John and Nella Devoy of Goonellabah with their 1963 Datsun Bluebird. They have lovingly restored the car and still drive it every day.
John and Nella Devoy of Goonellabah with their 1963 Datsun Bluebird. They have lovingly restored the car and still drive it every day. Cathy Adams

Calls for Datsun to relaunch in Oz

THERE'S a special place for the Datsun motor car in the heart of many a baby boomer.

Many had a Datsun as their first car, a Datsun was the first car their family owned, or a Datsun was the car they bought their son or daughter as their first.

There are even car clubs and show-and-shine events devoted to the mighty Datsun.

So there was excitement when Nissan announced recently it would relaunch the brand in 2014.

But new Datsuns won't be available in Australia, which has disappointed enthusiasts like John and Nella Devoy of Goonellabah.

Mr Devoy thinks there's enough love for the Datsun to warrant its relaunch in Australia and is hoping the company will change its mind.

Mr Devoy bought his first Datsun in 1961 - a new Bluebird for which he paid 989 pounds.

"It was the first north of Sydney," Mr Devoy said proudly.

"I was 19 years old and that was six months prior to Queensland getting a Datsun agency."

Now 70, Mr Devoy sold his 1961 model Bluebird in 1963 to raise funds to marry Nella.

But that little car made quite an impression on Mr Devoy who, once married, set about trying to buy the vehicle back.

He missed out (the car was sent to Japan for scrap), but he settled on a 1963 series two model he bought from a Casino man in 1994.

It had done just 80,000km and cost $28,000 to restore.

But it's in pristine condition, has won the couple several show-and-shine awards and catches the Datsun-lover's eye when driven daily by Mrs Devoy.

"John makes me do all the work for the show-and-shines," Mrs Devoy said wryly.

"But I feel great driving it and someone always comments when I take it out.

Nissan have announced the Datsun will be relaunched in 2014, but only in emerging markets such as Indonesia, India and Russia.

THE DATSUN STORY

  • 1931: brand created by Japanese car company DAT.
  • The "Datson" was so named because it was smaller in size than other DAT cars.
  • 1933: DAT was bought by Nissan.
  • "Datson" changed to Datsun, because "son" also means loss in Japanese.
  • The famous Datsun 240Z was also known as the "Fairlady roadster" and later the "Fairlady coupe".
  • 1986: Nissan phased out the Datsun brand.
  • March 20, 2012: Nissan announced relaunch of Datsun brand for use in emerging markets.


GALLERY: Burnt out fire truck

premium_icon GALLERY: Burnt out fire truck

The RFS truck will probably be written off.

"Someone could have been injured or killed"

premium_icon "Someone could have been injured or killed"

An RFS crew sheltered in their truck as the grass fire overcame them

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