November 28, 2013
Tribute to Yasuharu Namba
November 28 – Yokohama – Few individuals have made such an impact on the road and in the factory to the growth and history of Nissan Motor as Yasuharu Namba, who died this week.
Namba joined the company initially as an engine test driver, but became one of the legendary pilots of the Datsun Fuji and Sakura teams that competed in the automaker’s first international car rally.
The Australian Mobilgas Trial in 1958 was entered with hopes to simply finish the race, but the teams’ success helped to open doors that the Japanese automaker never imagined, also raising the profile of the young Namba, who eventually became the first president of motorsports performance arm NISMO.
We most recently spoke with him for our initial Heritage Series reports on Sakura and Fuji, and re-post these videos as a tribute to his pioneering spirit and contributions to Nissan’s efforts to blaze new trails and constantly improve performance.