My apologies if I seem to be hogging the limelight again, but there are some points that should be raised regarding the above two pieces in the NZ Classic Car, August 2015.
I believe that the first Australian two-door hardtop was the XM Falcon rather than the Monaro, this model having been launched in 1964 and being of Aussie design, as there was no US derivative on which it was based.
As for the Datsun Z, the following may be of interest to other readers —
the Z was championed by the president of Nissan US, Yutaka Katayama (nicknamed Mr K), who believed that an affordable sports car with modern amenities was the key to getting Datsun on the map in that market. The Fairlady name that graced the Z in Japan was already used on its predecessor, the Nissan 1600/1800/2000 Sports. It fell into line with other Englishderived names like Bluebird and Cedric, as the president of Nissan at the time was an Anglophile, and the fact that Nissan built Austins under licence before striking out with its own designs probably also played its part. And there is the story that the name was chosen in association with the then hit stage production, My Fair Lady.
The L series engines which powered these cars is believed by many to be a good copy of a Mercedes-benz design. It was used in four- and six-cylinder formats to power various Datsun/nissan vehicles well into the 1980s. Even though a five-speed manual became available soon after its release, this option remained unavailable in the US market until 1977!
Trust the above bits of trivia prove entertaining and informative.
Colin Ong, Christchurch