12 November 2014

History of the year 1971 leading up to the 1974 Datsun 160J SSS KP710 Violet Turbo

Let us go back to 1971, I was four years old so what do I know?

Thanks to archived newspaper articles I have been on a thrilling rediscovery of what was 'in the air' back in 1971 in Malaysia. I contacted the newspaper's administration for permission to publish their articles after which, when I get a positive reply, I will post on this blog. Suffice to say, a picture showing the Datsun 160J SSS 710 Violet Turbo car no.120 was even in the news of 1974!

Briefly, the Japanese and European car manufacturers were setting their eyes on a 'little' (by world standards then) 2.1 mile Batu Tiga racetrack in Shah Alam of the Selangor state of Malaysia to settle their, literally brewing mettle with metal or commonly known as motorsports :-). The competitive spirit was, always has been and will be on a high note.

What do I mean? Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ford, Opel, Porsche and Datsun, to name a few, were hot on the pursuit of victory at the Selangor Grand Prix held a couple of times annually. Yes, you read right, a couple of times means twice a year.  It was the melting pot of motor racing technology being poured in from manufacturers all over the world in this part of Asia!

And I read that the FIA rulings were pretty liberal if thats what was followed then and Datsun was already hotly experimenting with turbocharging in 1971. They intended to bring their turbocharged Datsun SSS (most likely a 510 body), a first ever appearance anywhere in the world, to Batu Tiga racetrack to be driven by their top aces drivers Kunimitsu Takahashi and Kenji Tohira. Reported to make over 200 bhp from 2,500cc are snippets in the article. Yes, they were called aces drivers back in the early 70s.

Albert Poon representing Malaysia will drive an Alfa Romeo GTAM. Now that got me all excited as I know that Malaysia then even had a couple of GTAs on the road! I am surprised no mention was made of Henry Yap who would have piloted the fabulous UK Ford Cosworth BDAs escorts and in later years the German Zakspeed tuned Mk II escorts of which I attended to see with my own eyes in 1977. Of course many other Malaysian drivers are on the scene as well and will receive mention later.

Indonesia was to be upheld by their ace Hengkie Iriawan driving the Opel Commodore GS. Singapore even had their ace woman driver Anne Wong attend as a spectator only.

This was leading up to the 1971 Selangor GP!

For the interested, check the following forum for some local discussions:


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