero from the 80s going out on a spin in the afternoon. The only anamoly was that I did not have a dusky beauty riding with me , but Multijet. Not to mention that I did not have my elbow out on the window sill as Panvel was freaking hot and the AC was keeping us comfy.While I did not get the opportunity to get into 4th gear, I could guess how 4th would be like, it will be more of the 80s hero stuff, all class and not much of go. Apparently, Multijet drove it all the way from Pune on the expressway at about 60 kph max speed. Am sure it would have been some drive....


    The Drive:

    First of all, getting into the passengers seat and finding the steering wheel there, feels really weird. While I have driven LHDs in the USA, it did not feel that weird there as you drive on the right there and not on the left. For us in India, who are used to watching out for the crazy folk from the left on the roads, it takes a bit of getting used to as you will have to watch out for them on the right now.While the premier 118 NE of the yesteryears had the reputation of being a carpet on roads, the Datsun on which it was based on, would atleast be a waterbed on roads. And truth be told, I was not disappointed. The suspension was really soft and it did go over the speed breakers in Panvel with elan. While I feared that it might bottom out, it did not and was composed through the journey. Since you sit real low in the car and the "real" engine noise creeps in, you are pretty much in the "frame" while driving and not " looking through the frame". The slender steering while a little awkward to hold (feels like a cane) makes turning the car a jiffy. While the steering does not offer much feedback, it is not dead. In any case, you are not going to be gunning for apexes in this car. The Datsun is all about living life at a relaxed pace and the steering is just fine for that.

    Closing Thoughts:


    As we pulled into Multijet's garage, I was grinning from ear to ear, as in the past 20 minutes I had pretty much gone from being the hurried guy of 2013 who drove from point A to point B with an agenda, to being the laid back hero of the 1980s, pottering about New Panvel with nothing specific in mind and no real destination to reach. The whole experience got me thinking though, if this was the real purpose of motoring, to be in a state of calm as you watch the world go by at a relaxed pace, to be one with what is happening around, yet be secure in your own space. This thought also brought a sense of sadness in me as we have moved so far away from this motoring world to the one in which we live, where every gap is to be gunned for and every signal has to be beaten. How I wish we could go back to the era and experience motoring in all its splendour!!! If wishes were horses.......Sigh!
    Last edited by mnemonic; 14-04-2013 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Flow
    If everything is in control, you aren't going fast enough.

  5. #5
    Seeded Driver robilinks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Mumbai
    Posts
    666
    View My Garage
    Rep Power
    198

    Re: My tryst with a Vintage Datsun

    Nice writeup mnemonic. Reminds me of my neighbours dark yellow Datsun Pickup Truck double cab way back.. I used to walk past it every day on the way to school. Some days I would hitch a ride. looked a bit like the one in the pic below... better condition and dark yellow colour...

    Attachment 3629
    Last edited by robilinks; 14-04-2013 at 07:39 PM.

    I'm going to be around until the Atomic Energy Commission finds a safe place to bury my liver

  6. #6
    D.L.
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Pune Mah.
    Posts
    42
    View My Garage
    Rep Power
    106

    Re: My tryst with a Vintage Datsun

    mnemonic enjoyed reading your write up. The simplicity of the 80's was in every sphere of life,we used to travel just to meet people, enjoying
    the journey and myriad experiences along. As per Multijets antics best left to these pros they have their own skills which we better not imitate.
    The directness of those engines resulted in drivers going by the sounds of the engine for changing gears thus rev meters were not mandatory.
    The NE 118 had the best suspension, smoothest clutch and gears.

  7. #7
    Marshal mnemonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen
    Posts
    639
    View My Garage
    Rep Power
    100

    Re: My tryst with a Vintage Datsun

    Quote Originally Posted by robilinks View Post
    Nice writeup mnemonic. Reminds me of my neighbours dark yellow Datsun Pickup Truck double cab way back.. I used to walk past it every day on the way to school. Some days I would hitch a ride. looked a bit like the one in the pic below... better condition and dark yellow colour...

    Attachment 3629
    Wow!, that is one beauty your neighbour has there. Is she still around? If so, why don't you convince him into a restoration?

    Multijet's garage is just around the corner, well almost ( if you believe Indiabulls)

    cheers,

    cheers,
    If everything is in control, you aren't going fast enough.

  8. #8
    Marshal MULTIJET's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    In my Multijet
    Posts
    1,010
    View My Garage
    Rep Power
    298

    Re: My tryst with a Vintage Datsun

    Quote Originally Posted by roms View Post
    mnemonic, eagerly waiting for the drive experience. You said it, there is a certain charm about the boxiness in design of these cars from the 80's and 90's. I particularly liked the layout and design of the instrument cluster, the only thing missing is the rev counter.

    What took my surprise the identity of the owner of the vehicle...but I won't reveal that now..let Multijet reveal the same.
    I was waiting for Multijet Tax to be paid by the owner so was not revealing his name. As all the formalities has been done now I can break the secret. This car belongs to my old non fiatian friend Sameer Deshmukh(he is a fiatian by heart).
    @Mnemonic-What a write up.
    FIAT USERS-Confidence is what you have when you don't really understand the situation.
    SANJEEV HARIKANT
    PALIO 1.2NV SPORTS(NOT YET SOLD)
    PALIO 1.3SDX MULTIJET(NOT YET SOLD)-DRIVING A JET ON INDIAN ROADS
    SIENA 1.2ELPS(NOT YET SOLD)
    FIAT 1100(NOT YET SOLD)
    VESPA 125(NOT YET SOLD)
    YAMAHA FZ16(NOT YET SOLD)
    YAMAHA R15 VER1(NOT YET SOLD)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •