Datsun 1600: Bathurst Supercar at a Supermarket Price
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Datsun 1600: Bathurst Supercar at a Supermarket Price

By MarkOastler - 16 March 2015
This is war! The annual battles waged between the factory-backed Datsun Racing Team and well prepared W.H. Motors dealer team at Bathurst were fierce confrontations. Here 1971 Class B winner Bruce Stewart is pushing very hard through The Dipper, hounded by the works car shared by Jon Leighton and 1960 Armstrong 500 winner John Roxburgh. The factory team would take the chequered flag first this time – but Stewart and W.H. Motors would have the last laugh.
If Nissan was aiming to emulate the practicality and sporting prowess of BMW’s compact sedans of the 1960s in a more affordable form, the burgeoning Japanese manufacturer proved a crack shot. The Datsun 1600 (or 510) released in 1968 hit the bulls-eye, with strong sales and four years of Bathurst dominance straight off the showroom floor.
Nissan struck just the right balance of crisp, ageless styling, four-door practicality and a bullet-proof drivetrain and chassis just as well suited to the grind of daily shopping duties as it was to amateur and professional racing and rallying.