The 1960 Datsun sports is a potent 1,982cc overhead cam engine with dual SU type side draft carbs and a five-speed transmission. It used a 988 cc C-series straight-4 producing 37 PS 36 horsepower. It had a 1.2 L (1189 cc) E-series straight-4 engine producing 48 PS 47 horsepower. The 4-speed manual transmission was specified and an A-arm suspension with torsion bars was used in front. Drum brakes were used all around for the safety compliance standard.
In 1965, Datsun’s sports car started to come into its own, with freshened styling and the name Datsun 1600 to reflect its bigger 1.6-liter OHV inline-four. Designated the SPL-311 series, 1600 came with twin-SU carbs and output rose to 96 horsepower. Front disc brakes with larger 14-inch wheels replaced the 1500’s drums, and the transmission gained synchronizers for easier shifting. A packaging tray replaced the sideways rear seat due to safety and comfort concerns.
With a base cost of $2,546, 1600 was less expensive than an MGB and delivered almost the same performance abilities. Like many upstart Japanese brands at the time, Datsun sweetened the deal with a variety of standard amenities that cost extra on the European competitors, such as a radio, heater, seat belts, tonneau cover, clock, locking gas cap, and more. American buyers began to recognize the 1600’s value and reliability, and sales grew steadily as a result, with more than 14,000 left-hand-drive 1600s produced before the 240Z coupe appeared for the 1970 model year.