Nissan has a funny reputation for building completely normal, totally down-to-earth automobiles. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, the Japanese automaker builds a car that absolutely blows the competition away.
From the world of exotics and sports cars, to everyday family sedans and economy cars, Nissan’s engineering team has an enviable track record when it comes to bringing high performance and driving fun to a vast spectrum of car buyers. Sure, you can spend upwards of $100,000 for a brand new GT-R, and spend your days harassing hapless Ferrari and Lamborghini owners. It’s fun, trust us!
But you can equally save a whole ton of cash and choose an understated classic, like the 1991-94 Sentra SE-R. Nimble and peppy, this little Nissan is also absolutely invisible to local authorities who’ll be more inclined to keep a watchful eye on the sports car crowd.
So, in no particular order, these are the fastest, most fun, and definitely some of the most influential Nissan performance cars of all time.
15. 1966-1970 Datsun 1600 “Fairlady” Roadster
More cute and cuddly than fast and ferocious, the 1600 Sport Roadster is still one of those classic Nissans that created a performance foundation for the brand. When it hit its stride in the 1960s, the Datsun 1600 was pitted against small, chirpy, and primarily British roadsters from the likes of MG and Triumph. While it wasn’t quite as popular, the Datsun had the edge in agility and, most importantly, reliability. It’s not a fire-breather, but this rear-wheel-drive roadster remains and absolute delight to drive and own.
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