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Son of DAT


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A friend recently visited the National Motor Museum in England and took these photos of a 1935 Type 14 Datsun. Interestingly it was imported to England by Sir Herbert Austin to investigate a possible patent infringement - this is somewhat interesting given Austin cars were later build under license by Datsun in Japan...maybe Sir Herbert recognised a superior product when he saw it!.



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Very interesting indeed!! Any other cars worth mentioning? If you ever make it over to the UK I highly recommend checking out the Beaulieu Car Museum. Easily the best one I've ever been to. Though, I haven't been to any in Japan yet :devious:

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I nailed those graphics off the internet years ago from surfing various Datsun history sites. The "Datson" license tag looking logo with the round sun background is circa 1930's - file name says 1931. The vertical "DAT" logo has a 1916 file name. Flip over to my gallery and I have a sub gallery started with a few of the old cars. Check out the website www.ratdat.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, you're a bit late, Alfadog. The auction closed January 31. It says $195,000, but that was the reserve - viewed as ridiculously high by the buzz that went around a week or so ago. The attached image is a scan from an article in "Old Cars" magazine about two weeks ago. The general concensus from the gallery of Datsun (Datson) collector gurus is that the car is worth $25,000. The car is well known and has been watched for the last year. The other picture is a 1935 Datsun roadster and should give you an idea of wht the car would look like.

Now, if you all are interested in some of the very early pre-war history of Datsun, described by Mr. K as "a name with purity", let me copy a letter from Dan Banks to the IZCC:

Hi everyone and Happy Holidays!

During Nissan's earliest decades of the 1930s and 1940s, significant influence into design and engineering came from an American fellow named William Reagan Gorham. He is credited by David Halberstam, writing in his epic historical work on Ford and Nissan "The Reckoning," as the Technological Founder of Nissan and also responsible for leading the engineering on the very first Datsun automobiles circa 1932. William Gorham moved to Japan in 1918 with his wife and two sons and spent the rest of his life there. He took Japanese citizenship, changed his name to Katsundo Goahamu, and was reverentially buried in Japan upon his death in 1949.

In 1950 a group of his closest associates wrote a book detailing his history in Japan. This book includes significant insights into the early automobile industry of Japan and also how Datsun and Nissan got their start. Only a limited number of Japanese language copies were ever produced, unfortunately making this important work inaccessible. Now, Gorham's surviving son, Don Cyril Gorham (who has his own amazing biography!) has completed a full translation of this book, entitled "William R. Gorham; An American Engineer in Japan."

For those who would be interested in learning a bit more about Datsun and Nissan, the early Japanese automobile industry and this man's contribution to it, please go to www.lulu.com, a self-publishing website. Put "Gorham" in the search and you can use PAYPAL or your other chosen form of payment to obtain your 178-page copy to your door for about $15.

The situation with self publishing websites, being closely watched by the mainstream publishing houses, is that it allows self-publishing to a vast majority of people with stories to tell but who lack the means to interest a traditional book publisher. The traditional publisher will print out a volume run of copies and then sell them as best they can. That is fine if you are Carlos Ghosn telling the amazing story of how he turned Nissan around in his finely written "Shift: Inside Nissan's Historic Renewal." This kind of story sells itself and Random House, Inc.'s Doubleday publishers surely had no trouble committing to a significant first edition run in January 2005. The trick with these online publishers is that they hold the text in digital format and only print a copy after you order and pay for it.

Kind of like Dell Computer, as I understand their market model.

I met with the 88 year old Don Gorham two weekends ago after his reunion trip to Japan. During that trip he met with an old colleague of his father's, Mr. K. and of course they talked about the book. There is considerable excitement now over this work finally becoming available to an English speaking audience and, again, all are encouraged to order a copy, which includes neat old pictures of early Datsun cars, engines, and engineering of the times.

Best regards all,

Dan Banks

Historian, ZCCA



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Now, if you all are interested in some of the very early pre-war history of Datsun, described by Mr. K as "a name with purity".........


Have you any idea what Katayama meant exactly when he described the 'Datsun' name as having "purity"?

I certainly don't see how the 'Datsun' brand lineage could be described as "pure"', especially if this is implying that the 'Nissan' company lineage was in some way 'impure'.

Sounds to me more like Katayama politics than anything else. I'd be interested to hear otherwise.

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Hey there, Alan! I was wondering where you had been off to. Good to hear from you!

Katayama politics? Yeaaaa...maybe. I don't know exactly what he meant but I do know he was not pleased with the name change, or for that matter, the name deletion! My impression is from Katayama's writing "Z-Car, Revival of a Legend", Katayama and Takarabe, 2005, by Daisuke Koujiya, Publisher. Katayama's commentary in chapter four, "Disappearance of the Datsun Brand" reveals many of his thoughts about the Datsun to Nissan name change.

"The fact that the name Datsun came from the initials of the three founders only served to make it all the more important and precious".

And a few sentences later;

"It was Nissan that erased the trust and history of the car and company that was built over 80 years, destroying it like a tornado takes a tree from its roots".

What would you gather from that? I think the whole chapter is rather scathing. The purity term comes from the Long translated, Taylor edited, ZCCA published, "Mr. K", but I'll be darned if I can find the reference right now. After reading both books, it seems the manuscript from Katayama and Takarabe is what was used for writing the "Mr. K" book. I don't know that for a fact, but the two books run in parallel all too frequently for coincidence. Would I argue with you about the issue being Katayama politics? No. But what I read from "Z-Car" is a passion for the Datsun name and disdain for Nissan.

Just got the winter issue of Zclub magazine. Nice write-up!


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My mistake 26th-Z - but it still may be of interest to some. It would sure be hard to put a value on such a car and I certainly do not feel I could make any comment on the price or what "experts" say it's worth... I was mainly just astonished at the claim "no earlier such automobile has been located by us anywhere". Mustn't have been looking very hard!

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