Welcome to 365 Days of Motoring

An Everyday Journey Through Motoring History, Facts & Trivia

Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.

Nissan

Nissan


A chronological day-by-day history of Nissan.

Friday 31st May 1907

109 years ago

The first motorised taxicab service in the United States started in New York City. Harry N. Allen, incensed after being charged five dollars ($126.98 in today's dollars) for a journey of 0.75 miles (1.21 km), decided "to start a [taxicab] service in New York and charge so-much per mile." He imported 65 gasoline-powered cars from France and began the New York Taxicab Company. The cabs were originally painted red and green, but Allen repainted them all yellow to be visible from a distance. By 1908 the company was running 700 taxicabs. Within a decade several more companies opened business and taxicabs began to proliferate. The fare was 50 cents a mile, a rate only affordable to the relatively wealthy. By the 1920s, automobile manufacturers like General Motors and the Ford Motor Company began operating fleets. The most successful manufacturer, however, was the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company. Founded by Morris Markin, Checker Cabs produced large yellow and black taxis that became the most common taxis in New York City. In 1937 Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia signed the Haas Act, which introduced official taxi licenses and the medallion system that remains in place today. The law limited the number of licenses to 16,900. The medallions are now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars with fleet medallions topping $600,000 in 2007. In 1967, New York City ordered all "medallion taxis" be painted yellow to help cut down on unofficial drivers and make official taxicabs more readily recognisable. By the mid-1980s and into the 1990s the demographic changes among cabbies began to accelerate as new waves of immigrants arrived in New York. According to the 2000 US Census, of the 62,000 cabbies in New York 82 per cent are foreign born: 23 per cent are from the Caribbean (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), and 30 per cent from South Asia, and Pakistan. In 1996, when Chevrolet stopped making the Caprice, the Ford Crown Victoria became the most widely used sedan for yellow cabs in New York. In addition, yellow cab operators also use the Honda Odyssey, Isuzu Oasis, Chevrolet Venture, Ford Freestar, and Toyota Sienna minivans which offer increased passenger room. The distinctive Checker cabs were, due to their durable construction, phased out slowly, the last one being retired in July 1999, being over 20 years in service and nearly one million miles on its odometer. Laws since 1996 require taxis be replaced every 6 years regardless of condition. In 2005, New York introduced incentives to replace its current yellow cabs with electric hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid. As of February 2011, New York City had around 4,300 hybrid taxis, representing almost 33 per cent of New York's 13,237 taxis in service, the most in any city in North America. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced the Nissan design as the winner to replace the city's 13,000 yellow cabs, to be phased in over five years starting in 2013.

Harry Allen and French Darracq cabs, 1907

Harry Allen and French Darracq cabs, 1907

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Tuesday 26th December 1933

83 years ago

What became the Nissan Motor Company was organised in Tokyo under the name Dat Jidosha Seizo Company. It received its present name the next year, having begun to manufacture cars and trucks under the name Datsun. During World War Two Nissan was converted to military production, and, after Japan’s defeat, operated in a limited capacity under the occupation government until 1955.

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Friday 1st June 1934

82 years ago

The Tokyo-based Jidosha-Seizo Kabushiki-Kaisha (Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in English) took on a new name: Nissan Motor Company. Jidosha-Seizo Kabushiki-Kaisha had been established in December 1933. The company’s new name was an abbreviation for Nippon Sangyo, a “zaibatsu” (or holding company) belonging to Tobata’s founder, Yoshisuke Aikawa. Nissan produced its first Datsun, a descendant of the Dat Car, a small, boxy passenger vehicle designed by Japanese automotive pioneer Masujiro Hashimoto that was first produced in 1914. The company began exporting cars to Australia that same year. Beginning in 1938 and lasting throughout World War II, Nissan converted entirely from producing small passenger cars to producing trucks and military vehicles. Allied occupation forces seized much of Nissan’s production operations in 1945 and didn’t return full control to Nissan until a decade later. In 1960, Nissan became the first Japanese automaker to win the Deming Prize for engineering excellence. New Datsun models like the Bluebird (1959), the Cedric (1960) and the Sunny (1966) helped spur Nissan sales in Japan and abroad, and the company experienced phenomenal growth over the course of the 1960s. The energy crises of the next decade fueled the rise in exports of affordable, fuel-efficient Japanese-made cars. Success in the United States and other markets allowed Nissan to expand its foreign operations, which now include manufacturing and assembly plants in as many as 17 countries around the world. Today, Nissan–which dropped the Datsun name in the mid-1980s–is the third-largest car manufacturer in Japan, behind first-place Toyota and just behind Honda. After struggling in the late 1990s, the company turned itself around by building an alliance with French carmaker Renault; overhauling its luxury car line, Infiniti; and releasing the Titan pickup truck as well as revamped versions of the famous Z sports car and mid-size Altima saloon.

