If Nissan were upset when their first sports car, the 1952 Datsun DC-3, accounted for a total of only 50 ever built, then they must have been totally dismayed when their next car, the Datsun S211 sold only a total of 20.
But while the S211 may have been a sales disaster, more importantly it represented the first step in a line of sports cars that would sell in increasingly larger numbers and eventually lead to the Z car series, which would become the biggest selling sports car in the world in the 1970s.
The Datsun S211 prototype, called the A80X, made it's world debut in the rather unlikely location of the rooftop of the Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi department store in Tokyo on the 10th of January 1958, during a special Datsun display at the store. The display was due to go for three days, but the number of visitors was so great it was continued for a whole week. The production version went on sale on the 4th of June 1959.
The S211 was replaced in 1960 by the Datsun Fairlady SPL212, which looked almost identical, but was in fact a substantially different vehicle. The SPL212 had an all steel body for a start, rather than the S211's fibreglass body. There are a couple of visual cues to differentiate the two cars. The two cars actually have different shaped doors, if you look at the bottom of the door on the S211 you can see that the front edge of the door is curved on the S211, and on the SPL212 this part of the door comes to a sharp 90deg. angle. The S211 has a Datsun 1000 badge that is incorporated into the strip that runs along the side of the car, the SPL212 has no badge here, but instead has a Fairldy badge above the side strip. The front Datsun badge on the S211 is much taller and chunkier looking than the slimmer Datsun badge used on the SPL212. On the back of the car near the boot handle there is a Datsun 1000 badge, the same as the one used on the side of the car.
There were no model variations of the S211.
The Datsun S211 was based on the chassis and mechanicals of the Datsun 210 sedan. More information about this vehicle can be found on the Datsun 210 page.
Length - 3895mm
Width - 1455mm
Height - 1350mm
Wheelbase - 2220mm
Weight - 810kg
Top speed - 140kph
Transmission - Floor change 4 speed
Model - C
OHV 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 988cc
Bore & Stroke 73x59mm
Power - 37hp@4400rpm
Compression - 7.5 : 1
Carburettor - Hitachi Solex VA-26-6 26mm single throat downdraught
Final drive - unknown
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