Datsun Roadster Information from Rallye Enterprises, Ltd.

Page Title:  YEAR YOUR CAR REALLY IS

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Engine Numbers

Foreign Differences

Fairlady? 

How Many Cars Built?

Who's got the last one built and when did production stop?

Right Hand Drive Vin#s

Production
Dates

QUICK LOOK:

Your left hand drive (LHD) car is usually titled as the year it was sold and may be 1 or 2 years off from what it REALLY is. If you do not use the CORRECT year of your car you will probably get the wrong parts and that will be YOUR responsibility. No need to worry though; below is a simple chart; below that are descriptions of what to look for in checking your car's "correctness". By now a lot of cars have been "modified"; some to the point they are now "omelets." The more you know about what is incorrect on your car; the better off you will be; at least when ordering parts.

If your car is right on the edge of these number breaks we'll have to work it out as to which it is. Nissan record keeping was sometimes inconsistent so the exact breaks are estimates formulated from the 8000+ vins we have on file.

For help in VIN and engine number location on your car please see "Identifying Your Roadster".

For RHD info please see Right Hand Drive Vin#s.

There were many changes throughout production; so ALWAYS order with your VIN. Thanks.

Note: This chart is AVAILABLE vins for that model year; NOT amount of cars built; many times Nissan did not use all the vins; in some cases skipped BLOCKS of numbers. Why? Who Knows?

1963 1500

SPL310-3-00073-00400

1964 1500

SPL310-4-00501-03816 + 00001-00073

1965 1500

SPL310-10000-11124

.

1965-67 1600

SPL311 00001 to SPL311 11000

1967 1/2 1600

SPL311 11001 to SPL311 17000

1968 1600

SPL311 17001 to SPL311 24000

1969 1600

SPL311 24001 to SPL311 27000

1970 1600

SPL311 27001 to 31350 (est.)

.

1967 1/2 2000

SRL311 00001 to SRL311 01000

1968 2000

SRL311 01001 to SRL311 07000

1969 2000

SRL311 07001 to SRL311 13000

1970 2000

SRL311 13001 to 14450 (est.) *

KNOW YOUR CAR:

We consider it your responsibilty to know what year your car really is; not what some state has slapped on as the year of sale. Any year notations in the parts listing on this website or in our catalog refer to the true model year. We are only responsible for providing the correct parts if you give us the correct information. As time passes there are also more "omelet" cars around. Laziness, economics, greed, ignorance, outright theft has created many of these what-is-it roadsters; or sometimes just an owner with three cars that just wanted to have one assembled roadster to enjoy.

Read and learn as much as you can to ascertain what you really have. You may have been handed a title to some other car. Does your frame number match the cowl and dash plates? The plates are easy to switch and fake ones exist. If nothing seems to jive with the info email us a 5x7 or smaller picture saved at 72dpi (or paper mail any size) and we'll be happy to let you know what we see in the picture.

Keep in mind foreign cars used to be titled as year SOLD not necessarily the model year they are. To the untrained eye the cars look alike, but they aren't. To translate into American terms and to use an icon most will recognize, take the 57 and 58 Chevys. If a 4-eyed 58 was titled as a 57 would you refer to it as a 57 Chev? Not hardly. There are no 68 1/2 cars, there are no "early 70" cars without square side marker lamps in the US. They are the model year they are, regardless of what the title shows. Informed roadster owners already know this, but incorrect statements continue to be printed in various places. On January 1, 1969 vehicles began coming with production date tags, and by the end of 1970 they were finally attached in a way they would be permanent (well at least they wouldn't fall off after the glue dried out!). The tag only showed date of production, the car would have to meet whatever emission and safety requirements that were in effect for that date. The tag does not show the "model year", which can be different. A "4/69" car is a 69, but a 7/69 is a 70. That's where the VIN (vehicle identification number) come into play.

The fact that we have listed "XX year cars are from VIN 10000 TO 20000 does not mean there were 10,000 cars, it only means that the cars from that model year fall in to THAT RANGE. After 39 years of accumulating VINs from all over the world, it is easy to see that blocks of VIN numbers were skipped or otherwise not used, and where in the numbers this occurred.

Many of the cars have been altered by owners which can make some cars a puzzle to identify. (We refer to some of these as omelet cars.) The following information applies to cars destined for North America only. The exact VIN break can be off in either direction a few numbers. For more info on VIN peculiarities and help in VIN and engine number location on your car please see "Identifying Your Roadster".


