Take a virtual tour - or get up close and personal in Nashville

Nissan has a rich heritage in America spanning more than 50 years. Whether you're a novice in Nissan/Datsun product history or a buff who can recite all the model names, production years, and engine specs, there are two ways to visit the vehicles in Nissan's Heritage Collection.

1937 Datsun Type 15



At www.nissanusa.com/about/heritage, you can see some of Nissan/Datsun's iconic designs and read their bios.


Here, you'll find a timeline that starts with the present and the revolutionary Nissan LEAF, then goes slowly back in time, tracing key model milestones all the way to the automaker's humble beginnings in Japan with the 1937 Datsun Type 15.

In addition to a picture of each milestone vehicle, brief bios are included as well as powertrain specifications. For example, did you know that the 1958 Datsun 1200 Sedan was the first model introduced to the U.S. market by the fledgling company? Only 146 units were sold here from 1959-61 when it was replaced by the somewhat more popular 1200 Sedan that sold 1,318 units.

1960 Datsun 1200

1959 Datsun pickup

The first Datsun compact pickup arrived in 1959. From the B-pillars forward, it's obvious that this truck shared its roots with the 1200 sedan. Yet this quarter-ton pickup with a short cargo bed out back and 48-horsepower 1.2-liter 4-cylinder engine under the hood was just the start of bigger things to come.

Datsun's sports car roots began in earnest in 1961 when the first Fairlady 1200 Roadster came to America. This compact drop-top (that looks a bit like the original "Autopia" cars at California's Disneyland) also sported a 1.2-liter 4-cyl., yet its styling was considerably more sporty than its sedan and truck siblings.

1961 Datsun Fairlady

1962 Bluebird

The first Datsun tailored to the needs of American drivers was introduced in 1962 when the Bluebird made its debut. This rugged sedan sported a fully synchronized 3-speed manual gearbox and two-tone paint that was popular with Detroit's automakers at the time.

1967 Nissan Patrol

That same year, the first Nissan Patrol came ashore, launching the lengthy tradition of Nissan sport utility vehicles. Did you know that the famed Roy Rogers was hired to pitch the Patrol on TV? This rugged two-door was capable of serious off-road travel, complete with part-time 4-wheel drive and a straight 6-cylinder engine.

For enthusiasts, be sure to bookmark this site, share it with your customers, and return frequently to learn more about Datsun/Nissan's family tree. Now let's shift gears and head to Nashville.


To see the "real deal," you'll need to visit Nissan's Heritage Collection near the company's U.S. headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. The collection houses more than 50 historic production, racing, and concept vehicles. Some of these have been in Nissan's hands for many years, making the journey to Nashville when Nissan moved its headquarters there from Gardena, California, starting in 2006. Others came from private collectors or, in some cases, from their original owners.

1967 Datsun 411

1971 Datsun 240Z
  • Heritage Collection sports cars including the iconic 1970 1600 Roadster, 1971 240Z, 1974 260Z 2+2, a 10th Anniversary 280ZX from 1980, as well as modern classics like a 1995 300ZX "SMZ" Steve Millen Z, 2002 350Z "Z-Tour Lollapalooza Concert Vehicle," and one of the first current-generation Nissan GT-Rs.
  • Racing vehicles such as the 1970 240Z Bonneville record #280, the famed 1970 Datsun 510 BRE #46 piloted by the legendary John Morton, the 1987 IMSA GTP #83, and a Core Off-Road Racing NISMO Frontier. John Morton's 510 is the actual race-winning car made famous during the 1971-72 SCCA Trans-Am championship. It's all-original and remains in "as-raced" condition.


  • An array of one-of-a-kind concept vehicles such as Nissan's Cocoon, EV HyperMini, Altra EV, SUT, Bevel, Azeal, and Gobi. The latter was a product of Nissan Design International in La Jolla, California, Nissan's American design studio that continues to craft production and concept vehicles. Gobi was a one-off concept for a modern, no-frills compact pickup sporting eye-catching styling with a helicopter-like cab and short bed with corrugated sides.

So whether you're an armchair admirer or heavily involved in restoring your own vintage Datsun or Nissan, the Nissan Heritage Collection should be added to your list of must-see Nashville attractions. And in the meantime, you can visit the online page 24/7.

true ; ;