Return Of Sakura And Fuji: The Dogged Datsuns Run Again

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
return of sakura and fuji the dogged datsuns run again

and came home with a trophy? This story has a sequel.

In 1958, two Datsuns, named “Fujii” and “Sakura” entered the Mobilgas Trial, 10,000 miles all around Australia. Surprisingly, “Fuji” won its class title. “Sakura” finished fourth.

Half a century later, the cars were found in a warehouse in Japan.

A team of Nissan volunteers set out to restore the cars. The restoration took place at the Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi, 28 miles southwest of Tokyo.

With the resources of Nissan’s engineering center, the restoration should go smoothly, you think? The team ran into the same problems any restorer has to contend with: Parts.

No car company stocks parts for cars made half a century ago. Help came with James Haupt, usually based at Nissan Technical Center North America. He found some critical parts, for instance a very old ’50s British car speedometer that had been used in the original Datsuns.

“Sakura” was the easier job. “Fuji” had suffered significant wear and tear and was in bad shape. Finally, Fuji was like nw. Well, not quite: The dent in the front fender that came courtesy of a tree that was in the way during the 1958 race, was also faithfully restored.

Finally, in December, the cars were in running condition again. They were shown to 30,000 fans that cam to the annual Nismo Festival at Fuji Speedway. Half a century later, the cars that made Datsun famous and a country proud, were on a racetrack again. This time, it was smooth and nicely paved, unlike the 10,000 miles of dust and dirt all around Australia.

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  • Daveainchina Daveainchina on Dec 27, 2011

    Nissan doing this, and the story was just cool. Be great if every car company could be able to do this once every 5-10 years. But then, I don't think every car company has something quite as Iconic as these two cars in the Mobilgas Trial.

  • Robert.Walter Robert.Walter on Dec 28, 2011

    Hi gang, new to Apple here with an new i7, 4GB, 256GB, MacBookAir. I loaded FlashPlayer so I could watch the embedded YouTube vids, but Flash really seems to kill my battery. So I added the Click to Flash app. Both before and after plugging in C-t-F, this video seems to run haltingly, and varies between hair-sharp and fuzzy. Any Mac users out there that can give a brother TTAC'er any useful input here?

    • Ophelia Ophelia on Dec 29, 2011

      Unusual place to ask for help, but make sure you have all of the software updates for your new Mac. Use the Apple menu. You can also download Adobe Flash Player updates from Adobe's website.

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