63 1500 .SPL310-00073 to 00400

Pretty much visually identical to the more common 64's, but some had script style "Datsun" emblems on the front fenders instead of the usual "Fairlady, and the same Datsun emblem in place of a Datsun 1500, or Fairlady emblem on the rear of the car. A single SU carb feeds the engine. Chrome valve cover not cast aluminum like 64s, cast iron 3/4" master cylinder with fluid port on the topside. Generator, not alternator. Nissan sales brochures show WIDE whitewalls were used. Round washer bottle, not rectangular. And also unique:

the 1963 starter looks like this:
the 1963 starter solenoid looks like
this:
the 63 regulator looks like
this:
the 63 combo fuel pump/filter looks like
this

NOTE: Highest vin found so far in this group is SPL310 - 00366.


64 1500 .SPL310-00501 to end (est. 3816) + 00001-00073*

4 large even sized gauges on the dash (not 2 big and 4 little like 65's) non-opening side triangle vent windows, trunk hinges on the outside of the trunk and a twist-to-open trunk handle. (65's have a trunk handle that is a non-moving chrome strip.) The rear shelf behind seats should be about 11 inches deep and not about 2 1/2 feet deep like the 65's. Originally came with a sideways back seat, and even if it has been removed, pocket for the sideways passenger's feet will be there. Hood emblem is one piece (not individual letters like 65's.) Dual carbs, alternator and aluminum valve cover. Side moulding runs all the way to front of car. This is possible as fenders are almost flareless. Brake master cylinder is aluminum casting 7/8" diameter.

*NOTE: Japanese sources indicates 00001-00086 were manufactured at the end of 64 production, which could explain why they have higher engine numbers than other 64's. If so, this would mean 00087 is the earliest 1500 Fairlady. Unfortunately this is contradicted by the lowest engine number we show, G 69242, which was installed in SPL310-00075! Car 00076 also has a low engine number. Since SPL310-00070 came with G 89992 we believed the change happened somewhere around 00071-00075 until we saw the VIN plate for 00084 that shows G-90135! It also appears to be factory stamped as a 65. So from #70-86 it can be anybody's guess!

NOTE: No vins found between SPL310 - 00809 and SPL310 - 01288
NOTE: No vins found between SPL310 - 01648 and SPL310 - 02013

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..

65 1500 .SPL310-10000 to end (est. 11124)

Two seats not three as earlier cars. Has opening triangle vent windows, a chrome strip for a trunk handle (but with external trunk hinges), 2 large and 4 small gauges, and individual hood letters. A true 65 would also have 2 suitcase-type (or J-hook type) top to windshield latches, NOT 3 knurled knobs like the 62-64's. A true 65 would also have a large rear interior deck (package shelf) like the 1600's (about 2 1/2 feet deep). The battery would be under the hood, not behind the passenger seat like the earlier 1500's. All 1500's should have small flare fenders with side trim running all the way to the headlight scoop. All 1500's were positive ground and had drum front brakes.(I have seen some late 65's that have discs, but all have been 2nd or later owner cars so as yet I haven't found one I was sure hadn't been converted).


65/66/67 1600 .SPL311 00001 to 11000

Inside of the vent windows and windshield frame are chrome, not painted silver. Handles and interior trim are also chrome, not painted or black like the 67 1/2's. Gauges have a chrome ring, not black. Four small gauges, 2 large gauges in dash. All guages single, not combined with one gauge on top of the circle, one on the bottom. Dash has 4 toggle switches, including wiper. Seat back has no latch to keep it from going forward. Fenders have medium flare, hood support is on passenger side (right front). No visors. All engine threads SAE. Emblems should say "DATSUN 1600" in a straight line.

NOTE: Only 5 vins higher than SPL311 - 10349


67 1/2 1600 .SPL311 11001 to SPL311 17000

Gauges have black rim, not chrome like 67, inside of w/shield frame, vent frames, door handle pockets dull grey not chrome. Aluminum rear brake drums. Dual tank brake master cylinder. Collapsible steering column. Emblem (1600) on side of car is BELOW side moulding, Datsun emblem is above side moulding.. Small gauges combined 2 to a circle. Dash has 3 toggle switches, wiper is now separate pull switch. Inside door handles pull OUT to open door, not back like earlier 1600's. Has door lock buttons, earlier 1600's do not. Engine & transmission metric. Side moulding is dished out, not IN like earlier 1600's. Speedo goes to 120, tach to 7000. Fenders have large flare like later cars, not medium flare like earlier...

