[Japanese Classics] A few Datsun(s).

This is an article dedicated to Shaz, who asked to see something about Dastun, so here it is :)
Dastun is a japanese brand known as Nissan's ancestor, and was created in 1931.Originally named Datson, Nissan bought the maker in 1933 and changed the o for a u, because son was meaning "loss" in Japanese. You might think, what's the point of talking of a brand that only lasted two years? Well, Nissan kept the name Datsun a long time. Nissan's cars were under Datsun's name (trucks had the real name) until 1958. Progressively, cars became Nissans, but the brand survived in America. In fact, Nissan was associated with their war vehicles, so they invaded american market with only the name Datsun... and the name disappeared completely in 1986.

The intriguing one : Datsun 126X Concept

Since the beginning of my blog, the 126X Concept was certainly the car i had the hardest time to find some information about it. Here's what i managed to find : japanese makers went exotic in the beginning of the 70s, with a variety of strange car concepts. The 126X was a mid-engined car, and featured a really esoteric style. It has been only offered in a fade silver color. The engine was a small 3 litre, and wasn't even guaranteed to be able to move the real car : it was really a pure show car. Awesome feature : on the middle strip in the hood, different lights were working with different colors : if the car was accelerating, green lights were open, if the car was slowing down then red lights lit and if the car was cruising at a stable speed then yellow lights had the spot. It is certainly recognized as one of the most extreme concept cars of those years.

This kind of delirious styling is certainly appealing to reproduce in diecast, because they will certainly be popular among kids. This is what Lesney tried to apply when creating a replica of the 126X in the Superfast's line in 1973. Although the design is well reproduced, the color are somewhat... flashy. This casting has been only produced three years in the history : '73 (yellow), '79 (yellow with flames) and '85 (blue). As you can see, i own the 1973 one, but mine has a missing rear lid. As i said, i completely dislike the yellow and the horrible orange base, but they make it a really popular casting in these years. The car looks certainly akward, but is well done by Matchbox.

Evaluation : Lesney Superfast Dastun 126X Concept
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 8/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 7/10
  • Color : 4/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  8/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 5/10
  • Total : 32/50

Japanese BMW : The 510

Often recognized as the poor man's BMW of those year, the Datsun Bluebird 510 has been initially introduced in 1968 in a variety of body styles : two-door sedan, four-door sedan, five-door wagon and two-door coupe. It quickly gained admiration from car enthusiasts because of its rally successful career outside Japan. It initially came into the US market with a 1.6L 96 hp engine, which was able to reach 100 mph. It has quickly been replaced with a 1.8L engine. One of the main advantages of the Datsun(s) was the pieces compatibility : engine, transmissions, suspension parts were easily interchangeable between cars. The production ceased in 1973, and due to the impressive rally potential of the car, it is hard to find a 510 in really good condition nowadays. Even more, a lot of the remaining Bluebird has been tuned or transformed into race cars.

The two-door sedan has been accurately reproduced by Hot Wheels, and been recently introduced in the main casting line (2009). It is one of the best current models in the lineup : car lines are admirably reproduced. As you can see within the pics, it is a small tuned version of the car, featuring a body kit and interior roll bars.As usual with HW, the wheels are somehwat average, and there's no side mirrors. On the other side, paint jobs are really accurate and the decals fit the car well. The version i got is the 2009's cooper third color (first was blue and second, black). You can easily imagine the car racing on a small track, alongside a few other japanese classics! Definitly one of my favorite, especially for the colors.

Evaluation : Hot Wheels Dastun 510 Bluebird
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 5/10
  • Color : 10/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  8/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 7/10
  • Total : 41/50

The legend : Datsun 260Z

The 260Z is only one of the many legendaries Z (which will surely be an article soon. Others interesting are the 240Z, 280Z, 300ZX, 350Z and the actual 370Z). Sold in the USA only in 1974, the 260Z has been produced from 74 to 78 in other countries. It is often claimed as the least desirable of all the Z, mainly because of its performance drop, and more "comfortable" approach. It was the first Z to offer a 2+2 option (that is, 2 front seats and two *small* rear seats). The styling didn't have many evolutions over the 240Z, but the interior was redesigned, and the 260Z was also including A/C. It came with a L6 2.6L engine developing 162 hp, able to reach 204 km/h. Comparatively to the older 240Z, it hasn't been produced as a rally car... so it was clearly a "Gran Turismo" car.

Majorette rarely produced japanese cars (except Toyota), but the Datsun 260Z is a really nice example of what Majorette was doing best. Referenced as #229 in the old 200 casting line, the 260Z has been offered in an exhaustive variety of colors and decals. The casting is awesomely reproduced, with a lot of details. It lacks tampos and side mirrors, but compensate with opening doors. Such as every Majorette of these years, it's a pretty solid car, all made in metal. I am the proud owner of a red exemplary, and quite rare. It's in almost perfect condition, and is certainly a must have for any Majorette collector (which i am :)).

Evaluation : Majorette Datsun 260Z
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 7/10
  • Color : 9/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  10/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 8/10
  • Total : 43/50

Enjoy the pics, comment!


  1. hi there
    this is definitely worth the read..
    i had no idea of the 126x concept..let knowing the diecast even exists!
    i guess you have been a collector for a very long time?
    btw i read one short comic titled ProjectX-240z where it tells the history of Datsun and how 240z became popular in America..you should try reading it :)

  2. Thanks for the comment!
    I've been a "collector" since i'm 3 years old, but i started serious collecting about 2 years ago only...
    Thanks for the hint on the comic, i'll check it out!
    If you ever have any other suggestion, let me know :)

  3. Hi,

    I came across your blog and indeed it is very interesting. I enjoy reading through. I am also a diecast toys collector.
    Well done and good job! :)