Is probably truth that in the early ’70s maybe Datsun/Nissan was probably the most successful car manufacturer talking in development and real performance cars. Specially thanks to the well known Skyline GTR. From Hakosuka to Kenmeri.
But under that high spec coupes, and also not forgetting the hyper performance car produced by Mazda with the Cosmo 110S as maximum expression of design and performance from Mazda and Toyota with the 2000, apart of those high spec coupes, the people of the seventies were already demanding less powerful and probably, as main problem, less expensive coupe cars. The boom for the joy of car in the country was about to start in the follow years.
The way that Toyota and Datsun/Nissan used to save cost was very easy and clever. By producing sedan, coupe and wagon version the development of a car become cheaper effective and more affordable for the buyer of that time.
Is very obvious that the Toyota Carina coupe is not as popular as the Bluebird. Not now and not even at the time the were for sale, maybe also the design of the Bluebird was more sporty and beautiful but that also from everyone’s point of view.
But the followed evolutions of Toyota Carina were and are quite popular between the Kyusha fans and car builders. Specially the versions A40 and A50.
What happened was that Datsun put so bigger effort into getting the Bluebird much popular, the Bluebird’s were racing in Japan and also in America (were the Bluebird was sold under the badge 510), taking victories and making sportier version of the common Bluebird.
Today the 510 is such a good looking car and swapping an SR20DET you know is a very good way to power this small coupe created more than 40 years ago.