Amidst dozens of vintage cars Datsun Heritage Museum has collected for more than a decade, is the 1970 Nissan V8 limousine previously owned by the late Mozambican President, Samora Machel.
The Museum, found in the heart of Bothaville, Free State is owned by car fanatic Freek de Kock boast a whopping 118 Datsun and Nissan vehicles including a 240Z, a 1600 SSS, a 1971 first generation Nissan Skyline GT-R coupe together with five other GT-Rs, including the R35, the Pulsar, the 1200 GX, the Laurel, and numerous others.
In spite of the fact that the place doesn’t work as an official display center, it’s open by arrangement to any individual who might want to view the vehicles.
The Datsun Heritage Museum serves testimony to the legacy of a brand that has stood the test of time.
Most of the passé cars are in working order and those that aren’t are being overhauled in De Kock’s workshop.
De Kock had been infatuated with Datsun autos since he was a kid and collected them 11 years ago when his children assumed control over the privately-run company.
“With my sons running the business, it gave me time to focus on my hobbies. So, I collected cars. I realised that I would never sell the cars I was collecting, and that’s how the idea of a museum came about,” said De Kock.
Initially, De Kock thought it would be difficult to get his hands on the different Datsun models, but as people heard about the museum, they offered him several cars.
“My first car was the 300ZX, which I restored from start to finish. I’ve always loved Datsun cars because each one has a standout feature and also because both Nissan and Datsun have a well-known history of track performance.”
While the collection doesn’t operate as an official museum, it’s open by appointment to anyone who would like to view the vehicles.
When asked why he is so dedicated to this project, De Kock said; “We need to preserve the Datsun heritage because, without heritage, there will never be much of a future.
“We’re proud of our heritage as an iconic Japanese brand, and we’re equally proud of our South African heritage as a young democracy.
Heritage Day is about celebrating our diverse cultures and Datsun will continue to support the inspiring people of our rainbow nation with cars they can rely on,” said Des Fenner, Datsun South Africa General Manager.
“Since coming back to South Africa in 2014, we have established ourselves as a brand that people can trust, and we look forward to playing a Datsun begins the fifth year of its operations in South Africa today since re-entering the market in 2014.
The company is strengthening a decade-old legacy, built between the 1960s and the 1980s when it had established itself one of the most loved car brands in the country,” said Fenner.
Given Datsun’s reputation for building robust and reliable cars, Fenner said it is no surprise that many of the vehicles from that era are still in use several decades later.