1970: First Japanese car to be Safari Rally overall winner

Nissan started participating in the Safari Rally in 1963 (11th East African Safari Rally), with the Bluebird (P312) and Cedric (G31). In 1966, the fourth year of competing in this event, a Bluebird became the first Japanese car to win its class. The 14th rally was held under abysmally wet conditions, and only nine cars - including 2 Bluebirds (411) - managed to finish the course. No.6, the class victor, was quickly airfreighted back to Japan and put on display in the Ginza.
The exploits of this Nissan team were recorded in a book entitled "5,000 Kilometers to Glory", written by G. Kasahara (Test Dept. manager at the time). This was later made into a movie ("5000km to the Glory") starring Yujiro Ishihara.
Other victories followed. In 1969, a Bluebird (510) took class and team prizes. The "5000km to the Glory" movie actually contains many scenes actually shot at the 1969 event. In the following year, at the 18th rally, Nissan finally took top honors, winning all three prizes - overall, class and team.


The overall winner in the 1970 Safari Rally was car No.4, driven by E. Hermann / H. Schuller . They repeated this feat in the following year with a Fairlady 240Z.