’80s Lines, ’90s Heart

I love action, I really do. Nothing beats seeing a rear-wheel drive car driven hard on a circuit or on the street; you see its suspension working hard to cope with surface imperfections, and every last bit of grip being squeezed from the tires as the driver feeds in just enough power to exit a corner under a controlled and totally voluntary lick of opposite lock. But at the same time I do like pacing through a static show, taking my time to admire the details, marvelling over wheel choices, custom touches and what may at times seem like the perfect stance.

And on that note, my next spotlight from Wekfest Japan had to be this F31 Nissan Leopard.

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I’ve always been aware of the existence of this boxy luxury coupe that was sold in the US as the Infiniti M30, but for some reason I had never paid much attention to it till recently when a friend of mine picked one up as a daily driver and took me for a ride. I was instantly hit with a sense of nostalgia, both for the design and the plushness of the interior, but also for that over-engineered feel that these Japanese cars from this era had. This example at the show grabbed me because it was slammed on a set of SSR XR4 Longchamp wheels.

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I thought it looked cool, very clean and perfectly showed off its angular lines and spotless silver paint.

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But there’s more to it than that, as I found out when passing it again in the afternoon, now with the hood raised. I can remember unleashing a pretty audible “WTF, wait, what… there’s no VG motor here?” Yes, that’s an RB25DE, breathing through six stubby velocity stacks.

This Leopard’s coolness exponentially increased right there and then.

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It was a perfect reminder that you should never to judge a book by its cover, or in this case, a car with its hood closed.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino
dino@speedhunters.com

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14 comments

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1

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU DINO!!!!
I find it so funny and amazing that I was just thinking about this car. I am not sure about anyone else but from time to time I day dream about all sorts of cars and the M30 was the most recent car that I am drooling over. Then all of a sudden SH post this little gem and I swear its so heart warming and exciting to see this car. Thank you again.

2

i ended up with a Stagea because of a post here when I was thinking of one. this is a sign dude. go find your m30.

Author3
Dino Dalle Carbonare

I agree Thomas, it is a sign. Start looking! I love these cars, they ooze presence by managing to be so ridiculously simple. Probably 'cos it's so different from the cartoonish cars Japanese manufacturers create these now

4

it's a sign man!!!!

5

Awesome car, I always loved those boxy style on 80's japanese cars. And stanced with Longchamps SSR: just perfection<3.
Anybody knows if this model was also sold in europe? ... I know that japanese cars where taxed back in time, and quite alot.

6
Anthony Chang

Abunai Deka!!

7

This is why I've searched high and low for another F31 chassis worth picking up. I absolutely love these cars and its a shame we never got the Zenkis here in the US.

8

I remember seeing this car posted once. And here it is! As I scrolled down the page, I was hoping to see more and read more! Dino, not enough buddy! More pictures and details please!!!

9

I remember when the convertible M30s came out, people kind of scoffed at them. Now they are tuner collector items. If you can find one, it's definitely one to pick up.

10

Talk about the plushness and tech of the interior, only show the wheels and the motor....... :/

11

The leopard is in my weird oppinion, one of the best looking cars ever made. Super clean. I had no idea there was a lhd infiniti version too

12

I'm a little late here but DAMN I love it! Such a clean car, looks so elegant!

13

I still remember drooling over a similar stateside M30 build at Nisei 2009 with a RB25DET swap so clean !

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14

This one is around web for years, it was even posted at SH as random snap. Also I ordered Fujimi scale model today, wich I was lurking since I've found this photo years back. Sign for me too :)

Btw
Z20 Soarer vs F31 Leopard anyone?

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