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Thread: Datsun 13 1934-1935

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    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Datsun 13 1934-1935

    The number 13 is considered bad luck by some people, but for Datsun the number 13 was the exact opposite, as the Datsun 13 heralded a new era for the fledgling car maker from Japan, and the start of a rapid sales growth. The number 13 would prove to be a bad omen for the Austin Motor Company's ambition in Japan though. More about that later.

    The Datsun 13 went into production in April 1934. The 13 represented a major change in the styling of the baby Datsun. The old upright, and almost Austin 7 looking radiator grille has been replaced with a very pretty all chrome plated grille with a tall heart shaped opening. The grille itself is cantered on about a 10deg. angle and gave the Datsun 13 a much more contemporary look.

    The 1934 Datsun 13 also marked the first time a small truck model was introduced, with the Datsun 13T being the first truck based on a Datsun sedan. The Datsun 13 offered a full model line, including the truck, a van, a sedan, a phaeton and a roadster.

    Apart from the front of the car, much of the rest of the vehicle remained the same. The old 8 slot wheels from the Datsun 12 have been replaced with new flat disc wheels with no holes or slots. The slots on the side of the bonnet are no longer vertical, but are now sloped at the same angle as the new grille, which is about 10deg. The car continued to use the same 748cc 12hp engine as the previous Datsun 12.

    Importantly though, this car became the first one exported from Japan. It was only small numbers to begin with, but a total of 44 vehicles were exported in 1934. These included exports to South Africa, and to Australia, the details of which are elaborated upon below.

    The bodies of the Datsun 13 were built by Yanase Motor and the Nihon Jidosha Corporation. The chassis were built at the Osaka Plant of the Automotive Division of Tobata Casting. In December 1933 Tobata Castings sold their factory, and merged with another company called Nihon Sangyo Co. The name Nihon Sangyo means literally Japan Industries, which wasn't an overly exciting name. When Nihon Sangyo shares were listed on the Japanese Stock Exchange the company's name was abbreviated to Ni-San.

    After Tobata Castings and Nihon Sangyo merged the company was initially called Jidosha Seizo, but in 1934 they decided to adopt their stock market abbreviation as the new merged company's name, and Nissan was born. Even though the Datsun name pre-dated the Nissan name, and even though the company can trace it's origins back to 1912, Nissan count 1934 as their company's originating date.

    The Datsun 13 was in production from April 1934 until March 1935. A total of 880 vehicles were built in 1934.

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