Of Datsuns, Nickels, and Dimes: A Trans Am Story

The stage is set for the 1971 SCCA Trans-American Sedan Championship.  Datsun was about to enter the 2.5 liter challenge for cars with engines under 2.5 liters in displacement (who’d have thought). Alfa Romeo was coming back to the series to defend their 1970 championship victory.  Additional competition arrived in the form of BMW’s 2002, Volvo’s 142, and Ford’s new Escort Twin-Cam. While previous years of the Trans Am focused primarily on the muscular Mustangs, Cougars, Camaros, Cudas, Challengers, and Javelins, 1971 saw the withdrawal of nearly all of the factory backed 5 liter cars.  The 2.5 liter challenge quickly became the class to watch, and a points race that went down to the final event proved it so. The following video is a lengthy documentary filmed primarily by the Datsun of America propaganda machine, but it is excellent nonetheless.  Lengthy though it is, it is definitely worth spending a half an hour in front of your computer. Even if you know nothing about 1970s sedan racing, this video is worth watching for the amazing period video, and even the commercials are good. Keep an eye out for Pete Brock’s outrageously stylish scarves…simply stunning. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5XAP4pCRps&feature=related[/youtube]

Datsun's Five-Dime, Legendary John Morton, and Goofy Pete Brock
Okay, so, now that you have watched the video, here is a bit of a weird factoid for you conspiracy theorists.  As you saw, the series went down to the final race of the season at the legendary Laguna Seca course.  You also saw that Horst Kwech (pronounced Kwech) was disqualified for carrying too much fuel in an enlarged tank 24 hours after winning.  Well, reportedly, the SCCA has no official records of that season ending race.  The only information we have about the 11th race of the season is all hearsay.  OH NO, put on your tin-foil hats

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