Nissan begins as mostly a truck company for the Japanese military in 1914. The three owners: Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama, Meitaro Takeuchi, name their first car the "DAT" using their initials (Den, Aoyama, Takeuchi). In 1931, Nissan builds a new smaller version of the DAT and thus the "Son of DAT" or "DATSUN" is born.
Trying to crack the US market, Nissan decided to bring its Datsun brand to America. Nissan's first big hit was the Datsun 2000 Roadster, a small convertible sports car like its British counterparts of the 1960's. Then Nissan started manufacturing the mega hit 240z, bring performance and amenities at an affordable price. The 240z has become the world's best selling sports car and the cars are still in high demand from classic collectors.
Nissan's true flagship vehicle is the Skyline. The Skyline is known as one of the world's best cars and is the pinnacle of Nissan's design, engineering, and technology. The Skyline began in 1969 with the "Hakosuka" which translates to boxy Skyline. The instant popularity of the car continued into the next generation in 1973 called the "Ken-Mary" Skyline with its unique "surfline" body shape. If you look at the rear quarter panels, the Ken-Mary has bodylines that resemble a surfboard and thus the name. Due to the gas crisis of the 70's, all sports cars sales floundered and the Skyline was not to be seen until the late 80's. Suddenly in 1989, the R32 Skyline came back with a beastly all wheel drive, twin turbo inline straight six, the RB26 motor. The Skyline was so ahead of its time, the R32 was undefeated in every race in the JTCC, 4 years in a row. Continuing its legacy today, the Skyline GTR is a technological marvel with its 3.8 liter twin turbo 545 horsepower all wheel drive madness.
Whether it's the race circuit or the street scene, Nissan is always there. In Japan, the drift scene began gaining popularity in the 1980's. Nissan was at the core of that revolution with the 180sx and Silvia (240sx and 240sx coupe) model cars. These cars were popular because of their price for a well balanced and handling turbocharged car. In America, the drifting craze didn't start till the late 90's while Japan was at its peak of the drifting phenomenon. US drifters began importing the turbocharged SR20 motors into the 240sx and swapping out their KA24s. Upgrading their suspension, coilovers, 2 way LSD, boost controller, full exhaust, and fat smoky tires were all mandatory performance parts for a proper drifting 240sx.
The most popular Nissans continue to be the Altima and Maxima. Both are sporty sedans with the ultra reliable Nissan V6 motor. Comfortable and performance oriented, the Altima and Maxima please anyone who is looking for a modern stylish sedan. The 350z and 370z are darlings of Fairlady fans as the spirit of the Z is alive and well with both models. In the SUV category, the Pathfinder, Murano, and Xterra continue to dominate the market as well as the Nissan Titan truck. If you're looking to modify your Nissan, whether it be a grill, HID headlights, taillights, accessories, or anything custom, TunersDepot is your place.