The introduction of the 1967 SR311 and SRL311 saw a major update. Produced from March 1967 through 1970, the SR311 used a 2.0 L (1982 cc) U20 engine and offered a 5-speed manual transmission, unusual for a production car. The first-year cars are most-desirable today as there were just 1,000 to 2,000 produced and are unencumbered with the emissions and safety changes introduced in 1968. The new SOHC engine produced 135 hp (101 kW). An optional Competition package included dual Mikuni/Solex carburetors and a special camshaft for 150 hp (112 kW).
The Datsun 2000 was lauded as a bargain sportscar. The main reason for its production was for racing to build the Datsun image. It was raced by John Morton, Paul Newman and others. Its sticker price was lowest in its class, but it won its class in C Production (Mikuni-Solex carburetors) and D-Production (Hitachi-SU carburetors), in SCCA racing on a consistent basis even after production stopped. For the full story of Nissan's involvement in early SCCA racing, the teams, drivers and cars, visit the Datsun Roadster SCCA pages.
A well-tuned stock Datsun 2000 was capable of cruising at 120 mph (193 km/h) and capable of making better than 30 mpg (7.8 L/100 km)and red-lined at exactly 7000 rpm and 140 mph in 4th gear with a 5 speed. It was replaced with the more sedate, stylish, and popular Z series.
In the 1970's Leigh and Ross Porter raced these cars with great success. Ross Porter's car never placed lower than 4th, holds outright lap record at Warwick Farm against all group D cars at 1:43.1 Bathurst 150 mph down Conrod Straight and still holds the group D u/2000 record there, plus other great placings. Leigh won the australian sports car c/chip in 1975, Ross third. These cars are still in existance some where in Australia. They were unbreakable and only suffered 3 DNF's.