Datsun DA

1947 DA Model

 The Second World War ended on the 2nd of September 1945, when Japan officially surrendered. By the end of the war the Nissan Motor Company was a mess, both physically and financially. The factories had taken many hits from the Allied bombing campaign, and most production had ceased in 1944. Like all the other Japanese car manufacturers Nissan had been required by the Japanese military to transfer all of it's production into military vehicles during the war. With the exception of a few sedans built for military use during the war, mainly the large Nissan 70 sedans, passenger car production at Nissan had ceased in late 1938.  


In 1946 Nissan started to gear up and prepare to begin production again. Factories were rebuilt and repaired, and the first new Datsun was designed and was ready to go into production. With material shortages still a problem, and no time or resources to develop a completely new vehicle Nissan decided to produce a modified version of the pre-war Datsun 17. 

The first post-war vehicle built was the Datsun 1121, which was a small truck based on the pre-war Datsun 17T truck. This went into production in August 1946. Just over a year later, in November 1947, the first passenger car since the war entered production. This model was called the Datsun DA.

The Datsun DA was a very, very basic vehicle. It was based on the 1121 truck, which used the chassis and mechanicals of the Datsun 17T, but with a new body. The body itself was crude and rough, it was little more than a 1121 truck with a rough sedan body grafted onto it. All the beautiful ornate details of the pre-war models was gone. Chrome was impossible to get, so none was used. The complex grille of the pre-war model was replaced with a sheet of steel with holes punched in it.

At the time the DA was introduced it had a very squared off flat back panel. Towards the end of it's production run the rear of the car was redesigned, and has a much rounder shape with was very similar to the back of the Datsun DS model that was built after the DA. The bonnet and engine cover design for the DA were carried over from the Datsun 17T truck, and not from the 17 sedan. The 17 sedan had a horizontal line of vents along the side of the engine cover, while the 17T truck had a series of near vertical vents, which is what the DA used.

The engine used was the old pre-war Datsun type 7 engine, with was a 722cc side valve four cylinder that produced 16hp. All of the other mechanicals remained unchanged as well.

The Datsun DA may have been a rather crude and austaire little car, and was only in production for less than a year, but it was an important first step in the return to proper passenger car production. The Datsun DA was in production from November 1947 until mid 1948. It was replaced with the Datsun DS.


Model Variations


Datsun DA - 1947

 The original version of the Datsun DA had a very squared off flat rear panel.  


Datsun DA - 1948

 The second version had a more rounded off rear section.   


Datsun 1121  

 The Datsun DA was based on the same mechanicals as the 1946 Datsun 1121 truck. More information about this vehicle can be found on the Datsun 1121 page.   

1947 Datsun DA Sedan Specifications  

Length - 3150mm
Width - 1330mm
Height - 1570mm
Wheelbase - 2006mm
Weight - 520kg
Top speed - unknown
Transmission - Floor
change 3 speed

Engine Specifications

Model - Type 7
Side Valve 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 722cc
Bore & Stroke 55x75mm
Power - 16hp@3500rpm
Torque- 27ft/lb@2000rpm
Compression - 6.2 : 1
Carburettor - unknown
Final drive - unknown

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