Planned Obsolescence II: Photographing a Datsun 1600 (or is it a 2000?)

by | Oct 21, 2021

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

Datsun Week continues on my car photography blog and while the roadsters are mentioned in the current video (click here to se it) none were featured in it. Perhaps a Datsun roadster could be featured in an upcoming episode of Joe and Cliff got to Cars and Coffee?

Before some of the Nissan cars that came to America bore their maker’s name they were called “Datsun.” Datsun’s original production run began in 1931 and from 1958 to 1986, only vehicles that were exported by Nissan were identified as Datsuns. By 1986, Nissan had phased out the Datsun name but re-launched it in June 2013 as a brand for low-cost vehicles that were being manufactured for emerging markets. Nissan would again phase out the Datsun brand for the second time this year. The Datsun name, it seems, could not catch a break.

The Datsun 1500/1600/2000 Roadster aka Datsun Fairlady in certain markets was a sports car that was produced from 1961 to 1970. It made its debut at the Tokyo Motor show in 1961, several months before the MGB, which it kinda, sorta resembles but in so many ways is much superior. The 1600 ended production in April 1970. The 2000 was produced until 1970 when both Roadster models were replaced by the soon-to-be legendary 240Z.

How I made this photo: When I was testing the Canon EOS 1D Mark III for the former print edition of Shutterbug magazine I tried to find a Triumph Mark III Spitfire to photograph but had to settle for this rusty Datsun that I photographed in an foreign car automobile recycling center that’s located near Erie, Colorado. This particular Datsun 1600/2000 has seen better days; can anyone tell me if they can identify whether it was a 1600 or 2000 roadster?  It was photographed using a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and 16-35mm f/2.8 L zoom lens. Exposure in Program mode was 1/400 at f/10 and ISO 200.

The original color image was converted to monochrome using Silver Efex Pro, then toned Platinum before applying the Glamour Glow filter from Color Efex Pro.

If you enjoyed today’s blog post and would like to treat Joe to a cup of Earl Grey tea ($2.50), click here. And if you do, many thanks.


Along with photographer Barry Staver, Joe is co-author of Better Available Light Digital Photography that’s out-of-print but new copies are available for $21.50 or used copies starting around nine bucks—from Amazon, as I write this.