Back in 2008 I started to research early Datsun and Nissan history. One of the things I quickly discovered was that the Hakosuka Skyline was sold here in the Netherlands as the Nissan 2000GT and 2400GT. Ever since, I have been on the hunt for old brochures and other memorabilia proving its existence!
Nissan 2000GT or 2400GT?
Today we have one such a things: a short newsreel from 1972 covering unloading of Japanese cars in the Rotterdam harbor. I was very happy to spot various early 1970s Datsuns and most of them were of the type 100A (Cherry E10), 1200 (Sunny B110) and 1600 (Bluebird 510). My jaw dropped to the floor when I spotted two Nissan Skyline C10s driving down the ramp!
If this screencapture is too blurry, a few frames advanced you can clearly see the surfline on the first of the pair of Skyline C10s:
What was this newsreel about?
The highlight of the newsreel is that the Japanese Nissan is importing Datsuns in large quantities to Europe. The Rotterdam Harbor is where these Japanese cars set first foot ashore. A huge converted tanker is able to hold 3500 cars over 13 decks and used to haul these cars from Japan to Europe. It takes about two days to unload the ship using 50 drivers. To be able to unload the ship as quickly as possible, the drivers are picked up by vans where the cars are parked and brought back to the ship.
The newsreel closes with the message that the Japanese car industry got foothold on the European soil. Between 1969 and 1971 the percentage of Japanese cars sold in the Netherlands increased from 1.8 percent to 6.7 percent. Nissan expected to bring over 100,000 cars to Europe via the Rotterdam Harbor in 1972.
Little red Datsun 100A
My stepfather drove a red Datsun 100A from 1971 or 1972 back in the early 1980s. I remember it was quite rusty already eventhough it was only 8 to 9 years old. Seeing this 100A parking in front of the camera made me hope it was actually that very same car:
What are the odds? Who knows?
You can watch the entire newsreel here: