Jidosha Seizo Company (Automobile Manufacturing Company Ltd) takes over all operations for manufacturing Datsun cars from the automobile division of Tobata Foundry Company, creating a division of its own. The first model created by Jidosha Seizo Co. is the Datsun 12.
The Datsun 12 was an evolution of the 1932 Datsun 11. Much of the body remained the same, but the must significant changes were to the mechanicals.
The previous Datsun 11 had continued to use the old 495cc 10hp side valve engine, which dated back to the days when the company was called DAT. For 1933 the regulations regarding maximum engine size for small cars was changed in Japan. Datsun had successfully petitioned the government asking that the capacity be increased, as they felt that the existing 500cc class was too restrictive. It probably didn’t hurt that Takeuchi, one of the major investors in Datsun, was the cousin of the ex-Prime Minister of Japan, and he likely still had connections.
The new regulations now stated that small cars must be under 750cc, and Datsun’s response to the changes was the introduction of the new bored and stroked version of the DAT engine, which now grew to 748cc and produced 12hp. A 2hp increase may now sound like much, but it was a 20% jump in performance.
The changes to the body were minimal. The bodywork at the top of the doors was altered, and now has a more rounded shape. Many cars left the factory with the top of the doors painted a darker colour. This line of different colour continued to the back of the car on most models, and towards the front on others.
The bodies of the Datsun 12s were built by Yanase Motor and the Nihon Jidosha Corporation. The chassis were built at the Osaka Plant of the Automotive Division of Tobata Casting, which was soon to change it’s name to Nissan. 150 Datsun 12s were built, the 12 was replaced in 1934 by the Datsun 13.