…in the working week of John Morton. The art of speeding is his profession, and challenges are a way of life. But this was the toughest one of all.”
-From Against All Odds, the early-’70s Datsun PR film focused on the Trans-Am’s 2.5 Challenge series.
As intros go, it doesn’t get much more melodramatic than that. A DVD copy of Against All Odds—complete with flickers, slightly off colors, and aging flaws from the original negatives—found its way into our offices a while back. The disc came from deep within Nissan/Datsun’s PR archives, and we’re not exactly sure how it got out, but we love it. The film is chock-full of period in-car footage from places like Riverside, Road America, and Laguna Seca, and it features extensive interviews with ace BRE/Datsun driver John Morton and a polka-dot-scarf-wearin’ Peter Brock. (Yes, that Peter Brock.) Alfas, BMWs, Datsuns, Volvos . . . all door handle to door handle . . . it’s a ’70’s sedan-freak heaven.
So what do we do on rainy nights when there’s nothing on TV and it’s too cold to go mess around in the garage? We fire up the ol’ DVD player, we crank the volume to eleven, and we fall out of our chairs. Repeatedly. Against All Odds reminds us of a time when men were real men, women were real women, and small rorty sedans from half a world away were real small rorty sedans from half a world away.* God Bless John Morton, God Bless Datsun, and God Bless the Datsun 510.
(Take a look at the screen captures we’ve posted below, and let us know what you think. If we ask Very Nicely, there’s a slight chance that Nissan might let us host the film here in its entirety.)
*apologies to Douglas Adams