Jidosha-Seizo Kabushiki-Kaisha (“Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd.” in English) was established on December 26, 1933, taking over all the operations for manufacturing Datsuns from the automobile division of Tobata Casting Co., Ltd., and its company name was changed to Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. on June 1, 1934. The founder was Yoshisuke Aikawa, the brilliant leader of the Nissan combine. He had grand plans to mass-produce 10,000 – 15,000 units per year, and was about to putting his plan into practice.

The first small-size Datsun passenger car rolled off the assembly line at the Yokohama Plant in April 1935, and vehicle exports to Australia were also launched that same year. Datsun cars symbolized Japan’s rapid advances in modern industrialization in those days, as evidenced by the contemporary slogan, “The Rising Sun as the flag and Datsun as the car of choice.”

Nissan has always had a good sports car or two in production to satisfy that automotive enthusiast itch. Pretty much anyone who knows anything about the world of automobiles knows about Nissan’s Z cars, SXs and GT-Rs.

Some of our favorite Nissan sports cars include:

1969-1973 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R. The original Skyline GT-Rs. First arriving in 1969, the Skyline GT-R came equipped with a 160-hp 2.0-liter six-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. In 1973, a second generation of the Skyline GT-R would arrive powered by the same 2.0-liter six-cylinder, but only last a single year before being discontinued.

Nissan 280ZX/300ZX Turbo. The first model was the 280ZX that came with a 2.8-liter six-cylinder engine making 145 hp. In 1981, a turbocharger would be added as an option, increasing power to 180 hp. In 1983, a second-generation ZX arrived, now nissan logooffering a 3.0-liter V6 in naturally aspirated or turbocharged form. By the end of this model’s run, the turbo engine made anywhere from 200 to 227 hp depending on the market.

In 1989, the final 300ZX would enter production. A two-seat or 2+2 configuration were available as well as a 300-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine. It was one of the iconic Japanese sports cars of the 1990s, a period of time in which many consider the golden age for Japan’s auto industry.

Nissan 240Z/260Z/280Z: Nissan’s Z cars have an iconic status that few other sports cars have achieved. When the 1970 240Z (Fairlady Z in Japan) came on the market, it was instantly heralded as a poor man’s Jaguar, which had a lot to do with its similar styling.

Powered by a 2.4-liter six-cylinder engine, the original Z weighed just more than 2,300 lbs and made 151 hp. In 1974, the engine was enlarged to 2.6-liters and thus the car’s name changed to 260Z. Just one year later, an even larger engine became available in the 280Z. Although the car’s weight had increased, power was now up to 170 hp.

Nissan GT-R. Nissan created a car that blew away the supercar elite. A turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 engine and grip that tore roads apart, the GT-R was the best pound for pound sports car fighter the world had probably ever seen. Originally making 478 hp in 2008, the GT-R can now produce upwards of 600 hp. But power is just one aspect of the GT-R’s incredible performance. The dual-clutch transmission and advanced all-wheel drive system make sure laps around the track are completed as quickly as possible.

Nissan R390 GT1. In the mid-1990s, if a manufacturer wanted to race in the top tier at the 24 hours of Le Mans, the racecar had to be based on a road going vehicle. This led to crazy one off creations like the Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, Porsche 911 GT1 and the Nissan R390 GT1.

With a 3.5-liter V8 hooked up to a sequential six-speed transmission sending power to the rear wheels, the R390 GT1 looked like a Le Mans prototype for the streets because, well, it was. Only two cars were ever built, but one is in the hands of a private owner. With a top speed of 220 mph and the ability to dispatch the quarter mile in just over 11 seconds, the R390 GT1 was one of the fastest cars of its time.

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Nissan Cars

All Nissan Cars
1984 Nissan 300ZX
1998 Nissan 300ZX R
1990 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo
2002 Nissan 350Z
2006 Nissan 350Z GT-S Concept
2004 Nissan 350Z Roadster
2009 Nissan 370Z
2013 Nissan 370Z
2010 Nissan 370Z Roadster
2004 Nissan Actic Concept
2005 Nissan Azeal Concept
2007 Nissan Bevel Concept
2013 Nissan BladeGlider
1983 Nissan Bluebird Super Silhouette
1976 Nissan Cherry FII Coupe
2014 Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo
2012 Nissan DeltaWing
2010 Nissan Ellure Concept
2011 Nissan ESFLOW
1973 Nissan Fairlady 240ZG GTS-II
1973 Nissan Fairlady 240Z Safari
1978 Nissan Fairlady 280Z-L
1998 Nissan Fairlady 300ZX
1985 Nissan Fairlady Z 200ZG
1969 Nissan Fairlady Z 432
1992 Nissan Fairlady Z Convertible
2008 Nissan Fairlady Z Version NISMO
1992 Nissan Fairlady ZX Twin-Turbo
2003 Nissan FCV Concept
2008 Nissan Forum Concept
2013 Nissan Friend-ME
2003 Nissan Fuga Concept
1985 Nissan GTP ZX-Turbo
2008 Nissan GT-R
2011 Nissan GT-R
2014 Nissan GT-R
2011 Nissan GT-R Club Track Edition
2001 Nissan GT-R Concept
2005 Nissan GT-R Concept
2009 Nissan GT-R FIA-GT1
2008 Nissan GT-R GT500
2015 Nissan GT-R LM NISMO
2014 Nissan GT-R Nismo
2013 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3
2014 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT500
2009 Nissan GT-R SpecV
2011 Nissan GT-R SpecV
2015 Nissan IDS Concept
2013 Nissan IDx Freeflow
2013 Nissan IDx NISMO
2011 Nissan Juke Nismo Concept
2011 Nissan LEAF NISMO RC
1985 Nissan Mid4 Concept
1987 Nissan Mid4 Type II Concept
2001 Nissan Nails Concept
1992 Nissan NP35
1992 Nissan Primera BTCC
1990 Nissan Pulsar GTi-R
2014 Nissan Pulsar NISMO
2009 Nissan Qazana
1967 Nissan R380-II
1968 Nissan R381
1969 Nissan R382
1970 Nissan R383
1997 Nissan R390 GT1
1998 Nissan R390 GT1
1998 Nissan R390 GT1
1999 Nissan R391
1985 Nissan R85V
1986 Nissan R86V
1988 Nissan R88C
1989 Nissan R89C
1990 Nissan R90CK
1991 Nissan R90CP
1991 Nissan R91CP
1992 Nissan R92CP
2007 Nissan R.D/B.X
2002 Nissan Sentra SE-R V Spec
2003 Nissan Serenity Concept
1989 Nissan Silvia K’s
1999 Nissan Silvia Spec-R
1983 Nissan Silvia Super Silhouette
1986 Nissan Silvia Turbo RS-X
1964 Nissan Skyline 2000GT
1969 Nissan Skyline 2000GTR
1987 Nissan Skyline 2000GTS-R
1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R
1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R
1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R
1993 Nissan Skyline GT-R Group A
1992 Nissan Skyline GT-R Group N
1999 Nissan Skyline GT-R NISMO JGTC
2002 Nissan Skyline GT-R Nür
1993 Nissan Skyline GT-R Prototype
1997 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec
1983 Nissan Skyline GTS-R
1973 Nissan Skyline H/T 2000GT-R
1983 Nissan Skyline Super Silhouette
2005 Nissan Sport Concept
2014 Nissan Sport Sedan Concept
2006 Nissan Urge Concept
1999 Nissan Z Concept
2001 Nissan Z Concept
2014 Nissan ZEOD RC
1993 Nissan Stillen 300 GTZ