The original Silvia was shown at the Tokyo Auto Show in 1964 to much acclaim.
It went into production in March of 1965 as the CSP311, a very roadster-like
designation, not suprising as it shared the 1595cc OHV 4 banger of the 1600
Roadster. It pumped out 90 horsepower and was said to have a top speed of
165km\h. Production continued until June of 68 when Nissan gave up on the
model after 3 years of lackluster sales.
The Silvia name was retired until September of 1975, when the new S10 model was
introduced. Initially it came with the L18 SOHC that produced 105hp. This is
the car that Mr. K dubbed "that ugly Silvia" and fought against
importing to the US.
In March of 1977, the Silvia G(S11) was added to the line up. It was a bit
more stylish than the S10, but still far from a looker. This was the first year
the Silvia was offered in the US, renamed the 200sx.
The Silvia was completely revamped for a 3rd series(S110) in March of 1979, and
was also sold under the Gazelle name as well as 200sx in North America. The
Silvia 1800 LSE-X(e-PS110) came with the first of the Z series engines, the
Z18ET, with the T standing for Turbocharged. This 1770cc engine generated a hot
135 horsepower at 6000 rpm. A L20B powered carb version was also available,
though it was soon upgraded to the EFI 2 liter Z series engine, then the z22e
2.2 liter powerplant.