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Saturday 28th August 1937

79 years ago

The Toyota Motor Company Ltd, the world's largest automobile manufacturer, was founded. The marque's origins lie in the Japanese weaving industry when Sakichi Toyoda invented the world's first automatic loom and, subsequently, set up the Toyoda Spinning and Weaving Company in 1918. His invention reduced defects and increased yields since a loom stopped and would not go on producing imperfect fabric and using up thread after a problem occurred. This principle of designing equipment to stop automatically and call attention to problems immediately (jidoka) remains crucial to the Toyota Production System today. The loom impressed a British Company, the Platt Brothers, so much that, in 1929, they bought the production and sales rights for £100,000. Sakichi gave those proceeds to his son, Kiichiro, to develop automotive technology at Toyoda. This in turn led to the launch of the Company's first ever passenger car in 1936, the Model AA, and in 1937, the Toyota Motor Company was born. After World War II, Japan experienced extreme economic difficulty. Commercial passenger car production started in 1947 with the model SA. The company was on the brink of bankruptcy by the end of 1949, but the company eventually obtained a loan from a consortium of banks which stipulated an independent sales operation and elimination of "excess manpower". In June 1950, the company produced only 300 trucks and was on the verge of going out of business. The management announced layoffs and wage reductions, and in response the union went on a strike that lasted two months. The strike was resolved by an agreement that included layoffs and pay reductions but also the resignation of the president at the time, Kiichiro Toyoda. Toyoda was succeeded by Taizo Ishida, who was the chief executive of the Toyoda Automatic Loom company. The first few months of the Korean War resulted in an order of over 5,000 vehicles from the US military, and the company was revived. Ishida was credited for his focus on investment in equipment. One example was the construction of the Motomachi Plant in 1959, which gave Toyota a decisive lead over Nissan during the 1960s. In 1950, a separate sales company, Toyota Motor Sales Co., was established (which lasted until July 1982). In April 1956, the Toyopet dealer chain was established. In 1957, the Crown became the first Japanese car to be exported to the United States and Toyota's American and Brazilian divisions, Toyota Motor Sales Inc. and Toyota do Brasil S.A., were also established. Toyota began to expand in the 1960s with a new research and development facility, a presence in Thailand was established, the 10 millionth model was produced, a Deming Prize, and partnerships with Hino Motors and Daihatsu were also established. The first Toyota built outside Japan was in April 1963, at Melbourne, Australia. From 1963 until 1965, Australia was Toyota's biggest export market. By the end of the decade, Toyota had established a worldwide presence, as the company had exported its one-millionth unit. The first Japanese vehicles to arrive in North America were five Land Cruisers in El Salvador in May 1953. The first Toyotas sent to Europe were two Toyopet Tiaras sent to Finland for evaluation in June 1962, but no sales followed.The first European importer was Erla Auto Import A/S of Denmark, who brought in 190 Crowns following a May 1963 agreement to become the distributor for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The Netherlands followed in May 1964, and after having established toeholds in countries with little or no indigenous automobile production other markets followed in 1966. In 1968 Toyota established its first European CKD assembler, Salvador Caetano I.M.V.T. of Portugal. Toyota is the world's first automobile manufacturer to produce more than 10 million vehicles per year. It did so in 2012 according to OICA, and in 2013 according to company data.[8] As of July 2014, Toyota was the largest listed company in Japan by market capitalization (worth more than twice as much as #2-ranked SoftBank) and by revenue. Toyota is the world's market leader in sales of hybrid electric vehicles, and one of the largest companies to encourage the mass-market adoption of hybrid vehicles across the globe. Cumulative global sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrid passenger car models passed the 9 million milestone in April 2016.

1937 Toyota Model AA

1937 Toyota Model AA

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Saturday 7th May 1955

62 years ago

(7th-18th): The 2nd Tokyo Motor Show opened its doors to the public. Although this show was still oriented toward commercial vehicles, Toyota and Nissan unveiled new passenger cars. Admissions reached 784,800 (over 12 days). To compete with popular three-wheelers, Toyota showed a light 4-wheel truck, "Model SKB 1000cc" (renamed Toyoace in 1956), Nissan a Datsun Truck Model 120, and Fuji Precision Machinery AFIF 1.5 ton truck. These featured excellent handling, loading capacity, and comfort. Popularity, therefore, seemed to shift from three-wheeled to four-wheeled trucks. In the passenger car division, Nissan’s compact Datsun 110 excelled. It had a newly designed body, which won the Mainichi Kogyo Design Award. Outstanding also were Toyota s new Toyopet Crown RS and Toyopet Master RR, which had an American appearance. The combined effect was an impression that the domestic car days had arrived.

Datsun 120

Datsun 120

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Thursday 9th May 1957

60 years ago

The Fourth All-Japan Motor Show was held at Hibiya Park during an 11-day period. In the passenger car category, a significant improvement was found in the quality of exhibited vehicles, including the first-generation Toyopet Corona small car, Fuji Seimitsu's Price Skyline, and the Nissan Datsun Sport prototype. In the truck category, Toyota displayed its first diesel truck (DA60), while Nissan unveiled its Nissan Junior and Nissan 581 models. Ohta also exhibited its 1.5-ton class light truck model. Meanwhile, an automobile information bureau was newly set up in the PR Center to provide extended knowledge on road traffic and vehicle design, etc. In this show, the organizer successfully provided visitors and exhibitors with an opportunity for business talks in addition to the general promotion of automobiles.

Toyota Corona (1957)

Toyota Corona (1957)

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Thursday 9th January 1958

59 years ago

Toyota and Datsun make their first appearances in the United States at the Imported Motor Car Show in Los Angeles, California. The first Nissan products were sold in the U.S. under the trade name“Datsun” and the first Toyotas were “Toyopets”. Unofficially, a few Datsuns and Toyopets had arrived in the United States with the return of servicemen stationed in Japan in the mid 1950s. Officially, the first two Toyopets arrived in September of 1957 for testing in the American market. It turned out that the cars were totally unsuitable for North American terrain and roads. While the Toyopets were perfect Taxis in Tokyo, they couldn't handle the hilly Los Angeles roads. Not only that, but the head of the Toyota USA division didn’t like the name “Toyopet”. He complained that the name “Toy” sounded like a toy, and “toys break”. pet, meantime, brought to mind dogs. Datsun’s premarketing test went considerably better. A Datsun 210 was brought to Los Angeles and tinkered with. The test included an uphill drag race with a Volkswagen Beetle. The Datsun won. Later, the Datsun was damaged in a traffic accident. All told, the Nissan engineers told their Japanese bosses that Datsuns could be sold in the U.S. if they were modified with stronger engines and drivetrains. The vehicles selected for the L.A. Import Show included A Datsun-1000 (PL210) four door sedan. The Toyopet sedan was a slightly larger vehicle. Both vehicles were given “passing” scores on body quality but were judged lacking in the engine departments. It turned out that Datsun had the advantage of showing a smaller car plus a pickup model. The prices and performance were competitive with the top import of the day, the VW Beetle. Dealerships soon were opened as Datsun cars and pickups began appearing on the streets. Meanwhile the Toyopet was given high marks for sturdiness and quality, but it was considered to be overpriced and underpowered for the American market. Sales were lackluster, so Toyota withdrew from the U.S. market in 1960. In 1965, Toyota began anew with a completely redesigned Toyopet Crown that featured a larger engine and more luxury features. The car also came back with a new name, Toyota Corona. The vehicle was the first of a successful line for the company that, years later, renamed the model “Camry”, the Japanese word for “crown”.

