Datsun Sports 1600 Restomod: A Fabulous Fable


How to get something classic but contemporary? Well beyond the maxim that "Classics never go out of style" the truth is that this is not easy at all. Especially in the case of cars, where replacing the original mechanics with a more modern one can seriously alter the spirit of the car. However, in recent years there are more and more restomod that seem to come up with a balanced formula.

Leaving aside the radical creations that usually appear in the Las Vegas SEMA, the truth is that sometimes we find balanced creations. One of them is the one that we bring today to the pages of The Escudería: is 1600 Datsun Sports 1966 modified by the North American company Japanese Classics. A restomod care in which, despite having made substantial changes with respect to the original vehicle, the driving spirit of the 60s is still maintained.

A spirit dominated by the lightness and agility of the original model, designed to compete with small European convertibles such as the Triumph TR4 or the MG B Roadster. Of course, evolving the character of the standard Datsun Sports 1600 to a version suitable for racing. Kind of like what Porsche did with the Speedster. Lightening and making the 356 more extreme in order to turn it into a car with which to go to the circuit, have a great time and then return home as if nothing else.


It must be recognized that the restomod enter by sight. Especially the "Made in USA", very given to a image always dominated by chrome, low-level suspensions and widened wheel arches. A visual identity that, although it would not fall within the canons set by, for example, Pininfarina, does configure a recognizable community within the motor world. In fact, the case of the Datsun Sports 1600 Restomod is just that. After all, it is impossible not to stop and look at least twice.

However, we will talk about the visual aspect later because what really catches our attention is the mechanical aspect. Once the original block of four cylinders in line, 1 liters and 6CV ​​has been dislodged, an Autech S15 SR20DE motor has been incorporated. Just the one mounted by the latest evolution of the Nissan Silvia, launched in 1999.

Japanese Classics has not offered us concrete data on the power of this four-cylinder inline. But Knowing that they decided to mount it without a turbo, we calculate it at about 160CV. Just the ones with the only atmospheric version of the Silvia. Enough to move the small Datsun Sports 1600 Restomod, ensuring a sixties sound thanks to this innovation that, really, quite respects what Datsun could have done at the time. The restorer himself says: "A 60s feel with the modernized car." No turbo.

datsun sports 1600 restomod


If you are one of those purists who frowns on restomod ... Don't worry, because at this point you've already seen that The Japanese Classics Datsun Sports 1600 is all about changing everything so that nothing really changes, since the identity of the car is only enhanced, and not substantially altered. In fact, it is curious to see how the restorers got a good panoply of current pieces that, finally, they even installed. Proof of this is that the original brakes have been maintained. Something unusual in restomods.

In addition, although the front suspension has received significant variations with respect to the original triangles, the rear has been left with the same rigid axle configuration. What does this mean? Well, in reality this Datsun Sports 1600 Restomod is, neither more nor less, a fable of what Datsun could have done by launching a more radical version of the 1600 with an eye on the pilot-customer market.

Just what we mentioned at the beginning of this article, making the comparison between the 356 and its Speedster version. Something that the Japanese Classics have not stopped having in mind, as they confess to having been guided by the idea of ​​achieving a car with "Racing look but also series production, albeit with refined details." Details like the lowered windshield or the absence of a front bumper. Points in favor of this Datsun Sports 1600 Restomod, which is a most attractive modification. Classic but also contemporary.

And about a cult car, the forerunner of the 240Z. The car with which Datsun / Nissan proved that it knew how to make cars as well as any European manufacturer.

What do you think?

Miguel Sánchez

Written by Miguel Sánchez

Through the news from La Escudería, we will travel the winding roads of Maranello listening to the roar of the Italian V12; We will travel Route66 in search of the power of the great American engines; we will get lost in the narrow English lanes tracking the elegance of their sports cars; We will speed up the braking in the curves of the Monte Carlo Rally and we will even get dusty in a garage while rescuing lost jewels.


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