Saturday, December 23, 2006

Random Retro Detailing: Datsun Sunny 120Y

Ahhh, the 120Y. One of the best selling cars of the 1970s in the UK, yet hardly any survive. Indestructable mechanicals, rot-prone bodywork - so typical of Japanese cars from that era. But what a magnificently styled machine!

Datsun Sunny 120Y

The exterior is a work of art. The grille alone is a wonderful tribute to the art of plastic moulding, featuring lots of fake chrome and intricate detailing. Check out the flattened-football hubcaps (the greatest wheeltrim design of all time?), the curious rising sill-line, the little indentations in the rear wings (not visible in the pic, but they are there), and that's the regular four door - the two door coupe is a whole other thing altogether, worthy of an essay all to itself.

My favourite touch is inside:

Check out that dashboard! Millions of people spent many, many hours sat behind that, trundling along in a world of flared trousers and the Bay City Rollers. The square dials are immediately obvious, but the highlight lurks near to the radio:

The control-knob for the fresh air vent is in the "D" shape of the Datsun typeface. I assume it's an air vent anyway, I shall have to do some research and find out!

Simply magnificent. Not even Maserati, with their famous gold clock, come close.