Datsun-1000 (PL210) -1958

Datsun-1000 (PL210) -1958

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Saturday 30th April 1960

57 years ago

The first Nissan Cedric, the '30' series, was unveiled. Produced until 1962, it was available only at Japanese Nissan dealerships called Nissan Bluebird Store. It was the first product labeled as a Nissan, but shared mechanicals with Datsun products built at the time. Several models were available, including the Cedric 1500 DeLuxe and Standard (30), Cedric 1900 Deluxe (D30, powered by the 1.9 L Nissan H engine), Cedric 1900 Custom (G30, also powered by the Nissan H engine), Cedric Van (V30, six-seater) and the Cedric Wagon (WP30, eight-seater). Only the Cedric Standard used a 1.5 L (1,488 cc) G-series I4 engine which produced 70 hp (52 kW). The 1.9 L (1,883 cc) H-series with 87 hp (65 kW) was optional. A four-speed manual transmission with the top three gears synchronized was standard, with a three-speed manual fitted to 1900 versions. Diesel engines were supplied by newly acquired Minsei Diesel Industries, Ltd, which was renamed Nissan Diesel Motor Co., Ltd in 1960. The Cedric replaced the Austin A50 Nissan was building under license from Austin Motor Company of England, which was called the Nissan Austin. The six-seater Cedric introduced Nissan's first monocoque body and a wrap-around windshield. The first Cedric featured two stacked headlights on either side of a large grille (inspired by a late 1950s commuter train from Japan, the Tobu JNR 151). The taillights were the same as the Datsun Bluebird 312. and was considered a six-seater. April 1962 saw the introduction of a station wagon–van, able to seat eight people. The twin-stacked headlight approach, which first appeared on large North American and European vehicles in the late 1950s, was a novel approach to suggest size and luxurious accommodations, and was also used on the 1961 Isuzu Bellel and the earlier Mercedes-Benz S-Class of the late 1950s.

Nissan Cedric - 1960

Nissan Cedric - 1960

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Tuesday 25th October 1960

56 years ago

The 7th Tokyo Motor Show opened with over 350 exhibits. One highlight of the Show was Toyota s exhibit of the Publica show car with its catch phrase, "Everybody s Car". The four-seater equipped with a 700cc air-cooled engine and priced at ¥389,000 was called a $1000 car ($1=¥360 at that time), and attracted much attention. Toyota also announced its second generation Corona "PT20", whilst Nissan introduced the "Cedric" with four headlights, a product springing from the technical tie-up with Austin. Fuji Precision Machinery marketed the four headlight "Gloria," and Toyo Kogyo presented a midget car with four-wheel independent suspension, the "Mazda Coupe," at the low price of ¥310,000.

Toyota Publica

Toyota Publica

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Thursday 25th October 1962

54 years ago

Many prototypes were displayed again at the opening of the 9th Tokyo Motor Show. The highlight was the debut of Honda Sports 360 and 500. These were the first 4-wheeled cars produced by Honda, which had become a world-famous motorcycle manufacturer. Both cars were high-performance, miniature sports cars, equipped with a 4-cylinder, twin-cam engine generating a maximum speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) for Model 360 and more than 130 km/h (80 mph) for Model 500. Toyota displayed the Publica Sports with a futuristic body and no door. It had a canopy that slid backward like that on a fighter plane. Nissan displayed the Fairlady with a detachable hardtop. Popular sports cars were the Mitsubishi Colt Convertible and Prince Sports Convertible.

Honda Sports 360 (prototype)

Honda Sports 360 (prototype)

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Wednesday 26th October 1966

50 years ago

The Nissan Sunny and Toyota Corolla were unveiled at the 13th Tokyo Motor Show. Other carmakers also presented their new models in the 800-1,000cc engine class, heralding the "Era of Cars for Everyone." Amid the My Car boom, mini-vehicles fitted with under 660cc engines also earned popularity among consumers again. New mini vehicle models such as Honda's N360, the Daihatsu Fellow, and Suzuki Fronte featured significantly improved performance. Notably, the Nissan Prince Royal, the first made-in-Japan limousine used by the emperor and empress, was unveiled at the show. Visitors were surprised at the vehicle's overwhelming body size and engine.

Toyota Corolla (first generation)

Toyota Corolla (first generation)

