The 310 series Datsun Bluebird was an important milestone for both Nissan, and the Japanese car industry as a whole. The 310 Bluebird marked the first time that a Japanese car manufacturer had built a modern, and truly world class car.
The Datsun 310 went into production in August 1959 and continued on until January 1961. The wagon version went into production much later, in July 1960.
By the time the late 1950s had come around Nissan had spent a great deal of time and money installing the newest and most advanced presses and machining equipment available, by 1959 Nissan had what was possibly the most modern car assembly plant anywhere in the world. And this was amply demonstrated by the build quality of the new 310 series. The finish and panel quality of these Bluebirds was of a standard only ever found in cars two or three times their price.
The previous 211 series cars were well built and robust designs, but still had antiquated features such as exposed door hinges. The new 310 had hidden door and bonnet hinges, the only disapointment being the boot hinges which were still external.
Mechanically the car represented a major leap in technology for Nissan. The old reverse Elliot I beam front suspension of the 211 had been replaced with a thoroughly modern independent double wishbone front suspension design.
For the engines Nissan continued to use the 37hp C series 988cc OHV "Stone" engine first introduced only a couple of years earlier in the Datsun 210, as well as the 1189cc over head valve 48hp E series engine, which was the primary engine in most export markets.The badges on the car say Datsun on the bootlid, with Bluebird on the front guards and a round badge on the bonnet with the name Datsun circling a stylised D. Later 311 and 312 models have either a Datsun 1000 or Datsun 1200 badge at the back of the car.
These early 310, and also the next 311 model feature a pronounced droop at the back of the car, in the fold that travels along the side of the car. The fold runs straight along the side of the car, and then inexplicably drops downward at about a 75o angle about 3 inches from the tail light. This fold is the only thing that spoils an otherwise very pretty car, and was leter recitfied in the 312 series.
The tail lights on these early cars are a small kidney shape, later models have a larger upright bullet shape. Standard model 310s have no strips along the side of the car, but the deLuxe models feature a full length stainless steel strip. DeLuxe models also have stainless steel door window frames. The grille on the 310 is narrow, and sits between the front indicators, in later models the grille partially frames the indicators.
The dashboard in the 310 and 311 series slopes backwards at about 20o, in the 312 series the dash is more upright.
The 310 marked the start of a rapid increase in Datsun sales all around the world as the Bluebird established a quality reputation for Nissan. At the start of the 1960s Nissan were a tiny car manufacturer only just taking it's first steps in the global marketplace, by the end of the 1960s Nissan were the 5th largest car manufacturer in the world. The global reputation that Nissan established worldwide started with this car.
A standard model was also available which had no stainless steel strips along the side of the car and painted door window frames.
The Datsun P310 is the deLuxe version of the Datsun 311 sedan. Amongst other differences it has stainless steel door window frame trims and wider strips along the side of the car.
The Datsun WP310 is the station wagon version of the Datsun 310 sedan. It was introduced in July 1960. It features a two piece cargo door, with a framed glass section that opens upwards, and a lower section that folds downwards.
1960 Datsun 310
Length - 3910mm
Width - 1496mm
Height - 1460mm
Wheelbase - 2280mm
Weight - 870kg
Top speed - 1000 unknown
- 1200 123kph
Transmission - Column change 4 speed
1000 - unknown
1200 - 4.625 : 1
Model - C
OHV 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 988cc
Bore & Stroke 73x59mm
Power - 37bhp@4600rpm
Torque - 49ft/lb@2400rpm
Compression - 7.5 : 1
Carburettor - Hitachi Solex VA-26-6 26mm single throat down draught
OHV 4 Cylinder
Model - E
Capacity - 1189cc
Bore & Stroke 73x71mm
Power - 48bhp@4800rpm
Compression - 7.5 : 1
Carburettor - Hitachi Solex VAA-28 28mm single throat downdraught
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