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           The NISSAN SILVIA (CSP311)

Silvia profile


The first NISSAN SILVIA (CSP311) was a hand-built coupe based on the Fairlady 1500 (SP310) chassis, manufactured between 1964 and 1968. Designed by Kazuo Kimura, with later assistance and influence from Albrecht Goertz, the prototypes, including one left hand drive version, featured the Fairlady's 1500 engine. The 1964 Tokyo Motor Show car was badged the Datsun Coupe 1500.  The production Silvia however, benefited from the 1595cc unit later used in the Fairlady 1600 (SP311), released in 1965. The Silvia featured bodywork built and assembled by Yamaha, and it was only built in small numbers. A total of just 554 were built, with the majority being sold in Japan, as well as 49 to Australia.  She was originally sold in Japan alongside the Fairlady 1600 - see the Japanese full line brochure from 1966.

One right hand drive car was shipped from Tokyo to the New York Auto Show in April 1965. Because Nissan sold cars as Datsuns in the USA, it was badged a "Datsun 1600 Coupe". It received rave reviews for its styling, to a level that no other Japanese car had ever ever received. Albrecht Goertz added his logo to the car and used it as his personal transport for a short time. The coupe was then given to Datsun race driver Bob Sharp for him to trial for a period of 6 weeks. Although Bob described her as a 'nifty car', he concuded that the coupe was too small for the US market. The car was shipped directly back to Japan and the decision was made not to build a left hand drive production car. It would not succeed, but it had paved the way for the later - and larger - 240Z.

The only official import to the USA, a "Nissan Silvia" badged version, came a year later, in 1966, when Hawaiian Datsun race driver and 'Datsun of Hawaii' dealer Elroy Goto imported a car from Tokyo. Elroy used the car as a demonstrator for a number of months and then bought the car himself. This car is still in the USA today.

There have been a few other personal imports to the USA, but the Silvia is certainly a rare sight on American roads.

The images on this page, and the rare 1965 Japanese text brochure from the Register's archive, underline Nissan's marketing strategy for the Silvia, which was far more upmarket than anything previously undertaken by the company.

If you have any information/images that you believe would benefit these pages, please E-Mail.

Nissan Silvia CSP311
Nissan Silvia CSP311

We are always interested in acquiring original 1964-1968 Nissan Silvia CSP311 (Datsun 1600 Coupe) literature, photos and press information. Good prices paid for the right items in good condition. Please email details.


1965 Silvia Advertisement

1965 Advertisement from the Japanese magazine Motor Fan

1965 Japanese brochure advertising


1966 Japanese Sales Brochure

1966 Japanese sales brochure

The English text sales brochure used the same image with the title 'Datsun Coupe 1600'

1966 press photo
1966 Japanese press photo


1967 Advertisement

1967 European press photo

1968 Advertisement

1968 European press photo

Nissan design study
Nissan design study for the Silvia S13