INFINITI & BEYOND

MELBOURNE DATSUN DAY SHOWCASES THE REACH OF NISSANíS VAST HERITAGE UMBRELLA

SPENCER LEECH

After the huge success of the first Melbourne Datsun Day in 2015, the team of organisers doubled down to make the latest event even bigger and better than before.

The 2016 show took place on the 20th of November in Yarra Glen and saw all kinds of vehicles from the Nissan family; with Prince, Infiniti and of course Datsun representing the Japanese marque.

ďNissan has a rich history which is often overlooked in Australia, especially when you start talking about early Princes. Theyíre fantastic sports cars, and itís awesome to see them all together,Ē said attendee Noel Sinclair.

Every car was judged in multiple award categories, with the winners taking home hand-made trophies that were made from used Datsun engine internals.

ďI put a lot of work into making the trophies, but seeing the winnersí faces light up when they received them made it worth it,Ē organiser Damien Birch explained.

ďI think itís much cooler to get a trophy that is made out of used

1200 UTE PAUL QUINLANíS THIS WAS MY grandfatherís car originally. I inherited it three years ago, but I only just got it on the road a few months ago.

It took a bit of work to get it on club plates, I had to cut out the rust and jump through all the usual hoops to get it roadworthy. Otherwise, itís a pretty straight car.

I had some friends tell me about last yearís event, and they said it was awesome. Now, after coming to this yearís Melbourne Datsun Day I get what all the fuss was about. There are just so many cars, some of which Iíve never seen before. Itís crazy how extensive the history of Nissan is.

Itís just a standard 1200 motor, which purrs along nicely. One day I might hot her up a bit, but Iím just enjoying cruising for now.

Iíll definitely be coming back for next yearís Melbourne Datsun Day. Part of me wants to sink a bit of money into the car and get her show-ready. Iíve got my eye on one of those awesome trophies.

parts that have history. Who knows what kind of life theyíve had. Much of them came out of old race carsĒ.

As well as the awards, the crew handed out prizes and hosted a slot-car race.

ďI brought the slot-car track thinking that it would give the kids something to do, but everyone got involved which I think is great. It was really funny to see how competitive the guys got.Ē said Damien.

The 2016 Melbourne Datsun Day saw well over 400 cars and raised thousands of dollars for Cancer Council Victoria.

As a result, the organisers have decided to make it an annual event and hope to one day make it the biggest Aussie show of its kind.

í66 PRINCE A200 GTA NOEL SINCLAIRíS IT WAS A fantastic bonding experience building it with my son.

Iíve kept it almost standard except for some engine upgrades.

It came with a single-carb, 106 horsepower engine.They brought out two versions, so I upgraded to the better, triple-carburettor set-up.

There are no parts locally, and even overseas theyíre scarce because there is a strong Prince fraternity in Japan; the Prince Motorist Club.

In Japan two years ago I met those guys and they canít believe how many Prince cars we have in Australia.

Most of the Princes still alive here are with us today, all thanks to the Prince Register that Iím a member of.

With British brakes, Japanese head, Mercedes block, Jaguar gearbox, and American diff, Princes were intended to have an English feel, American reliability and a German build quality.

Itís an absolute pleasure to drive. I also have a Prince race car at home that is much more powerful, stops better and handles sharper; but I actually prefer to drive this.

DATSUN 120Y COUPE STUART MARSHALLíS IíVE OWNED THIS car for a long time, almost fifteen years I think, so itís gone through a few different builds in its time.

It was pretty mechanically sound when I got it, but I did need to cut a bit of rust out and respray it. Iíve done a bit of work cosmetically; flared the guards, added 16x8 Watanabe wheels, installed a Golf lip and stuff like that, but the big money is under the bonnet.

It was built and engineered with 1.8-litre turbo engine in 2000.

Itís running E85 now with bigger injectors, standalone ECU and all the mod cons. Itís good for about 190 rear-wheel horsepower. Behind the engine it has a five-speed tranny and a Commodore diff.

I do a lot of sprint events at Winton and Sandown and the car performs surprisingly well. Iím in the process of building a half-cage so I can do more track work.

I won the best 120Y award today which Iím thrilled about. It feels like my hard work has paid off.

í71 DATSUN 240C COUPE CAMPBELL FOSTERíS IT WAS SOLD In 1972 in Elizabeth Street Melbourne to a Helga Hagen, hence the license plate.

I found it nine years ago in much the same condition as you see today, but it took three years before Helga finally agreed to sell it to me. It needed a bit of a respray as it was parked next to a construction site and it got splashed with concrete. Other than that, itís pretty well original.

Itís very basic, the first of the 240C Cedrics Ė no power steering, no air-con or anything. Itís raw and thatís what I love about it. Later ones got all the extravagant options.

The engineís nothing special Ė 2.4-litre, single carb, but itís enjoyable.

It takes a while for people to realise what the car is, especially because of the way the Japs pinched styling cues from American muscle cars.

This car is actually one of only 200, and I spoke to another guy who has one here at Melbourne Datsun Day, which is rare. I know of only five left in Australia, and I doubt there is a whole lot more.