First introduced in the 1977 model year as a rebadged Japanese-market Nissan Violet A10 and a companion to the (Japanese: Nissan Violet Auster), which was sold at a different Nissan Japan dealership network. The Stanza, which is Italian for “room” or “apartment”

In Australia, it was called the Datsun Stanza, and in the United States the Datsun 510, a name which was recalled a previous Datsun 510. It was powered (in 1978 models) by the 2.0 L I4 L20B and in later years by the 2.0 L I4 Z20 series of engines.

Five body styles were on offer: 2- and 4-door saloons, a 3-door hatchback coupe (Nissan Violet), a 5-door hatchback (introduced later in the car’s production run) and a 5-door estate. Transmissions offered were a 4-speed manual (in all except the 3-door hatchback), a 5 speed manual (in the 3-door hatchback only), and a 3-speed automatic.

The Stanza was assembled in Australia from 1978–82, in 4-door 1.6 L saloon form, primarily to fill a gap between the Sunny and 200B. Trims available were “GL”, “GX” and sporty “SSS”.

In 1979, 120 2-door coupe models were assembled in Australia, apparently due to a mix-up with Nissan Australia’s kit ordering system.

New Zealand saw limited imports of the Datsun 160J 3-door hatchback. The car was not widely available, as its place in the New Zealand market was generally filled by the Datsun 120Y and the Datsun Bluebird-based 160B.

In the United Kingdom, this generation was marketed as the Datsun Violet, and was sold in 1.4 L “GL” and 1.6 L “GL” engine/trim combinations. No estate models were offered.


The Violet 160J was Nissan’s most successful car in the World Rally Championship. It won the Safari Rally in Kenya from 1979 to 1982 consecutively, all with Shekhar Mehta behind the wheel. The 1979 and 1980 winners were powered by an SOHC engine; the 1981 and 1982 winners were Violet GT models with a DOHC engine (Nissan  legendary FJ20 engine). These Safari records are only matched by the Toyota Celica GT-Four which won the 1992–95 events. Driven by Timo Salonen, the Violet also won the 1980 Rally New Zealand and the 1981 Rallye Côte d’Ivoire.

Also Known as
United Kingdom         Japan                           USA    Australia
140J/160J                    Violet/Auster/Stanza   510      Stanza

Production      1977–81 

Body style(s)
4-door saloon
5-door estate
3 or 5 door hatchback
5-door hatchback Nissan Stanza Resort

2.0 L L20B I4
2.0 L Z20S I4
1.8 L L18 I4
1.8 L Z18E I4
1.6 L Z16S I4
1.6 L Z16E I4
1.6 L L16 I4
1.6 L L16S I4
1.6 L L16E I4

3-speed automatic
4-speed manual
5-speed manual

Wheelbase       94.5 in (2400 mm)
Length 169.9 in (4315 mm)
Width  63.0 in (1600 mm)
Height 54.7 in (1389 mm)
Curb weight    1,005 kg (2,220 lb)

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