Back when Japanese imports were first making their way into the American consciousness, there weren't very many players, and they didn't have the reputation for reliability that they do now. People were skeptical, and though these cars are ubiquitous now, it took pioneers to lead the way, and one of them was the Datsun Motor Company. They stuck their foot in the door, as they say, in the beginning of the push toward smaller cars and that opening just continued to grow wider and wider over the years.
A lot of times it takes a single model of car to capture the attention of the auto buying public, and in the case of the Datsun, the 240Z was that car. The Z was the epitome of sporty; fast and sleek, small but stylish. The brand name of Datsun was not very long lived in the United States, as the brand really blossomed here in 1970s, and by the 1981, the parent company, Nissan, decided that it wanted to consolidate its branding efforts. The name "Datsun" gradually faded into the Nissan mark, but collectors still cherish the vintage Datsuns, like the 240Z, 260Z, 280Z, 280 ZX, and 310.