Penny Ante Racing







1932 Datsun

This is a larger list of all the information and/or photos I have found on the 1932 Datsuns. Some of the information is contradictory (e.g. same car shown with different model numbers given.)
  • This is Nissan's page about the Phaeton in their Heritage Collection. They say it is a 1933 Type 12 Phaeton.
  • The Japanese Society of Automotive Engineers also has a web page about this car. Of course, they say that it is a 1932 Type 11 Phaeton. Let the confusion begin.
  • The Nissan/Datsun page of the Toyota Automobile Museum. They say "In 1932, production was only 150 vehicles..." Presumably, this refers to the total production of ALL models of vehicle in that year.
  • A Polish page with nice pictures of early datsuns
  • A page in denmark with a photo of a type 12 from a museum in Japan. The Page calls the car a "1932 Phantom", but the katakana clearly says "fu-eton" (Phaeton), not "Phantom".
  • A great photo of a Type 11 (the front fenders and the lip below the grill make it clear that this is not a type 12) roadster (not phaeton) at, home of the fairlady registry.
  • has an interesting picture of an early 1932 roadster. Note the fenders and the horizontal (!!!) vents in the side of the engine bay.
  • They also have a spectacular photo of a 1932 Phaeton on display somewhere. They identify this picture as a Type 11, but after looking at the fenders, I think it is actually a Type 12.
  • There are some GREAT photos of a green 1932 Type 11 with a red interior at Classic Car Base. The car is housed in a museum/display somewhere in Japan (....kanji and katakana on the signs) but I don't know where. The photos are a little small for my taste, but they clearly show the distinctive metal work on this car and have provided what are, to the best of my knowlege, the only photo on the net of a 1932 dash/interior. Unfortunately, the server is a little buggy, and the pictures often don't show up. If you visit and it is working, save copies for yourself.
  • Has a confusing set of pictures they have said are both Type 12 Datsuns. The first picture shown at this link is my beloved 1932 Type 12 Phaeton. The second is supposed to be of a a 1933 Type 12, sedan/hard top. Even more odd, the 1933 is shown with suicide doors. Compare the doors to the doors on the 1933 Type 12 Phaeton from the Nissan Heritage Museum. It seems unlikely that they would re-engineer the doors (no cutout for the rear wheel AND move the hinges to the "suicide" position) just to add a hard top. I'm not sure what to make of this photo.
  • A very confused sounding wikipedia article written by someone who thinks "Datsun Roadster" is model of car produced from 1932-1941. Clearly there were MANY different types of datsun roadsters during this time period....
  • An Early Datsun Homepage at Geocities. It has a great side shot of the Type 12. I played with this picture for hours in photo shop while I thought about the design of my Type 12 replica.
  • Another picture of a very different 1932 Datsun from the same site. You'll notice that this is a roadster and it bears a strong resemblance to the sedan with suicide doors linked to below at Unfortunately, the picture quality prevents us from determining which way the doors up. Notice the horizontal vents in the side of the engine bay. BTW, this page was a source for the erronous-sounding wikipedia entry mentioned below.
  • This page contains a broken link to a "1932 Type II" (roman numeral two). The link points to a now-nonexistant picture from the homepage of Nissan of Europe. There's no way to say for certain without being able to see the picture, but my guess is that it was actually a photograph of a Type 11 (type eleven) datsun, and the web page author mis-read it when making their link. This page also contains a link to the 1935 datsun in the Toyota auto museum.
  • This BBC News Article repeats the same mistake, calling the Type 11 a "Type II". They further muddy the situation by including a picture of a Type 12
  • This post to a message board says that the horizontal vents in the hood are a sign that the car is a 1931 type 10. I've never seen anything from Nissan about a Type 10.
  • This site Talks about the production of the Type 10, saying that it came "with three body styles, roadster, tourer and sedan." It claims that production started in 1932 (contradicting the site above). More confusingly, the photo at the bottom of the page, however, is of a type 12, not a Type 10.
  • The Czech Nissan Clubz has a reduced size - but still very clear - copy of a famous Type 12 Phaeton photo on their website.
  • This page claims to have a link to a 1932 Datsun. What they actually link to looks like a 1935 Type 14.
  • Adrian Room makes the claim that "In 1933 the Jidosha [japanese for car] Seizo Co., the forerunner of the present company, was established, and the following year it produced the Austin Seven under licence (as the Datsun) and changed its own name to the Nissan Motor Co." He offers no evidence or support to back up his claim that the 1932 datsuns were licenced Austin Sevens.
  • Motorsnippets contradicts Adrian Room, claiming that "This little car was very similar in concept to the Austin 7 and there has always been conjecture as to whether there was any connection between the two. A Datsun was imported into the UK by Herbert Austin, who would have been very interested to make sure that his patents were not being infringed, but as no action was taken it must be assumed they were not.
  • Ken Togo of Musashi University discussed the early datsuns in his February, 2007 paper ""Infant Industry Policy: A Case of Japanese Automobile Industry Before 1945" (paper available here). He says that the Japanese government didn't require a licence for cars with an engine displacement under 500 cc, so DAT motorcars began marketing mini-cars (datson/datsun) in August of 1931, and priced them below the cost of an Austin Seven. His source for this information was "Nissan Jidosha Sanjyuunenshi" (Thirty years history of Nissan Motor), a document published by Nissan in 1965.
  • has a photo of a 1932 roadster. They imply that it is of a Type 10, but the vertical side vents make it more likely that this is a Type 11.


