Datsun 810 Maxima Wayback Machine

Take a Trip Back To the Early Eighties and Appreciate the Innovative 1982 Datsun 810 Maxima

The first car to wear the Maxima name was introduced in 1980 for the 1981 model year. It was essentially a Japanese-market Bluebird 910 with a 3.9 in (99 mm) longer nose to accommodate the inline-six engine. The car was offered as the 810 Deluxe or 810 Maxima that first year, and all 810s became Maximas for 1982.

1982 Datsun Maxima Trowback Thursday
The origins of the Maxima began in July 1976 as the Datsun 810, an upscale six-cylinder version of the Bluebird, and was spun into its own line in 1981, having been made continuously since then. The “Maxima” name was applied gradually, beginning in 1981. Most pre-2004 Maximas were built in Oppama, Japan, until the current North American Maximas started being assembled in Smyrna, Tennessee.

In 1984, the last year of the first generation Maxima, American Datsuns began carrying the “Nissan” badge as well (only 1984 Nissans have both “Nissan” and “Datsun” on the back of the car). Toyota responded to the introduction of the Maxima by giving the Toyota Mark II a more upmarket sibling, the Cressida.

1982 Datsun Maxima Trowback Thursday

The second generation retained the same base engine as the previous Datsun 810. It was also available with the LD28 OHC 2.8 L I6 Diesel engine (available in the US from mid-1981 through 1983) with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.

Some of the power steering pumps were sourced from General Motors’ Saginaw Gear division, while others were sources from Atsugi. This was the second Nissan to use US-sourced parts besides the Borg-Warner T-5 transmission used in the 82-86 Nissan ZX Turbos. The use of USA-made parts was phased in prior to the passage of local content laws imposed by the U.S. Government.

One interesting fact about this car is its phonograph-based voice warning system. Warnings like those for a door being open, etc. would be relayed through the mini phonograph and played for the driver to hear. A common thing to hear would be, “door is open, key is in ignition.” 1981 models were the first ‘talking car’ sold in the US and offered only one voice warning, a female voice reminding the driver that the “Lights are on.”