Yes, Nissan Named A Car After The Musical My Fair Lady
Nissan creates, curates, and maintains a lovely heritage website, where it’s possible to spend hours poring over the details of, say, an R380 sports racing car. Along with the eye candy, there are a number of fascinating tales from company history, including how a Tokyo building inspired the name of both its brand ambassadors and most beloved sports car, the Fairlady.
At the 1962 Datsun Fairlady 1500 launch party held inside Nissan’s recently-completed circular gallery in Ginza, look: there’s space between “Fair” and “Lady”. And it’s all because the company president, Katsuji Kawamata, saw My Fair Lady on Broadway when touring the U.S., and thought it’d be a fitting connection between a new sports car and the heart of the company’s Tokyo presence.
See, its Ginza showroom was a marvel, and the manufacturer needed people to staff it in an new and exciting way. The result was named after its new car, Miss Fairlady, and is a program for young women to act as part ambassador, product expert, and beauty queen. Even today, Miss Fairladys staff the company’s most important showroom, and are often at events like motor shows and stockholder meetings.
That said, I’m not sure what George Bernard Shaw would have made of his Pygmalion (which is what My Fair Lady had been adapted from) being the literal inspiration for a career that involves taking public speaking lessons, formal bow training, and learning about Nissan’s products.
But at least now you know that your Nissan Z was originally named for the play My Fair Lady, which was an adaptation of another play, Pygmalion, that sought to mock the British class system…in 1913. Suffice it to say, if She’s All That gets a sequel, she should be driving a Z.
Image sources: nissan-global.com