NOTE: Only 2 vins found between SPL311 - 15265 and SPL311 - 17000

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67 2000 SRL311-00001 to 01000

Also referred to as "67 1/2 2000" Same as 67 1/2 1600's. The only low windshield, flat dash 2000. Unique stainless trim around license plate area. Tach goes to 8000rpm, speedo to 160mph. Headlight "scoops" are "satin" finish. Only outer edges are chrome like 1500/1600 and 69-70 2000.

NOTE: Have found only 1 car with a vin between 00343 and 00400 inclusive, and only 7 cars above #701 point to only 650 LHD 2000's being made; which confirms what Japanese sources have said.


68 1600 .SPL311-17001 to 24000
68 2000 .SRL311-01001 to 07000

Windshield frame no longer detachable. Three top latches, not two. Triangle vent windows do not open. Gauges "sunk in", outer door handles pull up, not push button like earlier cars. Mirror above windshield, not on dash as on earlier cars. Last year for license light in bumper on USA cars. On 68 2000s headlight "scoops" are "satin" finish. Only outer edges are chrome like all 1500/1600 and 69-70 2000. Speedo on 1600 reads 120 max, on 2000 it's 160. Tach on 2000 goes to 8000, on 1600 to 7000. Fuse box has one row of fuses.

NOTE: Only 2 vins found between SPL311 - 22638 and 24000
NOTE: Only 9 vins found between SRL311 - 05978 and 07000


69 1600 SPL311-24001 to 27000
69 2000 SRL311-07001 to 13000

Teardrop shaped front marker lights, small round rear side marker lamps. License light on each side of license plate, not in bumper. Bumper "rubbers" on behind each end of bumper. True 69 and 70 cars also have vin number on plate on drivers side of dash behind windshield. The 69 and 70 models originally would have come with a front apron (piece behind front bumper below grill) that had large center vent holes, not the smaller of previous years. (See sheet metal new parts page) Fuse box has 2 rows of fuses.Steering box changed to recirculating ball style at SRL 09000, SPL 25000. Among the electrical differences, true 69-70's have a 9-prong turn signal switch, not 6 prong like the 68s.

NOTE: No vins found between SPL311 - 24765 and SPL311 - 25001.
NOTE: Only one vin found between SPL311 - 26746 and 27000
NOTE: No vins found between SRL311 - 12944 and SRL311 - 13000


70 1600 SPL311-27001 to end (est. 31350)
70 2000
SRL311-13001 to end (est. 14450)

Rectangular side markerlamps, larger rear reflectors next to lower taillights, not above as on 62-69's. Front park lamp lenses do NOT have chrome rim around them. Most dash knobs have drawings not words like 68-69. Stainless trim above top of windshield frame is no longer used. (only visible with top off) Some 70's had fuel vapor tank mounted on forward wall of trunk.

NOTE: Only two vins found between SPL311 - 30099 and 31002.
NOTE: Highest 1600 vin found so far is SPL311-31304
NOTE: Highest 2000 vin found so far is SRL311-14420*


The preceding are just some of the differences.

There are many minor changes throughout the production. (some cars have also been "modified" by their owners) Speedo's on 69 & 70 read to 140, not 160 or 120 like 67 and 68's. The large gauges on 69 and 70's do not have the chrome circle in the center that the 68's do. The panel behind license plate is angled in at the bottom of 68-70's so that license plate is more vertical. Some 70's also have evaporative fuel controls which among other items necessitates a secondary tank on the forward wall, inside the trunk. Overall the body can look the same if you are new to the car. 1500's have "small flare" front fenders, 65-67 1600's have "medium flare" and 67 1/2-70's have "large" flare front fenders. Rear fender flares vary also. There are 5 different hoods, all of which will bolt on and fit the opening, but vary by latch, emblem holes, position and type of hood support and the moulding on the front edge of the "scoop." The list goes on as some of you have found out trying to swap parts. To help ID cars with lots of missing parts you can check these pictures of what the transmission humps of some unaltered floors look like.
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.

Foreign Differences

Cars not destined for the USA and Canada can have small differences. Could be left or right hand drive. Front turn signal lenses can be clear or orange. Rear turn signal lenses were amber. Rear emblems on even later cars may say "Fairlady" instead of Datsun. Side emblems on non North American 65-67s may say "Fairlady." Bumpers may not have holes for guards. Most 67-70 non-North America 2000's came with Solex Carburetors. Later (68-70) cars came with a passing light feature not found on North American cars. No emission controls were installed. Some cars back to 65 have the teardrop front side marker lights, but no rear side marker lights. Some 69-70 cars in some markets stayed with the 68 type rear bumper and single license lamp design. There's some great shots of some RHD cars in the book "FAIR LADY, JAPAN'S FIRST SPORTS CAR" available in our Literature Section.


