The Datsun is Back

I read today that Nissan Motors is unveiling its first car in the resurrected Datsun brand in India, and while everything about this announcement makes total sense, it brings back so many memories….

This is a hotted up version of our old car… while ours was also red, it wasn’t this pretty and it didn’t have a roof
For some bloody reason, I had the only Dad in the world who did not give a shit about his car. He changed in his later years – getting more stylish top to bottom – but as kids, we were never able to claim any pride in our father’s choice of family vehicle. The stand-out amongst all of his bad car choices was the red Datsun two door wagon – with tarp. I don’t know why my Dad chose a wagon for a family of six, with only two seats in the front – but I can tell you something, we REALLY had a reason to fight over who got the front seat.

Unlike most other families we grew up with, we had the arse-aching pleasure of sitting on a corrugated metal slab for our journeys. It got so bad that one year my Great Aunty Bel – who felt sorry for us when she realised we had a 600km round-trip on that surface – donated a piece of her couch so at least three of us could sit on something a little more comfortable. Unfortunately there wasn’t room across for four, so my youngest brother, Mark, always got the shitty end of that stick. Sorry Mark.

This is a tuba – boob height on me
I am still impacted by this experience, because I find it incredibly challenging being in an airless environment (it’s as close to a panic attack as I get) due to sitting under a tarp in said Datsun during hot Australian summers, with no air circulating at all. It was equally bloody cold in the winter, especially when we went up the mountains to go skiing. Brrrrrrr.

The highlight, of course, was the fact that we were quite a musical family. Twice a week at least, we’d head off to band practice, and if we were lucky we’d get to do a gig at a local fate, festival or even entertain the grannies at a retirement home on weekends – we actually did enjoy it alright. Anyway, everyone would arrive in their suitable family vehicle, looking presentable and comfortable, whereas in we’d come a-chuggin to have the hatch released, and out would flow two very large tubas, probably some percussion gear (‘cos we were good like that), a euphonium, and a couple of cornets, followed by four children in a disheveled state.

Mate, we were proud I tell you. We eventually upgraded the Datsun to a beige family car – this time with back seats – but it was one of those mini-family sedans, so still not enough room. Come on DAD!! As such we still had good reason to fight over the front seat.
My boys are bloody lucky I tell ya – growing up in a time when at least seat belts are required is what I would call progress.

So fellow Wodonga Brass Bandies – remember the Datsun? And anyone else have a special car in their childhood memory banks?

Yours, without the bollocks


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