Datsun 180B and 180B SSS: 1600 lingers on beneath embellishments
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Datsun 180B and 180B SSS: 1600 lingers on beneath embellishments

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By DrJohnWright - 22 June 2018

The Datsun 180B more than just about any other car I can think of exemplifies the automotive trends of the 1970s. This successor to the remarkable Datsun 1600 represented an attempt by Nissan’s product planners to build on a winning formula. But in many ways, the result was a classic case of half a step forwards, one step backwards.

In the 1970s, it was often the case that brave engineering solutions from the previous decade were abandoned. The Fiat 131 had disc brakes up front and drums on the rear, while its brilliant 124 predecessor had discs at each corner. The Rover SD1 lost the P6’s sophisticated De Dion rear end with in-board rear discs in favour of a simpler Watts Link arrangement with drum brakes. To their credit, Nissan persisted with the 1600’s independent rear suspension.

All for the sake of art! This image is from the Australian brochure.