One of the things that excites me the most is discovering something new.
In this case that feeling came when I was introduced to this ’70s Nissan Gloria for the first time as it sat alongside AE86s, R34s, and RX7s. While the iconic Japanese cars of the ’80s and ’90s commanded the attention, I couldn’t ignore the unfamiliar bit of ’70s Japan that stuck out from the rest.
From my initial introduction, I came to know the owner, Adam. He has an interesting mix of cars, but his Nissan Gloria has to be my favorite.
Before I met Adam, I could say I was vaguely familiar with the Nissan Gloria. I knew it was probably one of the weirdest named models Nissan has ever made, and that the only version I had a particular interest in found its way to the states in Infiniti’s M45 variant.
After getting to talk to him about his Gloria and shooting it, I can easily say that this is the generation of Gloria I’d want the most. Why is that? Well, let’s start with my favorite thing about Japanese cars from the ’70s; the design influence from American and European Cars.
American Cars saw their fair share of pillar-less coupes and hard tops since the beginning of the automobile in the states, but their true hey-day started in the fifties and lasted until the late sixties. By the time the Gloria was produced, the pillar-less sedan was on the way out, but apparently Nissan didn’t get the memo. Thankfully so, because the result is a classic example of Japanese ‘mini-muscle'; a tasteful combination of Japanese design and American influences.
So, how did a classic example of ’70s Japanese kyusha style end up in arguably one of the most American cities to exist? Like many of those stationed in Japan, Adam sought to buy a car and transport it home. The decision to get the Gloria was made after the realization that getting a classic Skyline came at an often rusty and high priced premium.
Perhaps the decision of circumstance made for the better story. Everyone’s familiar with Skylines, but a Gloria can make even the most knowledgeable raise an eyebrow.
You didn’t think I’d slump on the details of the actual car did you? The Gloria is just chock full of them. The interior is awash with wood paneling, intricate looking gauges, buttons, knobs and bright work. There’s no mistaking it, the Gloria embraces what it meant to be ‘luxurious’ in the ’70s.
In all its meticulously designed, groovy glory, the old Gloria doesn’t stray too far from Nissan’s bread and butter with the oh so lovely L-Series engine. It’s no L24 or L28, in fact it’s got more in common with the L26; the Gloria features the less common and unbeknownst to me L20.
It might not have the universally loved tune of the L28. but it still plays a lovely, small displacement straight six tune that will resonate in the hearts of anyone who’s all about the L-series.
Much like Adam, I didn’t know what I was looking at when I first saw it, but I embraced it all the same. The end result lead to a handful of people getting to experience some of the best kyusha style that ’70s Japan had to offer and Adam owning one badass old Nissan.
Few things are as rewarding as driving around an obscure hunk of metal, constantly introducing people to something they’ve never seen before.
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