And while the 3.0-litre, seven-bearing, all-iron six pot has relatively humble origins, it’s a standard bearer for the first mass-production use of automotive fuel injection, courtesy of a Bosch jerk pump delivering fuel direct into the cylinders through the spark-plug bosses in the block.And that, together with better crank damping, hotter cam profiles and timing, and optimised porting, meant that Mercedes virtually doubled the power from 115 to 212bhp.We were extremely lucky to get a shot at seeing the collection, and it left a lasting impression of the vast investment Nissan has made to make sure their factory and Nismo engineers have legacy vehicles to study and incorporate in their designs for generations to come.
Datsun is actually the older of the two marques, having produced its first car (called the DAT) in 1914, while the name “Nissan” originated during the 1930s as an abbreviation for Nihon Sangyo. In 1947 Nissan developed its first EV, this Tama truck featuring some very impressive technology that has not advanced until recently due to battery technology limitations.This car set no fewer than 7 international speed records in ’67, averaging over 250 km/h during flat-out runs covering set distances from 50 km to 200 km at the Yatabe Test Circuit.My father had a private patient with a Mercedes 300SL gullwing.This car is the DNA originator of the inline-6 motor that eventually became the RB series, its GR8 2-liter straight-6 producing 2oo-hp at 8,000 RPM through three dual Weber carbs. And it’s also Japan’s first real sports racing car, the No.11 car seen here having defeated Porsche to win the 1966 Japan GP Championship at Fuji Speedway.And this sleeker version is the R380-II, still powered by that GR8 inline-6 but now making 220-hp.The trip to Zama is not for the feint of heart, and should not be attempted by a Japan novice.This facility is literally hidden in a nondescript warehouse inside the Nissan Zama factory.Colloquially known as “the tart trap”, even in the mid-Sixties when it would have been at least a decade old, it was a singular automobile. I still remember the smell of leather, oil and petrol, the burning on my bare thighs from the sun-scorched seats and the blinding glare off the chromium dashboard.Posing somewhere between automotive haute couture and gaudy strumpet, the 300SL gullwing has had a lot of words expelled on it. How the original racing car was noisily launched on March 12 1952 on the old A81 between Stuttgart and Heilbronn.Story by Scott Mc Iver from Kaizen Tuning I had heard whisperings of this legendary warehouse of Nissan legacy cars that existed hidden inside a Nissan factory.Together with a friend in Japan, we managed to track down this secret facility and make an appointment to come for a visit.