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Sunday 24th November 1968

48 years ago

The London-Sydney Marathon Car Rally started at the Crystal Palace racing circuit in London at 2pm. It finished at Warwick Farm (an outer Sydney suburb), on Tuesday, December 17th 1968. “Until now, the toughest International rally in the world has been the East Africa Safari. If you spoke English, some Afrikaans and perhaps a little Swahili, you could muddle through. In the end, a handful of money waved at some native bystanders would always get you towed out of a bog. But in the London-Sydney Marathon it will be desirable to have a working knowledge of Urdu, Esperanto, lower Afghanistani dialect and possibly even English. This is the most International rally ever run. Cars have come from Britain, Australia, America, Soviet Russia, France, Germany..... the drivers include a Russian named Lifhits and an Indian called Ghandi..... the route crosses dozens of borders..... Organisers can go so far in helping competitors with the problems of country and language, but a lot has to be left with the crews. The comprehensive route guidance notes given to every team months ago, detailed rates of exchange, border procedures, and dozens of other small items of valuable information. But each team, realising that there was hardly any allowance for time lost through breakdowns or servicing, was still faced with the problem of keeping the cars going. In a normal rally, car manufacturers and tyre and oil companies like Dunlop and Castrol literally "shadow" the rally route with service vehicles and crews. But the London-Sydney is so far and so fast, that a complete re-think was needed. Both Castrol and Dunlop have been working for months on a complex network of oil and tyre supplies stretching halfway across the world. Both companies are, of course, quite used to this. Both have been knee-deep in motor sport for the last 50 - odd years. In fact, it was a Dunlop employee, Harry James, who started motor sport in Australia with a "demonstration" run at Aspendale racecourse in Victoria in 1904. Castrol is now one of the major sponsors of motor sport in the world. In Australia, their drivers include the famous Geoghegan brothers, the works Nissan team and the BMC works cars. Overseas, they look after world motor cycle champion, Mike Hailwood, the BMC works rally team of Hopkirk - Makinen - Aaltonen - Fall, and the Ford rally team, as well as Polish driver Sobieslaw Zasada, who last year won the European Championship. One of their more famous operators is expatriate Australian Paul Hawkins, one of the world's greatest sports car drivers. Castrol car and bike wins have been chalked up at Daytona, Singapore, Wisconsin, Sebring, Le-Mans, Barcelona and the Isle of Man. On the other hand, Dunlop has been designing and producing racing tyres for scores of years. For one period of about 15 years up to 1965, Dunlop was the only tyre company supplying racing tyres to World Championship Grand Prix cars. The choice of racing tyres has become so wide that there are now special tyres for wet and dry racing, for ice and snow, for wet and dry gravel. The London-Sydney competitors will be able to call on six different types of Dunlop tyre for varying terrain and climate. It is this sort of wide experience in servicing motor sport of all kinds all over the world that makes Castrol and Dunlop, and other major companies like them, so involved in this great Marathon”. - Daily Telegraph

The banner for the original London-Sydney Marathon.

The banner for the original London-Sydney Marathon.

London-Sydney Marathon Rally start

London-Sydney Marathon Rally start

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Wednesday 22nd October 1969

47 years ago

The Datsun 240Z sportscar was introduced. The first draft of the Datsun 240Z was created by German car designer Dr. Albrecht Graf von Goertz, a man who co-designed both the BMW 507 and the Porsche 911. The car was to be a joint project between Datusn and Yamaha but a lasting agreement couldn’t be reached and as such, plans for the car were put on ice. Nissan’s Chief Designer Yoshihiko Matsuo couldn’t bear to see the project on the shelf for too long and finally managed to get approval to build the car as a 100% Nissan project. The original design was modified but the influences of both the E-Type Jaguar and Porsche 911 are still quite apparent in the finished styling. Performance from its rorty 2.4-litre power unit that owed a lot to the BMC C-Series and well as Mercedes-Benz's straight-six, was more than ample. Being a Datsun, reliability was a given, but the agile (if tail-happy) handling was a pleasant surprise. During its five year run, more than 150,000 were produced, but survivors are now seriously appreciating. Rust has been its main enemy, so be careful when buying, even if you're buying a restored example.

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Friday 24th October 1969

47 years ago

Vehicles exhibited at the 16th Toyko Motor Show included the midship type Bellett MX 1600 exhibited by Isuzu, the mini racing machine by Suzuki, and the rotary coupe R100 with racing specifications by Mazda. The Honda 1300 Coupe 7 and the Mitsubishi Colt Formula FIIB attracted much praise. Nissan set up a sports corner exhibiting the R 382, the Japan Grand Prux winner, which showed the company’s enthusiasm toward motor sports. Among new models, the Mitsubishi Colt Gallant, especially the Gallant GTX-1 (GTO s base model) to be sold in 1970 was most popular.

Honda 1300 Coupe 7

Honda 1300 Coupe 7

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Wednesday 28th January 1970

47 years ago

The Japan Automatic Transmission Company was formed as a joint venture of the Ford Motor Company, Nissan Motor Company Ltd, and the Toyo Kogyo Company Ltd.

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Friday 30th October 1970

46 years ago

33 American cars by 4 makers, 18 English cars by 11 makers, 25 German cars by 8 makers, 5 French cars by 3 makers, 8 Italian cars by 4 makers, 4 Swedish cars by 2 makers, and 2 Australian cars by 1 maker for a total of 95 cars by 33 makers from 7 countries were exhibited at the 17th Tokyo Motor Show. Test cars made public included a Toyota electric car based on the Commuter, a Nissan electric car with a 120V-60AH battery, a Toyo Kogyo (now Mazda) hybridelectric car with a combination motor and a small rotary engine, a Mitsubishi electric car and a Daihatsu hybrid car. Nissan, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Honda, and Fuji Heavy Industries also displayed electronic injection systems, and Nissan and Mitsubishi publicized gas turbine engines.The number of visitors to this show, 1,452,900, decreased somewhat from the previous show. This was partly because parking was prohibited around the show site to avoid traffic congestion in Tokyo.

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Tuesday 23rd October 1973

43 years ago

Only five days after 11 Arab oil producers increased oil prices and cut back production in response to the support of the United States and other nations for Israel in the Yom Kippur War, Toyota U.S.A. held its first national news conference in Los Angeles, California. Central on the agenda for the three-day conference was the discussion of the remarkable fuel efficiency of Toyota automobiles. In the days following the oil crisis, concerned American consumers suffered gasoline rationing, a quadrupling of prices, and huge lines at gas stations. The small percentage of Americans who owned a Toyota, a Honda, or a Nissan found themselves the envy of other domestic car owners, whose American automobiles typically averaged less than 15 miles per gallon.

