Datsun-inspired Altima set for Sandown

Caruso with his Sandown paint scheme

Caruso with his Sandown paint scheme

Nissan will celebrate 50 years of business in Australia at this weekend’s Wilson Security Sandown 500 by paying homage to Datsun’s 1966 Bathurst campaign.

The latest of the throwback looks to break cover for the event is the first to fit the originally stated theme of “bringing back the look and feel of the touring car eras of the 60s, 70s and 80s”.

Nissan’s Michael Caruso/Dean Fiore entry mimics the red paintwork of the Datsun 1300 that won Class A in the 1966 Bathurst 500 in the hands of Japanese drivers Moto Kitano and Kunimitsu Takahashi.

The winning #54 entry was part of a three-car team that also saw Australian pairings John Roxburgh/Doug Whiteford and John Colwell/Fred Sutherland finish second and fourth in class respectively.

Current Nissan Australia CEO Richard Emery said that Supercars’ decision to implement a retro round has neatly coincided with the marque’s anniversary.

“When Nissan was incorporated in Australia back in 1966, one of the first things we did was to go motor racing,” said Emery.

“It is fitting that now, as we celebrate half a century of our Australian operations, that we salute the success of the Datsun 1300 that won its class in the 1966 Bathurst 500.

“Over 700 staff and their families will be trackside to cheer on our Nissan Motorsport team at Sandown, which is located within kilometres of our Australian headquarters, and it’s great that our celebration links in with the ‘retro theme’ of this year’s Sandown 500.”

Nissan remains yet to confirm the fate of its Supercars program beyond 2016, but is widely expected to recommit for at least another season.

Kitano and Takahashi at Bathurst in 1966

Kitano and Takahashi at Bathurst in 1966

VIDEO: The 1966 Bathurst inspired Sandown 500 entry for Nissan

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