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Nissan Cedric, Datsun Fairlady, 2000

I’ve walked by a sad-looking Datsun 350Z in the 'hood recently. I remembered a college friend’s 2000, so I looked it up in Wikipedia. It was originally called the Fairlady, and was related to the Nissan Cedric - Cedric? Has there been a sillier name for a sports car? Edsel was pretty silly, but it wasn’t a sports car, and it was named after a Ford family member. Nobody in Nissan’s family was named Cedric. It’s even sillier than Fairlady. I guess both were mistakes in trying to market to Americans.

On another note, the Datsun sports cars were numbered after engine displacement. Those Ram 1500s I see can’t have only 1500 cc displacement - or 1500 inches3. I see other trucks ‘numbered’ in the 1000s. Are those just ‘hip’ numbers?

I notice Cedric isn’t a choice of model for Nissan in this forum.

The Cedric was never sold new in the US. But some generations look very similar to the Maxima. The Infiniti Q45 is a close relative though.

If I remember correctly Ram uses 1500 to designate half-ton, 2500 for 3/4 ton, and the 3500 for one ton. When they were originally Dodge Ram trucks I think they were numbered 150, 250, and 350 following the same designations.


There are definitely lots of strange sports/sporty car names out there. Suzuki Cappuccino comes to mind. Or the Geely Beauty Leopard. Or the micro-sports car which looked like those old tin toy cars, the Volugrafo Bimbo.

Maybe the oddest was the Proton Satria Son of a Gun.

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The very first 240Z was the Datsun Fairlady 240Z. Mr. Katayama, the father of Nissan in the US removed the Fairlady nameplate from the first 240Zs and the name stuck… thanks to Mr. K!

Not sure if the Fairlady was ever widely marketed under that name in CONUS, but I know there were some in Guam. In the few in CONUS I think only had the CC designation. As the Miata is today, in the 60s the Fairlady was the the best example of a “British” sports car!

As to Pickups
F100-1/2 ton
F150- “heavy” ton
C10- 1/2 ton
C15- “heavy” 1/2 ton
D100- 1/2 ton
D150- “heavy” 1/2 ton

GM and Chrysler then expanded it to the four digit number designation.
The numbers indicate payload capacity.

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Odd (to us) sounding names are pretty common in Japanese cars in their home market. They usually are changed before getting to the US.


That name actually predates the Z-cars.
My brother’s first wife bought a Datsun SRL-311 in–I think–1967, and that model was still being marketed in Japan and some other countries as the Fairlady. On a side note, it was a total POS from the first week of ownership, and the car’s many “issues” were magnified by having to contend with a dealership whose “service department” consisted solely of one old man who washed the cars and took the plastic off of the seats prior to delivery.

Any actual service was done by a guy at a nearby Gulf gas station, and that guy lacked the training, tools, or motivation to work on Datsuns. Nissan was apparently granting dealerships to anyone in those days who could come-up with the necessary fee, regardless of whether they could actually service/repair their cars. None of the issues that we presented to the so-called service manager (complete with broken nose, shiny suit, and Mafioso attitude) were ever resolved, and after the 3rd or 4th visit, he “convinced” my brother that it would be in his best interests to never return there.

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Back in the late 80s there was a gentleman here who owned 3 cars which I used to service regularly. He had been stationed in Japan while in the miliatary. While there he bought a 240Z Fairlady and had it shpped back to the U.S. It had 30k miles on it and was as new in and out. He babied that thing.
One day he came in to pick the Fairlady Z up after some basic maintenance and said I could take it for a spin. Super cool car although the right hand drive felt odd to me of course.

One day he was getting another car serviced and mentioned trading the Z off. When asked what for he said a 2 year old Olds Cutlass Ciera; the FWD garden slug. I was hopping up and down saying no, no, no, hxxx no. Several days later he dropped by with his “new” Ciera. The most lop sided deal ever in the history of car trading.

He then jumped from frying pan to fire 6 months later by paying additional 5 grand OVER the bumped up price on a Dodge Omni with the GLH package. Absolutely mind blowing the lack of financial discipline.

I couldn’t understand why my dad’s friend got rid of his 240Z for a Seville. Of course, I was 18 and he was 60!

One bad point about the Ciera was that it was sold AS IS and the A/C did not work. Not good in OK in the summertime.

The Olds/GMC dealer he acquired it from said the compressor was bad; ergo, the squealing. Not. Someone in their service dept. had installed the wrong compressor belt on it. The correct belt and it worked fine.

The Fairlady right hand rive was a rarity in the U.S. and especially one that was as new in/out and top to bottom.

Absolutely mind blowing the lack of financial discipline.
Do you think it might have been the miliarary that caused it? I know it is easier for young people to get credit in the militarty because of job security than other’s. When my daughter was in after two month’s I co signed a loan for her six month’s later she bought a like new 3 year old car on her own but she was very responsable and today she has very good credit and is doing quite well.

Speaking of silly names for cars, I think that we have to include the old Datsun/Nissan Cherry.
Later, it was re-badged as the Nissan Sunny–which is also just a bit… weird… IMHO.

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The designations for the “Advanced Design” pickup trucks from mid 1947 through early 1955 were as follows;

1/2 ton. 3100
3/4. ton. 3600
1 ton 3800

I owned a 1950 3800 at one time.

The Cedric was the top line, complemented by he Gloria, mid size (for Japan) and the Sonny, the subcompact. Japanese like quaint English names and the name Fairlady for a macho sports car would be deadly in North America.

There was never a Fairlady 240Z in Japan. It was just the Fairlady Z. There was also a Fairlady R which was a racing version. I got into a street race in Yokosuka with one in my Bluebird SSS. They don’t, or at least didn’t put numbers on the cars when I was there.

Regarding the guy whose Fairlady Z i serviced I can’t explain his financial reasoning. Other than that he was a genuinely nice guy, very level headed, and seemed pretty intelligent.
He sure took a bath on the Omni GLH though. When he first came by to show it off to me and I found out he gave something like 5 grand over the MSRP I was appalled. John Dillinger was far more subtle about extracting money than the Dodge dealer who took him to the cleaners big time.

When I worked for Nissan a 240 would come in now and then. One oddity I vaguely remember is that the factory service manual stated the SU style carbs were not serviceable and to replace them if there was a problem. The service manager would just flat turn 240 owners away even though I knew the carbs and willingly volunteered to service them if needed.
Essentially they were the same carbs as used on MGs, Jaguars, early SAABs, and a number of other European make cars.

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I’ve heard that, if you know what you’re doing, the SU carbs can be set up and adjusted to work very well. But so many folks had no idea what to do the carbs got a bad reputation.

The Su carbs are comparatively simple actually along with the similar Zeniths. Many guys back in the 70s would replace the stock Linkert carburetors on their Harleys with SUs.

Personally I prefer the Linkerts as they are bone simple and one can adjust both low and high speed circuits while traveling down the road. The SU also protruded out quite a bit and got in the way of the right or left knee all depending upon whether it was an overhead valve or sidevalve engine.

Most of the time someone had a problem with the SU carburetor, it was because they didn’t put oil in them.