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Friday 31st October 1975

41 years ago

Toyota displayed TTC-C and TTC-V systems and also the Gas Turbine Century at the opening of the 21st Tokyo Motor Show. Nissan exhibited the Steam Engine Cedric and showed its NAPS system using a multi-media show. Honda displayed its ESV with CVCC engine. Mitsubishi stressed high performance and low pollution by combining its Astro Engine and emission cleaning system MCA. Mazda displayed the rotary engine REAP and reciprocating engine CEAP system. Isuzu exhibited the Gemini Coupe which cleared the 1975 regulations by introducing GM technology for air injection EGRplus a catalytic converter. Fuji Heavy Industries announced the Leone Sports equipped with the SEEC-T system that cleared the 1976 regulation and attracted wide attention. The only new models displayed were the Toyota Corolla Sprinter Liftback, Silvia, and Cosmo s revival model. The rest of the exhibits had radical technological innovations under their hoods, but looked unchanged and mostly modest.

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Friday 28th October 1977

39 years ago

A trend common to the new models exhibited 22nd Tokyo Motor Show was fuel efficiency. Every manufacturer had made an effort to improve fuel economy by reducing vehicle weight and wind resistance. To cite an example, the Daihatsu Charade achieved a fuel economy of 20 km per 1 litre. Diesel cars that debuted as "fuel economy cars" were the Nissan Cedric 220DE, the Toyota Crown DE, and the Isuzu Florian DE, which drew attention from non-Japanese people.

Daihatsu Charade

Daihatsu Charade

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Saturday 27th February 1982

35 years ago

The 74th Chicago Auto Show opened to the public. Visitors enjoyed a close look at the sporty Dodge Daytona and Chrysler Laser. Concept vehicles that year included the Buick Questor, Ford Probe IV, Continental Concept 100 and Nissan NRV II research vehicle. Convertibles were coming back into fashion, with rag top models of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunbird. The Oldsmobile subcompact Firenza also made is debut, and a GM experimental, unnamed economy car, said to achieve 60 mpg. Chevrolet redesigned the Camaro for 1982, while Pontiac undertook comparable action with its Firebird. The new Camaro was nearly 10 inches shorter and 500 pounds lighter, with an all-coil suspension, and for the first time, a standard four-cylinder engine. The compound-curved backlight served as a hatch.

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Saturday 26th February 1983

34 years ago

The 75th anniversary edition of the Chicago Auto Show opened. Chrysler Corporation debuted two sporty models: the Dodge Daytona and related Chrysler Laser. Both models could get a turbocharged engine, but Daytona's would be the consumers' preference. Concept vehicles seen in Chicago shown included the Buick Questor, Ford Probe IV, Continental Concept 100, and Nissan NRV II research vehicle. Convertibles were in fashion once again with Ford's Mustang, Chevrolet's Cavalier, and Pontiac's Sunbird all displayed in ragtops.

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Wednesday 1st February 1984

33 years ago

Japanese car maker Nissan signed an agreement with the British government to build a car factory in Britain. This landmark deal means that "foreign" cars will be built in Britain for the first time, with the factory set to open during 1986.

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Saturday 11th February 1984

33 years ago

The Chicago Motor Show was opened by Mayor Harold Washington and Illinois Secretary of State Jim Edgar. More than 700 vehicles were exhibited including the new sporty Pontiac Fiero, the Honda CRX, the Nissan 300 ZX and the Ford Mustang SVO. Chevrolet offered visitors a glimpse of the redesigned Chevrolet Cavalier Type 10, displayed with a special Chicago appearance package. Concept vehicles shown included the four-wheel steering Mazda MX-02, Nissan NX-21 (dubbed family car of the Nineties), Ford Ghia Barchetta convertible, mid-engined Toyota SV-3 prototype, Oldsmobile diesel Ciera ES, and Chevrolet's fiberglass Citation IV.

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Tuesday 26th March 1985

32 years ago

The first United States-built Nissan was produced at the new Nissan Motor Manufacturing Company factory in Smyrna, Tennessee, US, the largest automobile in the country.

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Monday 8th September 1986

30 years ago

Continuing its enormous expansion of the 1970s and early '80s, the Nissan Motor Company Ltd. opened its Sunderland, England, plant, the first Japanese automobile factory in Europe. Established in 1933 as the Jidosha Seizo Company, Nissan remained a mid-size automobile manufacturer until it entered the world market in the 1960s, when its sales grew by leaps and bounds. Nissan, as well as several other Japanese manufacturers, continued to grow through the next decade, propelled by the increasing popularity of their fuel-efficient cars. Nissan eventually opened plants in Australia, Peru, Mexico, the United States, and Germany.

Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK Ltd in Sunderland, UK.

Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK Ltd in Sunderland, UK.

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Sunday 1st March 1987

30 years ago

Glenn Seton drove a Nissan Skyline to victory in the Australian Touring Car race at Calder Park in Victoria, Australia.

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Sunday 26th April 1987

30 years ago

Glen Seton won the ATCC race at Wanneroo, Western Australia, driving a Nissan Skyline.

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Thursday 29th October 1987

29 years ago

The 27th Tokyo Motor Show saw full-scale participation by Western automakers and participation by Yue Loong Motor from Taiwan for the first time. It was really an international show joined by 276 domestic and foreign makers.. Notable cars revealed included the Toyota FXV-II, Nissan ARC-X, and Mitsubishi HSR.

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Monday 12th September 1988

28 years ago

Ford and Nissan announced plans to design and build a new minivan together in the hope of cashing in on an expanding market. The announcement came during the heyday of the minivan craze, when Dodge Caravans dotted the highways and station wagons became a thing of the past. Instantly popular, the spacious minivan replaced the wagon as the family car of choice, putting the old wood-paneled Country Squires to shame. But with the rise of the sport utility vehicle in the '90s, the minivan also began to fade.

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Sunday 2nd February 1992

25 years ago

A Nissan R91 became the first Japanese car to win the 24 Hours of Daytona event in Daytona Beach, Florida. Japanese engineering quality became the standard for consumer compact vehicles in the 1970s and early 1980s. Nissan's victory in the 24-hour race proved that Japanese cars had achieved the highest level of performance and engineering.

