It’s always a special feeling when you get out of your car and someone asks you, “Hey, what is this? This either means that this person doesn’t know much about cars or you have a keen sense of automotive taste … or is trying to distract you while they steal from you (but probably not). If you own a Nissan Gloria it has probably happened to you in the last few days or maybe even hours.
As car enthusiasts, it is not enough to know a lot about one thing. Someone named JDM because he owns a Japanese car won’t do it. But, if they know their stuff, the Nissan Gloria should widen their eyes and make them feel “the war and the blur” inside.
If you’ve never heard of the Gloria, don’t think so. It was never offered in the United States and few were imported. However, this rear-wheel-drive Japanese sedan dates back to Nissan’s history and is a great platform for aftermarket JDM goodness. Production of the Gloria lasted from 1959 to 2004.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the Nissan Gloria.
We want what we can’t have
The Nissan Gloria was also known as the Nissan Cedric. And the reason you probably never heard of these names is the same reason we haven’t been able to get an R34 GT-R in the US for so many years. Now you can technically import an R34 and modify it to comply with FMVSS standards for American roads.
But unlike the GT-R, the Gloria didn’t have fans waiting across an ocean to import it when the time finally came. Which means that if they were imported, it was out of necessity. For example, a Japanese family moving to the United States may have owned a Gloria and want to take it with them.
This type of situation did not allow many Glorias to reach North America as she was not a very popular model.
But decades after JDM’s “golden age”, any rear-wheel-drive Japanese car that can be modified is fair game for enthusiasts, and the Gloria is it.
The Nissan Gloria in all its glory
In 1958, the Prince Motor Company began work on a luxury version of the Prince Skyline. He had a completely different sheet metal and a comfort mission. It was the BLSIP Gloria.
After its exhibition at the All Japan Automobile Show in 1958, the company decided that it would go on sale for the following model year. It has a very American design with flowing lines, large chrome parts and a great presence on the road. In fact, the very first Gloria production was given to the Crown Prince of Japan, Prince Akihito, as a wedding gift.
It used an 80 hp inline 4-cylinder engine developed by Prince, and a few years later it hit 93 hp for the BLSIP-3 version of the Gloria in the early 1960s.
By the 1990s, the Skyline and the Gloria had gone in two completely different directions. The Skyline became the partial nameplate for one of the world’s most famous sports cars, and the other morphed into a modest luxury sedan that no one seemed to care about beyond the waters of Japan.
But the Gloria’s style in the early 90s was way ahead of its time. He grew extra doors and made the Jaguar body styling better than Jaguar themselves. Never count the Japanese when it comes to producing a timeless design.
And speaking of a timeless design, at the end of its production the Gloria was replaced by the Nissan Fuga, which became the sedans of the Infiniti M series. The Infiniti M45 sedan is one of the badass sedans of the 2000s.
The Nissan Gloria offered fantastic performance
The early 1990s Nissan Gloria was offered with several versions of the Nissan VG30 V6 as well as the 2.0-liter VG20 V6. These engines were associated with a 5 or 4 speed automatic transmission. No manual, unfortunately.
The Gloria was developing 226 horsepower at its peak in the ’90s, placing it above both the 92’s MR-2 and the Acura Integra, two extremely legendary sports cars.
Fortunately, the VG30 engine series was also used in the Nissan 300ZX, a car that came with a manual. Swapping it out doesn’t require a lot of work since the V6 has been mounted longitudinally in the Gloria.
The sedan version from the early ’90s also gives drifters a wider wheelbase and more room to put racing rubber in the back when they hit the racetrack. Or, you can kick in your Gloria and turn it into a VIP sedan with window curtains, champagne compartments, and leather-padded floor mats. Just an idea.
It doesn’t matter if you love the Gloria or pass it up, this car is steeped in Japanese automotive history and gave the Nissan Skyline badge the chance to make its way onto the first one. Hakosuka GT-R at the end of the 1960s.
In the mid-1980s, GM designed a concept car with technology that rivals today’s cars.
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