Origin of the Fairlady name

The Fairlady pedigree is intimately connected with the development of the sports car in Japan. In 1961, the then president of Nissan, Katsuji Kawamata, was in the US when he chanced to hear of the Broadway musical "My Fair Lady", which was enjoying a long run. At the time, Nissan was planning to launch an improved version of the Datsun sports car (SPL213) in North America, and the President thought it would be a good idea to name the car "Fairlady" in the hope that it would prove to be similarly popular.
The Fairlady’s predecessor, the Datsun Sports (S211), had indeed been popular when exhibited two years earlier, in 1959, Los Angeles Imported Car Show. Exports to the US had just started, so the new name given to this improved version helped with the promotion, and as a result there was a surge in sales.
The SPL213 - the first-generation Fairlady, with a 1,189cc engine (60PS) - was launched in 1961. The SP310, often mistaken as the first-generation model, was actually introduced in the following year; it had a 1,488cc engine (71PS) and cost 850,000 yen. The Fairlady Z with a closed body was launched in 1969.

Development of the Datsun Sports S211 was completed in the summer of 1958, and it was launched in June 1959. It comprised the chassis of the Datsun 211 (988cc, 34PS engine) with an open 4-seater body made from FRP. The top speed was 115km/h.