Nissan R91

Nissan R91

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Sunday 23rd February 1992

25 years ago

The Jaguar XJR-14 made its race debut in the IMSA Camel GT race at Miami, Florida, USA. Davy Jones started it on pole but finished sixth behind the winning Nissan NPTI-91 of Geoff Brabham.

Jaguar XJR-14

Jaguar XJR-14

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Monday 23rd November 1992

24 years ago

The Ford Mondeo was launched, with sales beginning on 22 March 1993. Intended as a world car, it replaced the Ford Sierra in Europe, the Ford Telstar in a large portion of Asia and other markets, while the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique replaced the Ford Tempo and Mercury Topaz in North America. Despite being billed as a world car, the only external items the Mondeo shared initially with the Contour were the windscreen, front windows, front mirrors and door handles. Thus, the CDW27 project turned out not to be a true world car in the sense that the original Ford Focus and newer Ford developed under the "One Ford" policy turned out to be—that being one design per segment for the world. The first generation Mondeo was replaced in 2000, by the larger second generation; in the United States and Canada, the Countour/Mystique were replaced by the Fusion. Instigated in 1986, the design of the car cost Ford US$6 billion. It was one of the most expensive new car programmes ever. The Mondeo was significant as its design and marketing was shared between Ford USA in Dearborn, and Ford of Europe. Its codename while under development reflected thus: CDW27 signified that it straddled the C & D size classes and was a "world car". The head of the Mondeo project was John Oldfield, headquartered at Ford Dunton in Essex, England. A large proportion of the high development cost was due to the Mondeo being a completely new design, sharing very little, if anything, with the Ford Sierra. Unlike the Sierra, the Mondeo is front-wheel drive in its most common form, with a rarer four-wheel drive version available on the Mk I car only. Over optimistically the floor pan was designed to accept virtually any conceivable drivetrain, from a transverse four to a longitudinal V-8.[citation needed] This resulted in a hugely obtrusive and mostly disused bellhousing cover and transmission tunnel. The resulting interior front of the car, especially the footwells, feel far more cramped than would be expected from a vehicle of this size. The Mondeo featured new manual and automatic transmissions and sophisticated suspension design, which give it class-leading handling and ride qualities, and subframes front and rear to give it executive car refinement. The automatic transmission featured electronic control with sport and economy modes plus switchable overdrive. The programme manager from 1988, and throughout its early development, was David Price. The car was launched in the midst of turbulent times at Ford of Europe, when the division was haemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars,[citation needed] and had gained a reputation in the motoring press for selling products which had been designed by accountants rather than engineers. The fifth generation Escort and third generation Orion of 1990 was the zenith of this cost-cutting/high price philosophy which was by then beginning to backfire on Ford, with the cars being slated for their substandard ride and handling, though a facelift in 1992 had seen things improve a little. The Sierra had sold well, but not as well as the all-conquering Cortina before it, and in Britain, it had been overtaken in the sales charts by the newer Vauxhall Cavalier. Previously loyal customers were already turning to rival European and Japanese products, and by the time of the Mondeo's launch, the future of Europe as a Ford manufacturing base was hanging in the balance. The new car had to be good, and it had to sell. Safety was a high priority in the Mondeo design with a driver's side airbag (it was the first ever car sold from the beginning with a driver's airbag in all of its versions, which helped it achieve the ECOTY title for 1994), side-impact bars, seat belt pretensioners, and ABS (higher models) as standard features. Other features for its year included adaptive damping, self-levelling suspension (top estate models), traction control (V6 and 4WD versions), and heated front windscreen, branded Quickclear. The interiors were usually well-appointed, featuring velour trim, an arm rest with CD and tape storage, central locking (frequently remote), power windows (all round on higher models), power mirrors, illuminated entry, flat-folding rear seats, etc. Higher specification models had leather seats, trip computers, electric sunroof, CD changer and alloy wheels. During its development, Ford used the 1986 Honda Accord and in the later stages the 1990 Nissan Primera as the class benchmarks that the CDW27 had to beat. In December 1998, Ford released in Europe a sports car with a coupé body shell based upon the Mk II Mondeo called the Ford Cougar (or Mercury Cougar in North America). This car shared the engines (2.0 I4, 2.5 V6), transmissions, suspension (partially) and floorpans from the Mondeo, but the body shell was unique to the Cougar, and was one of the last Ford cars to be designed under Ford's New Edge philosophy.

Ford Mondeo

Ford Mondeo

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Monday 1st March 1993

24 years ago

The Citroen Xantia arrived in UK showrooms.The Xantia replaced the earlier Citroën BX, and maintained the high level of popularity of that model, but brought the car more into the mainstream to compete harder with its rivals, such as the Ford Mondeo, Nissan Primera, Rover 600, Toyota Carina E and Vauxhall Cavalier.

