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Datsun 240RS origins and history


240znz

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Sorry to post this here, but I've done a search on the net and all the 240RS pages are in Japanese and I can't read that hence this....it is a Datsun so it is a relation of sorts. :nervous:

Anyone have any data on the 240RS production numbers. I thought that the FJ24 engine was a special Nismo only engine. It appears not.

Anyone got any ideas or info on these cars????

Cheers

James

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Bill,

No it's not a "rally edition" 240Z. It is a Datsun 240RS. It looks like a Nissan Silvia shape but doesn't preform like a Silvia.

I think they were used in the old Group B rally era in the 80's?

The FJ24 is a 4 cylinder 2.4 litre turbo EFI Nissan engine. Oh it was a Datsun but was labelled Nissan by Datsun.

I'm with you Victor, my thought's are that the FJ24 was strickly a NISMO motorsport release ONLY. Parts are enormous $$$ now. I've heard rumours a short block going for $9000 (about US$6500) and a used one that that.

www.geocities.com/timsillay/240.html It is my old mates car....oh yeah!

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James ,the engine in the 240 RS was not turbo charged,and yes it was used in the old groupB category, but only in the early era, it was an excellent long distance car.

The engine made about 250 -270 hp using 50 mm carbs big compression ect.

Tere is a sight in Australia I think it is called fj20.com.au and follow the links.

Tony.

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Yes, you are right. Why did I say turbo...DOH!

As you can see from Tim's site, he has made some mods to his with the individual throttle bodies, EFI running a Link computer. He had 50's on there but they farted about too much so hence the new computer and throttle bodies.

Were they on carbs as standard or EFI?

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Is this really possible? I mean Datsun cars were manufactured by Nissan.

Good question Carl.

It was a New Zealand marketing ploy. When Nissan decided to phase out the Datsun brand in NZ, their spin doctors put that little line in there to "ease" the old and new generations into the new name. They didn't like the idea of cold turkey.

Silly how some companys work isn't it! But I see the reasoning.

Just imagine what the FJ24 sounds like with the "loud" medal on the floor.....260BHP unleshed on a rear wheel drive unit....OMFG! Can't wait until Tim brings it down here for an event....or I'll just have to visit him again.

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James,

I believe the line in the advertisements etc. was "Datsun, by Nissan" as opposed to the other way around. I thought I had an advertisement here with it on but no luck thus far in finding it, I'll keep looking though.

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James,

I believe the line in the advertisements etc. was "Datsun, by Nissan" as opposed to the other way around. I thought I had an advertisement here with it on but no luck thus far in finding it, I'll keep looking though.

Absolutely correct Michael. I recall the old cheesy tv ads for the 280ZX and they said "Datsun, by Nissan" in the ad. Then shortly thereafter the cars were all Nissan and no more Datsun.

Chris

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The UK was one of the biggest markets for the 240RS, and a lot of them were sold by Bill Blydenstein and Tony Pond. They ran the Team Nissan Europe rally programme for the cars, and had some success in the British Championship ( they won the title in 1984 & 1985 ).

Most of them seem to have either succumbed to their rally injuries, or gone back to Japan. There's a small but fanatical following for them over there ( as you can see from the websites ) but there are still a fair few in private hands here in the UK. I've seen an absolute cracker of a car participating in Reinhard Klein's 'Slowly Sideways' events which I think belongs to a UK resident.

They were ugly brutes, and I remember reading a description of them as being "..more agricultural machine than proper rally car..." which was probably a bit harsh!

I had an original sales catalogue for the 240RS, but I gave it to a Japanese enthusiast. I've got a copy of the 'Competition Tune UP Manual' on CD if anyone needs any details.

post-2116-14150794546761_thumb.jpg

post-2116-14150794547008_thumb.jpg

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Very early eighties styling. Not sure if we got that model in australia. I dont remember ever seeing one. We did get the gazelle though, which i think was just a renamed silvia/200sx. I odnt think the name helped sales. Would you buy a car called gazelle?

Nissan sure had some wierd car names. Sunny, Cherry, Homer, Cerdic to name a few. Gazelle must be the worst though.

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The UK was one of the biggest markets for the 240RS, and a lot of them were sold by Bill Blydenstein and Tony Pond. They ran the Team Nissan Europe rally programme for the cars, and had some success in the British Championship ( they won the title in 1984 & 1985 ).

Most of them seem to have either succumbed to their rally injuries, or gone back to Japan. There's a small but fanatical following for them over there ( as you can see from the websites ) but there are still a fair few in private hands here in the UK. I've seen an absolute cracker of a car participating in Reinhard Klein's 'Slowly Sideways' events which I think belongs to a UK resident.

They were ugly brutes, and I remember reading a description of them as being "..more agricultural machine than proper rally car..." which was probably a bit harsh!

I had an original sales catalogue for the 240RS, but I gave it to a Japanese enthusiast. I've got a copy of the 'Competition Tune UP Manual' on CD if anyone needs any details.

Excellent to know Alan, next time I talk to Nelson, in Dunedin who owns the ZG (who I still haven't managed to find the time to go see again :mad: ), I'll let him know as he also owns a genuine 240RS. I'm think he may well be interested in the CD :)

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Once again Alan manages to extrude some info out for us to enjoy. Just how big is your house Alan? Must have plenty of book cases about.

