Mysteries of the Datsun 810 Maxima Voice Box Revealed

nissan_datsun_810_maxima
In the early 80s, the dawn of the personal computer age, no form of electronic gimmickry was considered too pointless. The family coach for a friend of mine was none other than a 1982 Datsun 810 Maxima wagon, nearly identical in appearance to the Cressida wagons I love so dearly today, except it had one very important feature: the Maxima spoke!

At the time we all thought that by 2009 robot servants would be bringing us beers in our elevated skypads and the Maxima’s soothing voice alerting us that the “left door is open” was the first primordial step towards this awesome future. But how did this automotive HAL 9000 emit its audible warnings?

datsun_810_maxima_voice_boxOur swashbuckling friend Murilee Martin over at Jalopnik recently discovered an ’82 Maxima relic on one of his many junkyard expeditions and has uncovered The Secret of the Maxima Voice Box. Turns out, it’s a tiny plastic record! There are six grooves, one for each message, and a tiny stylus to play them. Clearly it’s in no position to develop sentience and take over the world. How disappointing!

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13 Responses to Mysteries of the Datsun 810 Maxima Voice Box Revealed

  1. Nigel said:

    Just the right size for “the Smurf DJ” and his turntables.

  2. 4AGE KE70 said:

    Whoa,an 80’s car using a voice box,I can’t believe it.I must get a classic car with a voice box,NICE!

  3. Haha, I have this memory from when I was a little kid riding in one of my Grandma’s friend’s cars and it had a voice. It said some thing like ” Please fasten seat belt”. It must have been one of these Maximas. Ask TSISS350 about his Cressida’s digital Birthday alarm.

  4. Neil said:

    Big deal, what did you expect.
    Its not like the car could carry conversation, its dosent have to be that complicated, lol

  5. Derrick S said:

    Can we get a better picture of the record?

  6. Ben said:

    Unfortunately this was the best out of Murilee’s pics. You can click on the link to Jalopnik and contact him from there.

  7. Steve said:

    I worked for Nissan at the time these were manufactured. We interviewed for monthes to find the coreect voice for the recordings. The candidates read different scripes over and over until corporate was happy. We even had employees vote on the best sounding voice. The boxes can in 200SX’s also. I had an SX that we installed a Canadian box. The guy spoke French. I think he was gay but sure got a lot of laughs.

  8. tkmedia said:

    It looks more like a cylinder than a record to me.

  9. James said:

    It’s got grooves cut into it and a stylus to play them… that’s pretty much a record no matter what the shape.

  10. rob said:

    i have driven a toyota Celica XX (japanese MA61 celica supra) that had a factory voice box. The handbrake switch was faulty so every 3 seconds a japanese lady would mistakenly tell you in japanese that the handbrake was up while you drove.

    cool story hansel.

  11. Onelegmurphy said:

    Woah! My z31 had that voice too, I had no idea that it was that awesome…..

  12. Skylines & Z's said:

    The 84 Z31 had the voice of the lady telling you to turn your lights off, side breaks were on, door is open (while driving). It was great in those rainy days when I was rushing to class to remind me to turn the lights off!

    I think but I am not too sure that 83 280ZX had a voice device as well.

    Also, my friend had I think an 87 Cressida that it remembered his B-day!! not sure what other stuff it did though

  13. JoeyZ said:

    My 83 280ZX also has the voice box. Also known as bitchin’ betty.

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