Citroen Xantia

Citroen Xantia

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Friday 5th March 1993

24 years ago

Ford introduced the "world car" Mondeo in Europe, 18 months before the Ford Contour in U.S. Instigated in 1986, the design of the car cost Ford US$6 billion. It was one of the most expensive new car programmes ever. The Mondeo was significant as its design and marketing was shared between Ford USA in Dearborn, and Ford of Europe.[4] Its codename while under development reflected thus: CDW27 signified that it straddled the C & D size classes and was a "world car". The head of the Mondeo project was John Oldfield, headquartered at Ford Dunton in Essex. A large proportion of the high development cost was due to the Mondeo being a completely new design, sharing very little, if anything, with the Ford Sierra. Unlike the Sierra, the Mondeo is front-wheel drive in its most common form, with a rarer four-wheel drive version available on the Mk I car only. Over optimistically the floor pan was designed to accept virtually any conceivable drivetrain, from a transverse four to a longitudinal V-8.[citation needed] This resulted in a hugely obtrusive and mostly disused bellhousing cover and transmission tunnel. The resulting interior front of the car, especially the footwells, feel far more cramped than would be expected from a vehicle of this size. The Mondeo featured new manual and automatic transmissions and sophisticated suspension design, which give it class-leading handling and ride qualities, and subframes front and rear to give it executive car refinement. The automatic transmission featured electronic control with sport and economy modes plus switchable overdrive. The programme manager from 1988, and throughout its early development, was David Price. The car was launched in the midst of turbulent times at Ford of Europe, when the division was haemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars,[citation needed] and had gained a reputation in the motoring press for selling products which had been designed by accountants rather than engineers. The fifth generation Escort and third generation Orion of 1990 was the zenith of this cost-cutting/high price philosophy which was by then beginning to backfire on Ford, with the cars being slated for their substandard ride and handling, though a facelift in 1992 had seen things improve a little. The Sierra had sold well, but not as well as the all-conquering Cortina before it, and in Britain, it had been overtaken in the sales charts by the newer Vauxhall Cavalier. Previously loyal customers were already turning to rival European and Japanese products, and by the time of the Mondeo's launch, the future of Europe as a Ford manufacturing base was hanging in the balance. The new car had to be good, and it had to sell. Safety was a high priority in the Mondeo design with a driver's side airbag (it was the first ever car sold from the beginning with a driver's airbag in all of its versions, which helped it achieve the ECOTY title for 1994), side-impact bars, seat belt pretensioners, and ABS (higher models) as standard features. Other features for its year included adaptive damping, self-levelling suspension (top estate models), traction control (V6 and 4WD versions), and heated front windscreen, branded Quickclear. The interiors were usually well-appointed, featuring velour trim, an arm rest with CD and tape storage, central locking (frequently remote), power windows (all round on higher models), power mirrors, illuminated entry, flat-folding rear seats, etc. Higher specification models had leather seats, trip computers, electric sunroof, CD changer and alloy wheels. During its development, Ford used the 1986 Honda Accord and in the later stages the 1990 Nissan Primera as the class benchmarks that the CDW27 had to beat. In December 1998, Ford released in Europe a sports car with a coupé body shell based upon the Mk II Mondeo called the Ford Cougar (or Mercury Cougar in North America). This car shared the engines (2.0 I4, 2.5 V6), transmissions, suspension (partially) and floorpans from the Mondeo, but the body shell was unique to the Cougar, and was one of the last Ford cars to be designed under Ford's New Edge philosophy.

Ford Mondeo - market launch brochure

Ford Mondeo - market launch brochure

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Monday 11th September 1995

21 years ago

Kieth Odor (33) died during a race at the AVUS circuit in Berlin. He was running third behind Winkelhock and Peter Kox when his Primera was pitched against the left wall by a front left suspension failure, which was probably triggered by the way he was riding the high kerbs of the chicanes installed in the temporary track. The Nissan spun twice and stopped sideways in the middle of the track, in the fast approach to Nordkurve.

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Monday 11th September 1995

21 years ago

British racer Keith Odor was killed during the Super Touring Car race at the Avus track in Germany when his disabled Nissan was broadsided by an Audi driven by Frank Biela.

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Sunday 17th January 1999

18 years ago

The French car producer Renault acquired a 20% interest in the Japanese Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.

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Monday 29th April 2002

15 years ago

Bob Akin, American industrialist and race car driver died. Four days earlier he was gravely injured in a violent crash while testing a powerful 1988 Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo for the Walter Mitty Challenge. His injuries included a broken neck, left leg, left shoulder and right arm, along with third-degree burns over 15 percent of his body. He was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital after the accident. After briefly rallying, the 66 year old succumbed due to complications from his injuries.

Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo

Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo

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Tuesday 9th September 2003

13 years ago

The Frankfurt Motor Show, opened it’s doors, with the simultaneous launch of the 5th generation of VW Golf and Opel Astra. Ford unveiled the first production models based on next year’s new Focus platform – the Mazda 3 and new Volvo S40 sedan. The 2003 Show was also a significant event for BMW, with the debut of the new 5-Series saloon and 6-Series coupe, while the X5 was updated for 2004 and joined by the smaller, all-new X3. Mercedes showed the production version of the SLR McLaren; Jaguar the X-Type Estate and Maserati returned to the luxury saloon fold with the premiere of the new Quattroporte. Leading the concept car debuts from Europe were the Citroen C-Airlounge, Renault Be-Bop, Peugeot 407 Elixir, SEAT Altea, and Saab 9-3 Sporthatch, together with surprises from Lancia with the Fulvia Coupe concept and Skoda with the Roomster. Japanese makers were also strongly featured with concepts such as the Toyota CS&S, Nissan Dunehawk, Mazda Kusabi, Mitsubishi ‘i’, and Suzuki S2.

VW Golf (5th generation)

VW Golf (5th generation)

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Friday 10th September 2004

12 years ago

The Renault Modus supermini hit UK showrooms. Originally marketed as "a higher-range alternative to the Twingo and Clio", it was targeted at people who wanted the practicality and versatility of the larger Renault Scénic but without the added size. The Clio platform that spawned the Modus also gave rise to revised Nissan Micra and its monospace relative, the Nissan Note. In December 2011, Renault announced that the Laguna, Espace, Kangoo, Modus, and Wind lines would be axed in the United Kingdom as part of a cost-cutting plan to help the company earn a profit.

Renault Modus

Renault Modus

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Saturday 24th March 2007

10 years ago

Swedish truck maker Volvo said it had successfully acquired Japan's Nissan Diesel, the latest merger in the industry as companies prepared for more stringent emissions rules.