I'm with Michael, in that I'm sure Tim would be keen to read through ANY data he can on the 240RS CD. Let me know what I need to do to get a copy for him. Please send me a PM.

Yes, they weren't the prettiest of cars but they sure have more grunt than a wild boar on heat!!!!

Cheers

James

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  • 2 years later...

The Nissan 240RS was a vehicle Nissan built on the production line in a run of 200 vehicles to satisfy Group B homologation in late 1982. The car was homologated on 1st January 1983. The 240RS was based on the Silvia S110 2 litre RS model, a 2 door pillar-less coupe with the FJ20 engine fitted. The 240RS had a 2.4 litre 16 valve twin-cam engine designated FJ24 and they ran on twin Solex 50mm carbs and it was unique to the 240RS.

They were built solely to rally and consequently the cars were sold by Nissan with no type approval or warranty. Nissan Japan ran a works team and Nissan Team Europe was run by Bill Blydenstein in the Great Britain.

Bill Blydenstein Racing (BBR) was a company based at the old railway station at Shepreth, nr Cambridge in the 1970's and '80’s. They had a fantastic reputation as a Rally Team having run the “Dealer Team Vauxhall” Rally Team since the mid 1970's, developing the Vauxhall Chevette HS & HSR into extremely competitive rally cars for General Motors.

Due to General Motors' marketing shift towards Opel instead of Vauxhall BBR would lose the Vauxhall contract at the end of 1982.

With the aid of driver Tony Pond, Bill Blydenstein negociated a deal with Nissan to run the Nissan 240RS in Europe for the 1983 season. Little did he know that over the next three years he would struggle with constant under – budgeting to develop the car and the speed in which Group B competition grew.

From April 1984 BBR negociated a contract with Nissan to market and sell the 240RS worldwide except in the USA and Japan. BBR imported cars into Northern Ireland and registered them there. This was a loop hole that allowed them to bring the cars into England whilst avoiding type approval issues. BBR offered the cars for sale in a straight from the factory road car specification at £12,500. This consisted of a right or left hand drive car with a 220bhp wet sumped engine, front and rear vinyl seats, rally homologated suspension, transmission and disc brakes all round. This was in no way a rally car but the basis to build one. Blydenstein offered a Clubmans Group B car for £15,515 which had basic safety equipment fitted including an FIA roll cage and sumpguard. Modified camshafts lifted power to 235bhp but the engine remained wet sumped. For £24,990 BBR would seam-weld, strengthen and install the necessary equipment to bring a car up to “works replica” forest spec whilst £26,240 would buy you an all singing and dancing tarmac car with approximately 260bhp. The only governing factor being the depths of your pockets ! In 1984 BBR sold 42 cars and over the whole Group B period sold approximately 70 plus cars.

From 1983 onwards BBR was constantly improving the car in areas of priority within the budget Nissan gave them to work to. The first challenge BBR faced was removing a flat spot in the FJ24 engine. BBR looked at the cam shafts from Nissan and re-profiled the exhaust cam, virtually matching the BBR RE3 cam shaft that they had developed for the Vauxhall Chevette HSR. This effectively removed the flat spot and improved the torque spread.

The next thing they looked at was suspension. BBR realised very quickly that the 240RS was blessed with a low centre of gravity. This led to BBR developing spring and damper settings that allowed more ground clearance for UK forest events.

The combination of a tough, reliable and well set up car that was affordable to club competitors meant that many 240RS's appeared in UK and other National Championships in the hands of up and coming drivers.The British National Championships in 1984 and 1985 were won by Dai Llewellin and Mark Lovell respectively.

By then Blydenstein realised that his core business was now at club level and to make the cars more attractive to competitors on a tight budget he began sourcing non-Nissan replacement parts in the UK. These included items such as fuel tanks, sumpguards, suspension parts etc.

By 1985 Group B cars such as Peugeot's 205 T16 and Lancia's Delta S4 made Nissan's 240RS and other cars like it uncompetitive in the World and European Championship's. This aside, up until the end of Group B in 1986, the Nissan could still put in a strong performance in the right hands. In 1985 Nissan homologated a steering rack to replace the original troublesome steering boxes and also homologated brakes, gearbox and other items to improve performance. In 1986 in the British Open Championship, a hotly contested series, both Louise Aitken-Walker and Simon Davison achieved top ten finishes on virtually all rounds.

Unfortunately for most Group B machines the ban at the end of 1986 meant retirement or destruction in RallyCross events but due to the 240RS being normally aspirated and conventional in set up it continued to be competitive in the UK and Middle East Championships. Ian Roberton won the 1988 British National Championship in Louise Aitken-Walker's 1986 Championship car.

Sadly though over these years in lower levels of the sport people who bought 240RS's bought a car which was not on general sale in the UK. This meant that any heavy damage to the shell was expensive to repair and consequently the remaining value in the vehicle was in the engine and transmission. I suspect that many cars have been destroyed due to this and certainly in the UK in the late eighties and into the nineties 240RS engines powered a number of rear wheel drive Peugeot 205's, Ford Escort's, a Toyota Starlet and even a Metro 6R4 !

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