Categories 4 Wheels

The Rare Datsun 160Z From South Africa That Will Brighten Your Day

This car’s 1970s aesthetics are evident with its yellow body, stripe colors, font, and primarily black interior with striped inserts. It is dripping with retro feel, and we only wish they had made more and brought them to the United States! 

There is not a lot of discussion around this car, but we felt it was worthy enough to be profiled. Seriously, how gorgeous is this car.

We can only imagine that Datsun enthusiasts in the United States wish the Datsun 160Z had crossed the ocean. Nissan-Datsun produced this sporty little coupe in South Africa from 1978 to 1979 but never officially exported it to the U.S. market.

160z from datsun in south africa dashboard
Emile Gerber / Wikipedia

The 160Z evolved from the popular Datsun 140Z, with a slightly larger 1.6-liter engine producing 71 kW of power and 140 N⋅m of torque. While down on power compared to the 140Z’s 85 kW, the 160Z made up for it with more torque. We can only imagine that the 4-speed manual transmission made the 160Z a blast to drive.

Visually, the 160Z was nearly identical to its 140Z predecessor, with the same sleek fastback styling and distinctive Datsun Z front grille. However, it received some unique touches, such as aluminum alloy wheels designed by South African racing driver Eddie Keizan.

rear of datsun 160z south africa
Emile Gerber / Wikipedia

Only 120 were produced in 1978, followed by 121 more in 1979. After these production runs, Datsun discontinued the model. 

We can only imagine how popular these cars would have been in the U.S.

The closest we had was the Datsun B-210 which was popular in the 1970s. It was definitely not as sporty – or sexy – as this model though. The B-210 offered a hatchback or coupe style and was built from 1974-1978.

The Datsun B-210 was “an instant hit” when it debuted. It was well-suited to compete with the fuel-efficient small car needs of American buyers during the 1973 oil crisis.

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