The GRM challenge

  • Grassroots Motorsports magazine actually has a number of "challenge" contests (e.g. ultimate track car challenge, their upcoming green car challenge, etc.), but when you hear someone talk about "THE grassroots challenge", chances are they are talking about the magazine's annual budget-race car challenge. The amount of money you are allowed to spend is the same as the year, and the car must compete in an autocross, drag race, and "car show" where presentation/schtick/storyline can be as important as the appearance of the car. (Bribery of the judges is not only tolerated, it is encouraged....and trophies given for the best attempt to do so.) Martin Sportscar Club usually provides the timing trailer and equipment to run the autocross portion of the challenge. The $2008 challenge rules are here.
  • Jacksonville newspaper coverage of the GRM challenge
  • Locost

    • Locost Resources
    • Other Locost Builders
      • Keith Tanner's locost - Keith built favorite car of the authors of the Car and Driver article. When Grassroots Motorsports put Keith's car on a track with two ariel atoms, the homebuilt locost was faster. Keith is an employee at Flying Miata, and the build of his miata-powered locost is documented in his book. He's also a regular on the locost forum where he's very helpful.
      • Mark Rivera's locost - this is the bike-engine car that was featured in the Car and Driver article
      • Roger Gross's locostpowered by a Mazda 13B rotary engine
      • Wayne Evans's locost build - this car is unfinished, but many of the details on his website are very informative
      • GRM challenge locost - this mid-engined car was built as a GRM challenge entry. The rest of the site is also worth looking through, since the other cars on it are also GRM challenge cars. Since there are not too many Triumph Spitfires racing in the GRM challenge, we can deduce that this is probably the website of David Herr
      • A nicely documented assembly of a kit locost
      • Mike's locost build - this is a corolla-based car, and his mention of mcpherson struts means that it is probably worth looking at if you want to do something a bit different with your suspension
      • Sam Buchanan's Stalker v-6 build - the stalker is a kit-locost that uses the drivetrain - including the live rear axle - of an s-10 pickup donor. They are formidible autocross cars
      • Another AE86 (corolla) powered locost
      • A ford-powered locost with good discussion of the problems encountered.
      • a Ztech-powered locost
    • Suspension Design
      • No two locosts are alike, and much of the differences between cars is due to their suspensions. Builders can use kits, fabricate all the components themselves, or do anything in between. They can mount suspension however they want, and spend as much or as little effort as they want to on improving the handling of the car. Here are a few of the resources that some builders have found that reading books on the subject will help them avoid costly and/or dangerous mistakes.
      • Alan Staniforth's Competition Car Suspension
      • Alan Staniforth's Race and Rally Car Source Book
      • Herb Adam's Chassis Engineering
      • Fred Puhn's How to make your car handle
    • Welding Information
      • Both Miller and Lincoln-Electric produce good machines, but I think the information on HOW to weld is a bit better on the Miller website.

    Streetrods & Related Publications

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