Datsun Heritage Museum
A long-overdue grand opening.
September 12, 2008
Words - Koji Yamaguchi and Ben Hsu, Photos - Koji Yamaguchi of JCCS
n September 12 the Datsun Heritage Museum opened in Murrieta, California. This project was the culmination of a lifetime of work for Fred Jordan. Not only was Jordan Sales Manager at one of the first Datsun dealerships in the United States, he is a Datsun collector and founder of the Z-Car Club of Inland Valley and a close friend of Mr Yutaka "Mr. K" Katayama. With a pair of oversized scissors, Jordan and Masataka Usami, the museum President who was a Nissan USA since 1961 before retirement, cut the ceremonial ribbon, marking museum's official opening.
The museum itself has approximately 15 cars, the oldest being a beautiful silver and maroon 1936 Datsun Phaeton. Several Z-cars were on display, including Jordan's own mint 10th Anniversary Black Gold 1980 280ZX, a 1978 Black Pearl 280Z, and a yellow G-nose once owned by Katayama himself. There's also pristine examples of a JDM Bluebird Coupe, a pair of Fairlady roadsters, and a Patrol off-roader. In addition, the museum houses a library of Datsun-related articles and cases full of old Datsun USA memorabilia from Jordan's decades of work.
It's important to note that the museum sees absolutely no funding from Nissan USA. The company does have its own collection, but under the stewardship of current CEO Carlos Ghosn, drastic efforts to slash costs have resulted in uprooting the headquarters from the J-tin mecca of southern California to Nashville, Tennessee and bringing the collection with them.
As a result, the Datsun Heritage Museum relies entirely on the support and generosity of enthusiasts. At this point only cars bearing the Datsun nameplate are allowed. Jordan hopes that the museum will serve as a way to promote appreciation of the marque, preserve its history, and encourage restoration of the cars.
The Datsun Heritage Museum is located at 41610 Date Street, Suite 103, Murrieta, CA 92562, approximately 90 minutes west of Los Angeles. Please visit the website
for more details or if you would like to contribute.