Engine Numbers

The engine number will not be the same as the chassis number. U20 engine numbers usually are 400-500 numbers higher, which allowed for spare engines and from the right hand drive cars taking engines from the same numbered supply. I've also seen a new engine that had NO engine number stamped on it.

The R-16 engine, which began production in 1965, was also used in the RL411 Sedan and Wagon, which was produced in greater numbers. Variations of it's kissin' cousin the H20 continued to be used in a number of other passenger and industrial installations.

The G-15 engine was also used in a number of other vehicles. The only major differences are in the R-16 in that at R-40000 the number of main bearing saddles was increased from three to five (although it's debatable whether or not that was an improvement) and some of the threaded holes were changed to metric specifications; although the headbolt hole threads remained the same! As best we can figure; the starting numbers for a given LHD model year are estimated to be as follows. There is sometimes overlap at the beginning and end of a year as they didn't always take the engines in exact order of when the engines were actually produced. Remember that the lowest vin 1500s #1-#86 were assembled at the end of the 63-64 style 3-seat body run so they have very high engine numbers. (at least most of them do)

If you have a car close to the beginning of a model year and find this information to be inaccurate please let us know. As with all Nissan figures, numbers are approximate.

63 G15 70000

69 R16 70000

64 G15 72000

70 R16 93500

65 G15 91000

END: R16 120200

65 R16 00001

67 U20 00001

66 R16 02000

68 U20 01700

67 R16 18000

69 U20 07500

67.5 R16 40000

70 U20 13700

68 R16 58000

END: U20 15555


Wait, don't I have a "Fairlady"?

"Fairlady" is a model name Nissan started using on its sports models after a Nissan executive saw the broadway play "My Fair Lady." It is still used on Z cars that are kept in Japan or exported to certain destinations. Most of Nissan's cars and trucks had names in the 60's. These names were pulled off cars destined for North America about 1965. I've always guessed it had something to do with heading off sales problems with their names. Fairlady, Cherry, Sunny, Violet, Bluebird. Are these the cars of the American Male? We have heard a number of versions from owners about the "Fairlady" name and how it applies to their car. (Is this how fables are born?) We've had quite a few people call and say they have a 196_ "Rallye Roadster". (Before we incorporated we operated under the name "Rallye Roadster) My favorite is the gentleman who called for parts and said he had a 1967 Ladybug. In the 80s I found an ad in the newspaper for a 1967 Datsun Pink Lady. In 2002 someone emailed me looking for parts for a 1965 Fire Lady. (They DID say their car was RED...)
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Production Dates

These are somewhat of a guess. Some of the very low VINs could have been produced months earlier. Lead times require protoypes to be made long before the model changes are in production. Most manufacturers don't give these prototypes VIN numbers. These dates indicate when quantity production for sale was begun. Factory figures often may be "Introduction" dates as well as "Production Start" dates.

63 SPL310*

9/62-6/63

...

69 SPL311

10/68 - 6/69

64 SPL310

6/63- 6/64

70 SPL311

6/69 - 6/70

65 SPL310

7/64 - 1/65

67 SRL311

5/67 - 9/67

65-67 SPL311

1/65 - 2/67

68 SRL311

10/67 - 9/68

67.5 SPL311

3/67 - 9/67

69 SRL311

10/68 - 6/69

68 SPL311

10/67 - 9/68

70 SRL311

6/69 - 12/69**

* The lowest vin numbers 00001-00073 were assembled 7/64, at the end of 63-64 production, which explains why they all have very high engine numbers. Were the frames misplaced? Go figure!

**Nissan says 92 LHD 1970 2000's were assembled in calendar year1970; highest production date found to date is 4/70 for SRL311 14382. Latest RHD date is 3/70 for SR311-05347 which came with engine U20 15528. Supposedly only 39 RHD 2000s were made in calendar year 1970.


Who's got the last one built? When did production stop?
Highest Vin Numbers Found (so far) Before Model Changeover or End of Production:

63 SPL310 - 00365

67.5 SPL311 - 16397

67 SRL311 - 00967

64 SPL310 - 03798

68 SPL311 - 23870

68 SRL311 - 06979

65 SPL310 - 11120

69 SPL311 - 26940

69 SRL311 - 12944

65-67 SPL311 - 10967

70 SPL311 - 31304

70 SRL311 - 14420*

.

