It was the 1961 Datsun Fairlady which started Japan's foray into the worldwide sportscar market. Its lightweight bodyshell coupled with a buzzy 122ci (2-liter) four-cylinder engine competed with British sportscars and had the MG beat on performance, if not character. The car used a separate box-section chassis, with double wishbone front suspension and a leaf sprung live rear axle on radius arms. While the car started out with drums brakes and 71bhp (53kW), by 1967 it had disc brakes up front, which offered superb stopping power. By then the Fairlady also had a new 2-liter OHC engine with 135bhp (101kW). It went through a five-speed all-syncromesh gearbox, which was leagues ahead of its rivals' transmissions. The Fairlady name was later used on Japan's limited edition version of the 240Z with 122ci (2-liter) straight six engine and excellent all-round independent suspension.
Datsun Fairlady Specifications
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