Ask most enthusiasts what the first Japanese sports car of significance sold in the U.S. was, and the likely response would be Datsun 240Z. But you can make a compelling case for a series of two-seat Datsuns before the 240Z and its successors. Called Datsun Sports convertibles, they are better known as Datsun Roadsters though they were never officially sold as such. These were the first Japanese sports cars that could truly compete with the popular MGs, Triumphs, and Fiats of the day in terms of price and performance. Designated SRL-311, the Datsun 2000 leapt ahead of most European rivals with a high-revving 135 horsepower engine, a modern five-speed transmission — a first for a Japanese sports car — and a price that undercut the 104-horsepower, four-speed Triumph TR4.