LATEST CONFIRMED PRODUCTION DATES

SPL311-31154 produced in 4/70

SRL311-14382 produced in 4/70

SR311 - 05347 produced in 3/70


Sales Dates (USA)

Again, accuracy is something wished for but not often attained when it comes to "official" recordkeeping. From Nissan USA's sales dates charts we present the following:

SPL 310

NOV 62 to JUL 66

SPL 311

JUL 65 to DEC 70*

SRL 311

AUG 67 to FEB 71*

Which could explain why there are roadsters titled as 1971s. Back then it was legal for manufacturers to make "new" cars out of storage lot queens by retitling them. In the early years the ID tags came blank so they could just stamp in whatever year they wanted!


How many cars were built?

Good question, to which there are many answers. The right one is elusive. Numerous "official" figures for each year exist, but can be argued to be wrong by contradictory data. After 40 years we have spent with the roadster as a hobby and later as a business we have recorded a good percentage of the vin numbers, spread pretty evenly throughout the range.

Many times we have every 3rd or 4th car or every 10th car, or sometimes 3-4 in a row. We thought we had the run of numbers laid out, but recent information brings up the possiblity that certain vins in the progression were skipped. If a block of numbers is missing or just a small scattering of numbers has been found it may indicate the areas where vins were skipped. Please...feel free to prove us wrong! (or at least throw in your 2¢ worth) How many cars total? Pick a number, and if you speak forcefully, you can be the AUTHORITY! (because we sure don't know.)

Taking into account the information released on vin skipping, I'd be inclined to go along with the figures previously published in the Neko Fairlady Vol II book. Their figures were calendar year not model year, so we have refigured to show model year which is what everyone wants to know. From this I would surmise the following:

1500 LHD

4,160

............

1500 RHD

2,300

1600 LHD

26,430

1600 RHD

970

2000 LHD

12,880

2000 RHD

2,110

TOTAL

43,470

TOTAL

5,380

TOTAL 48,880

LHD By Year Estimates

63 1500

290

............

68 1600

5800

64 1500

2860

68 2000

4930

65 1500

1100

69 1600

2530

65-67 1600

10400

69 2000

5900

67.5 1600

4300

70 1600

3400

67 2000

650

70 2000

1400

RHD By Year Estimates

63 1500

100

....

68 1600

0

64 1500

1000

68 2000

790

65 1500

1200

69 1600

0

65-67 1600

720

69 2000

500

67.5 1600

200

70 1600

50

67 2000

430

70 2000

390

[So far only SP311 06003 (70 RHD 1600) has been located. Recently; thanks to Eric Gustavson; current volunteer Australian vin historian; SP311-03007 (68 RHD 1600) has been located.

This contradicts the Nissan ID guide that shows sales amounts for left hand drive cars. I believe the difference can be explained. Although it states 3000 more 2000's were sold in the LHD configuration than the total number of 2000s built, it shows that about 3000 less 1600's were sold than the amount built. And to add to the confusion, some of the year by year LHD VIN numbers in the "official" parts book are mixed up with the RHD VIN numbers, which were completely different.

Both Phill Brook and Greg Valazza exhausted a great deal of effort to pound out some increased accuracy in these numbers in 1999 and 2000. I think they also agreed it is a titch frustrating being confronted by contradictory "official" information.

Production figures in the Neko book are by calendar year, not model year so it makes it difficult to nail down the individual numbers. The 2000 figures we decided on based on quantity of known engine #s. We will update this page as more rumors, theories, suppositions and possibly facts surface. We welcome any comments or information that any of you can provide. If you think "official" figures carry any weight, forget it. A recent Nissan parts guide shows the roadster ending production 9/69 when we've seen numerous production date tags that prove that wrong. As mentioned above; the vin number guide in the "official" parts book even has the RHD and LHD vin numbers mixed up.

You would think at least the final totals would be accurate; maybe not the individual years; but no; as Nissan's practice of skipping vins introduces an element of chaos into the mix. As time goes by; and we run into more and more vins (currently 8400 or so); our view into the vin and no vin areas of the numbering will present an even clearer picture.

Of course if Nissan skipped INDIVIDUAL vins as well as blocks; none of this is accurate. I often have wondered if this vin skipping business was done to "puff up" the production figures. Information on this vin skipping business was listed in figures from the company that produced the bodies for Nissan.

Whether there were 45,000 cars or 50,000 it doesn't much matter now, as a big percentage of them have been recycled into soup cans. What we need to do now is take care of what's left.

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