The Nissan Sunny

The Nissan Sunny

(Japanese日産・サニーHepburnNissan Sanī) is an automobile built by the Japanese automaker Nissan from 1966 to 2004. In the early 1980s, the brand changed from Datsun to Nissan in line with other models by the company. Although production of the Sunny in Japan ended in 2004, the name remains in use in China and GCC countries for a rebadged version of the Nissan Almera.

In North America, the later models were known as the Nissan Sentra; in Mexico, the Sunny is known as the Nissan Tsuru, which is Japanese for the bird species “crane“.[1] The latest versions of the Sunny were larger than the early models, and may be considered compact cars. Earlier versions (through at least the B11 series) were subcompact cars. All Sunnys through the 1982 model year (excepting the L-engined Sunny Excellents) used Nissan A engine motors. It was designed to compete with the Toyota Corolla.

The “Sunny” name has been used on other Nissan models, notably various export versions of the Nissan Pulsar model line. The Sunny has been imported and later manufactured worldwide under numerous names, and body styles, in economical, luxury and performance packages. Some configurations appear to be unique based on bodystyle appearances, but sharing a common platform. The Sunny was sold in Japan at a dedicated dealership sales channel called Nissan Satio Store, and rebadged versions later appeared at the other Japanese networks.

First generation (B10; 1966)[edit]

B10

Datsun 1000 DeLuxe two-door sedan (Australia)
Overview
Also called Datsun 1000
Production 1966–1969
Assembly
Body and chassis
Body style
Layout Front-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine 988 cc A10 OHV I4
Transmission
  • 3-speed manual
  • 4-speed manual (all-synchromesh)
  • 3 speed automatic[3]
Dimensions
Wheelbase 2,280 mm (89.8 in)
Length 3,820 mm (150.4 in)
Width 1,445 mm (56.9 in)
Height 1,295 mm (51.0 in)
Curb weight 625–705 kg (1,378–1,554 lb)

The first Datsun Sunny, exported as the Datsun 1000, was launched in September 1966 with two body styles, a two-door sedan (B10) and a van/station wagon (VB10). The Sunny was an all-new product built on a dedicated platform called the “B” series that benefited from Nissan’s production of small cars since before the war and combined engineering efforts from newly acquired Aichi Manufacturing that met the goals set by Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry “national car” program. These were available in both a “Standard” and “Deluxe” version, featuring drum brakes, conventional leaf springs at the rear and wishbone type independent front end. The front end used a single transverse leaf spring. In Japan the car was sold at a dealership sales channel established just for the Sunny, called Nissan Satio Store. The Sunny was introduced in the same year as the Toyota Corolla and Subaru 1000.

In December 1965, Nissan held a national campaign in Japan to name its newest product in a mail-in ballot, and after receiving over eight million submissions, the name Sunny was chosen after having been suggested 3,105 times and was announced on 19 February 1966 by Yoshisuke Ayukawa, Nissan Motors founder.[4][5]

The car featured a four-cylinder in-line engine, the A10, with a total displacement of 988 cc and a four-speed gearbox. The 1968 model, introduced in October 1967, added to the lineup the four-door sedan (B10) in both DeLuxe and Standard form. February 1968 saw the release of the new coupé (KB10).[6] Marketed as the “Sunny Coupé” in Japan, it was available in a wide variety of levels from “Standard”, to “GL” (Grand Luxe). The range of factory options and accessories was by this time vast. Total horsepower in the 1968 model was claimed to be 62 hp (46 kW) at 6,000 rpm. The engine displacement was kept below 1.0-litre to keep it in the lowest Japanese road tax bracket and encourage sales.

It introduced a new approach for Nissan in the 1960s where all mainstream products shared a similar appearance, as demonstrated in the larger Nissan President and Nissan Bluebird

The only other country that seems to have received the coupé is Australia, where it was marketed as the “Datsun 1000 Coupé”. It was well equipped, and was available only in the Deluxe level of trim. The Australian Deluxe model came standard with many inclusions that were available only as options in the Japanese model. The engine in the coupé had higher compression, a different Hitachi carburettor, and a dual outlet exhaust manifold. These changes increased its power output to 66 hp (49 kW); a 4 hp, or a 6.5% increase over the lesser models. Unlike the sedans and wagons, the coupé was only ever made in right drive.

July 1969 saw the release of the slightly different (cosmetically) 1970 model year, which left the 1969 model year run at only nine months. No additional models were added, and production ceased in December 1969, cutting the 1970 model year run at only six months.

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