Despite being pretty rare nowadays, I can’t quite summon the inspiration to pound out a proper CC for this 1978 Datsun 310GX (Cherry/Pulsar). Seeing as it appeared three years after the first Golf, the general resemblance is not coincidental, especially the front grill, a virtual dead ringer. It has some historical significance, since it marked the light at the end of Nissan’s tunnel of bizarre styling. This 310 replaced the F-10, which we titled as “The Ugliest Car Ever?” Although this hatchback looked fairly conventional, the coupe still had vestiges of F-10 ness in its rear quarters.
It’s not visible in these shots, but this car came out in the middle of the great re-naming, a multi-year project to change the Datsun brand to Nissan. For a number of years, the cars all had “Datsun by Nissan” badges on them. Given the difficulty of the undertaking, it went off reasonably well, although it coincided with one of Nissan’s troubled periods.
These cars were also badged as Nissan Pulsars in some countries, and as the Datsun Cherry, mainly in Europe. Nissan was having an identity crisis in these days. My father in-law had one of these exact cars in the same color, the first time I met him. I can still see him behind the wheel of it. That was in 1978, so he must have had a first year version. Exciting stuff, eh? I told you this car wasn’t exactly inspiring. Nuff said.