Cherry 100A/120A FII (1976-1979)

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The new Datsun 100A FII (known as the F2 – model code F10) was introduced in Japan 4 years after the launch of the 1970 original, in its home market it counter balanced some of the criticism that the original 100A appeared too small for Japanese tastes. This was achieved by increasing the dimensions of the car by using the original floor pan by applying the use of recessed headlamps, deep grills and more angular styling, following a common styling practice for many Datsun models of the era. The F10 sold in even higher numbers than its predecessor, despite the car now competing against lower engined Ford Escorts, rather than the Fiesta. One advantage to the longer wheelbase and greater weight is that the car handled better than the previous model, but as often criticised not quite up to European standards. The rack and pinion steering set up did help balance this though.

f10_2door1978 UK spec Datsun 120A FII semi-automatic 2 door saloon (with B110 hubcaps)

Sales for the original 100A were still strong in Europe, so the new design was not imported into the UK until October 1976, where it made its debut at the London Motor Show. One of the criticisms of the original range, was the intrusive noise generated by the engine and gearbox, this was partly resolved by better soundproofing and a bulkhead redesign. A panel van version was also added in 1977 to the line up as Datsun introduced a series of commercial vehicles to the UK. It retained the original 998cc and 1171cc engines and was later available with a semi automatic gearbox as an option for the 1.2 litre saloons. The 1171cc engines were also available on all models asides from the estate model, offered a considerable amount of performance improvement on the marginally heavier F10 models, which struggled with the smaller unit. The early imports featured a full length plastic grill but replaced 6 months with the distinctive hexagonal headlamps type grill. The interior had been revised to appear more upmarket than its predecessor and featured more equipment than the original versions, particularly noticeable in the coupe versions. Sales in the UK continued to match Datsuns expectations despite the import quota limits, all versions remained available until it was replaced by the larger N10 series in 1979. No official sports variants were exported to the UK and although there was no equivalent to the E10 X1/X1-R models, Nissan produced a 1400GX model for the home market without the twin Hitachi SU carburetors but featured plusher equipment, pushing the model into more luxurious rather than sporting aspirations.

 f10_mk11978 UK spec Datsun 100A FII with retro installed early style grill

By this stage most of the world major manufacturers offered the fashionable hatchback ‘supermini’ design, however Nissan were relatively slow to capitalise on this new trend of car. While importers realised that there was still a market for small saloons, sales must have been compromised due to the increasing demand for small hatchbacks in Europe. It also became the first Cherry model to be available in North America. It was sold as the F10, in just coupe and estate form with the A14 engine and 5 speed manual gearbox. Sales of the FII were naturally phased out when the larger N10 model were introduced in 1979.

 f10_4door1978 UK spec Datsun 100A 4 door saloon
 f10_coupe1979 UK spec Datsun 100A 2 door coupe
The styling excesses seen in ear;ier models, were relatively restrained for the new look F10 range, however the Nissan designers created a novel and utterly unique design for the the hump backed coupe. The rear hatch styling has some passing resemblance to the Citroen SM, which complete the outlandish styling. Like the previous coupe it offered the public a FWD alternative to the RWD Sunny 120Y coupe which was only £70 more.
f10_wagon 1978 UK spec Datsun 100A 2 door estate

Model History

Cherry 100A & 120A FII (1976-1979)
A10 4 Cylinder 988cc OHV, A12 4 Cylinder 1171cc OHV
2 and 4 door saloon, 3 door estate, 3 door coupe, 3 door van
October 1976
100A 2 door, 4 door and 1171cc 3 door 120A coupe launched in the UK
April 1977
100A 2 and 4 door saloon GLS launched with cloth seating, improved trim and revised grill. 100A 3 door estate GLS launched with uprated rear suspension.
October 1977
100A 3 door estate GL discontinued
January 1978
2 and 4 door GLS saloons launched with 1171cc engines, and optional semi-automatic gearbox.
March 1979
Imports phased out for N10 models.