Sakichi Toyoda born in Kosai, Shizuoka Prefecture
Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. (TMC) established
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) begins operations in U.S.
Production of U.S Spec Celica's begin using the 22r carbureated engine.(RWD).
Datsun was the first Japanese car manufacturer to import to US.
The first Datsun sedan arrives in the United States. The strong, heavy 1200 Sedan packs a 48-hp 1200-cc engine encased in thick body panels.
The first Datsun compact pickup is sold in America. Originally imported with a modest 37-hp 1000-cc engine, the upgraded model features a 48-hp 1200-cc version. This quarter-ton pickup firmly establishes Datsun in the American market.
Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A. (NMC) is established in Gardena, California. The model year witnesses the birth of Datsun's first sports car, the SPL 210. This high, narrow, 4-seat roadster features a fold down soft top with side curtains, "4 on the floor," and a 48-hp 1200-cc engine (soon replaced by an 85-hp version).
Focused on American driving needs, the Bluebird is the first Datsun with a full synchronized 3-speed transmission. It also sports classic two-tone paint, wide whitewalls and optional bucket seats. Off the road, Nissan's first utility vehicle, The Patrol, makes its debut, with TV hero Roy Rogers as its spokesman. Pitched as the world's most powerful, most advanced 4-wheel drive, the Patrol's brawny 145-hp 4000-cc 6-cylinder engine develops enough torque "to climb trees."
The first Japanese-owned production facility in North America, Nissan Mexicana (NMEX) manufactures its first vehicle.
The Datsun most-desired by collectors, the 2000 Roadster, is also the first Japanese production sports car to come with a 5-speed. That, plus its robust 150-hp engine, makes it extra fun to drive. Production is limited to 1,000 and the first 10 are lightweight versions for racing. The 2000 Roadster wins 10 SCCA National Championships between 1967 and 1987.
Nissan launches the first car styled for the U.S. market, the Datsun 510 sedan.
Datsun introduces the "Z" as a 1970 model. By offering European performance, plus creature comforts like roll-up windows and a heater all at an affordable price the 240Z becomes the best-selling sports car in the world. The Corvette took nearly twenty-five years to sell 500,000 units; the Z does it in fewer than ten.