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Tuesday 23rd October 2007

9 years ago

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., announced the launch of the Nissan GT-R. The 480PS twin-turbo GT-R featured a newly developed Premium Midship package, including the world's first independent transaxle 4WD developed independently by Nissan. GT-R. Under the hood, GT-R featured an all-new 3.8-litre twin turbo V6 "VR38" engine, with plasma-sprayed bores and a special twin-turbo exhaust manifold system. A secondary air management system enabled the newly designed powerplant to provide approximately 40kg/m of torque during ordinary low-rev driving, which provided an optimum air-fuel ratio for around-town efficiently and helped the GT-R meet ultra-low emission vehicle (U-LEV) standards in Japan. GT-R's new engine produced 480PS (353kW) at 6400rpm and maximum torque of 60kg/m (588Nm) from 3200 to 5200rpm.

Nissan GT-R

Nissan GT-R

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Monday 19th May 2008

9 years ago

Nissan Motor Co. and NEC corp. announced plans to begin mass-producing lithium-ion batteries for electric cars. Nissan and Renault planned to have an all-electric car in the US and Japan by 2010.

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Thursday 8th January 2009

8 years ago

Car manufacturer Nissan announced it was to axe about a quarter of the workforce at its Sunderland plant. On the same day Nissan unveiled a new £107,000 luxury sports car in Japan, showing off a souped up version of its GT-R sports car, which it said was a bargain compared with European rivals.

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Wednesday 11th February 2009

8 years ago

Nissan announced that its new SUV model, Juke, would go into production at the Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd (NMUK) plant in Washington, UK, during 2010 following its appearance as the Nissan Qazana concept car at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.

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Sunday 9th May 2010

7 years ago

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opened what was dubbed as the Middle East's biggest car plant set up by Iranian state-run automobile company Saipa. Saipa began by assembling Citroën's two-cylinder mini passenger car, the Dyane, in 1968. It went under the name Jyane (or Jian) in Iran. There was also an uncommonly ugly glazed panel van version of the Jyane, as well as the Baby-Brousse, a rustic little buggy in the style of a Citroën Méhari but with a metal body. Later, a pickup version of the Jyane also appeared. The Baby-Brousse was built from 1970 until 1979. In 1975 Saipa began manufacturing licensed versions of the original Renault 5 and later the Renault 21. Production of Citroëns ended in 1980. From 1986-1998 Saipa built the Z24 pickup, a license built version of the 1970-1980 Nissan Junior with a 2.4-litre engine. In 1998 Saipa took over the Zamyad company, which then undertook the production of the Z24. Since 2003, this truck has been sold under the Zamyad brand.Renault 5 production ended in 1994 (Pars Khodro took over the production lines), and the 21 was discontinued in 1997. In 1993 a relationship with KIA began, and production of the Kia Pride commenced. Saipa's Pride is marketed under the names Saba (saloon) and Nasim (hatchback). At the 2001 Tehran Motor Show the liftback Saipa 141 was added to the lineup. This is a five-door version based on the Saba, and is somewhat longer than the Nasim. The Pride series cars carry 97% local content. From 2001 to late 2010, Saipa has had also produced the Citroën Xantia under licence as well as assembling sedan models of the previous generation Kia Rio using parts imported from Korea, from May 2005 to late 2012 where Saipa lost its license to produce Kia Rios.In 2000, SAIPA purchased 51% of Pars Khodro. It also manufactures the Citroen C5 and the New C5. Other products are the Renault Tondar 90, a Renault Logan assembled by SAIPA and its subsidiary Pars Khodro in a joint venture with Renault known as Renault Pars, with over 100,000 orders within a week of it going on sale in March 2007.Production was launched in Venezuela in 2006, and in Syria in 2007

Saipa 232

Saipa 232

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Wednesday 9th June 2010

6 years ago

The Nissan Juke was launched in Japan. Orders totalled 10,943 units in its first month, surpassing Nissan's monthly target of 1,300. By October 2010, Japanese sales had increased to 20,000 while European and US figures also exceeded expectations with orders for 30,000 and 17,500 cars taken for the respective markets.

Nissan Juke - 2010

Nissan Juke - 2010

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Wednesday 28th July 2010

6 years ago

Japan’s Nissan stated that all new car models would feature air conditioners that pumped breathable vitamin C, as well as stress-reducing seats.

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Friday 24th September 2010

6 years ago

The Nissan Juke was launched in the UK.

Nissan Juke

Nissan Juke

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Wednesday 25th January 2012

5 years ago

Japan’s Nissan said it would invest $2 billion in a new auto plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

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Thursday 6th March 2014

3 years ago

The 84th Geneva Auto Show opened its doors to the public. Cars premiered included Audi S1, Bentley Flying Spur V8, Citroen C1, Cireon C4 Cactus, Ferrari California, Nissan Juke, Renault Twingo, Toyota Aygo and the VW Golf GTE plug-in hybrid.

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Thursday 19th February 2015

2 years ago

Yutaka Katayama, the father of the Datsun Z, died at age 105 after a career that covered parts of eight decades. “Mr. K,” as he was known to his legions of fans across the globe, wasn’t a designer or engineer, but it was his understanding of both the American market and the synergy between driver and sports car that laid the groundwork for the Z’s success, and ultimately helped to establish Nissan as a significant player in the United States market. In 1965, Nissan began working on a sports car to counter Toyota’s 2000GT. Starting with a rendering penned by Albrecht Goertz, Nissan’s design team explored several different directions before settling on a final shape. Stressing that the relationship between car and driver was very much like the relationship between horse and rider (a concept that Mazda would later embrace with its Miata), Mr. K, then back in Japan, envisioned a sports car that was lightweight, with reasonable power and superior handling, yet affordable even by those with modest incomes. When the first cars were delivered to the United States, however, they carried “Fairlady” badging. Realizing that such a model name would hardly attract U.S. buyers, it was Mr. K that swapped the badging for a 240Z label, using the car’s internal designation.

Datsun Fairlady 240Z

Datsun Fairlady 240Z

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Friday 6th November 2015

1 years ago

Shaun Davis (42) was jailed for 28 months after filming himself driving his Nissan GTR at 192mph on a Northamptonshire road.

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