Back to the Violet page 1973-1977 140J 160J (710)

The A10 Violet was updated in 1977 with a more angular design, with the same body options as before, which again carried over much of the drivetrain from the 710. The styling was the first of a new generation of square edged models, losing the coke bottle curves of the previous generation. The UK recieved the same body formats as before, but the L series 1428cc engine was discontinued for the same 1397cc A series engine as the Sunny, although the A-Series was less powerful, it was more economical and improved the acceleration times. The 1.6 options continued with the L16 engines. Earlier twin headlamp models sported 140J/160J badges, while the facelift models would sport Violet name tags. Typically, the press were largely unimpressed with the cars abilities, siting its unadventurous styling and conventional engineering as negatives, but this was counter balanced by the cars considerable success as a world championship rally car. The A10 model was replaced in 1981 by a new generation of FWD models badged in the UK as the Stanza (T11). UK Sales of the A10 totalled 46,301. 23,690 saloons with the A14 engine, 14,142 saloons with the L16 with the 1.6 coupe totalling 8,394 registrations.

 a101979 UK spec Datsun 140J
 A10_11980 UK spec Datsun Violet

Like the previous model, a 5 door estate version was produced, as well as a 5 door hatchback model – the A10 was actually badged as the 510 in North America in an attempt to capatilise of the previous (and well regarded) cars reputation. Datsuns vehicle naming policy was typically different across the continents, the Violet illustrates the occasionally confusing policy perfectly, with the car being known as the 140J/160J in Europe, the Auster/Stanza in Japan, the 510 in the States but often refered to as the Violet across the world.

 A10_31979 UK spec Datsun 160J SSS
 A10_21980 UK spec Datsun 160J SSS

The A10 Rally succeed that of the already successful 710 models, with Global Nissan works team supporting several A10 4 door SSS. Nissan chalked up wins on the Safari Rally (East African rally) consecutively from 1979 to 1982 with a car driven by Ugandan-born Kenyan Shekhar Mehta. He’d won the rally 5 times over his career in a Datsun. 2 more victories by other drivers were notched up in 1980/81. In 1981 there were 6 Nissans in the top ten finishers of the Safari rally, 4 of them A10 Violets and 2 in the Datsun Silvia 200SX, the successor to the A10 works team rally car.

 A10_estateUS spec Datsun 510 estate

Like the previous 710 Violet model, the estate was not offered in Europe, as it offered less space than the similarly engined Bluebird range, however it could be argued that Nissan UK missed out on potential sales of the 5 door version, in the higher specification Auster models but this would be addressed by the introduction of the new range of FWD cars, badged as the Stanza.

 austerJDM spec Datsun Auster
 a10_rally_1Datsun Violet rally

Model History

140J/Violet (1977-1981)
A Series 4 Cylinder 1397cc OHV
4 door saloon
160J/Violet (1977-1981)
L 4 Cylinder 1595cc OHC
4 door saloon, 2 door coupe
January 1978
4 door 1.4 litre 140J and 1.6 litre 160J saloons and 1.6 twin carburetor 2 door pillarless coupe introduced into the UK, known as the MKIII.
March 1980
All models restyled with rectangular headlamps, new grill, steering, up rated suspension and interior improvments
February 1982
All models discontinued