How Has Nissan Changed Since The 1930s?

A teal 1970s Datsun/Nissan sedan

Today, you know Nissan as an internationally successful and popular automotive brand, and there’s a good chance you drive one yourself! But how much do you know about Nissan’s heritage and history? Allow us to take you on a road trip down Nissan’s memory lane.

The Early Years

Nissan as we know it began in 1928 when founder Yoshisuke Aikawa became president of Nihon Sangyo. The company primarily dealt with foundries and auto parts and debuted on the Tokyo stock exchange as NISSAN in 1933. For many, many years, Nissan produced their vehicles under the Datsun nameplate; the Datsun Type 15 was the first mass-produced Japanese vehicle.

After WWII, Nissan produced popular vehicles around the world including the Nissan Skyline, Datsun 1200 Sedan, and the original 1959 Datsun compact pickup. Though already popular in Europe and Japan, Nissan didn’t debut to the American market until 1959.

Racing Reputation

Though everyday cars were Nissan’s bread and butter, the company also excelled at racing in the mid-century. Peter Brock and Brock Racing Enterprises built and raced the #46 Datsun 510, which went on to win the 1971 and 1972 SCCA Trans-Am championship when driven by John Morton. The 1980s saw continued success for the brand, with Paul Newman capturing the SCCA GT1 championships in 1985 and 1986 – which also happened to be Nissan’s 50th national SCCA championship.

Always Moving Forward

Nissan has always strived to be on the cutting edge of innovation, from the Datsun Fairlady 1200 Roadster, to the Datsun 320 Truck, to the Datsun 200 Roadster, the mid-century was defined by daring designs and excellent performance for their collection-worthy cars.

Moving along into the 1990s, Nissan achieved several big milestones including their first EPA award, the 2-millionth Nissan Sentra sold, and the first Nissan Altima. Nissan has been focused on being green for a long time, with the Altima Hybrid debuting in 2007 and the Nissan Leaf debuting in 2010.

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Own A Piece Of Nissan History

Nissan is always striving for progress and innovation, and it shows in every car that they produce. Find a Nissan of your own at Lee Nissan Ft. Walton Beach today.