| In 1966 the Nissan Motor Company merged with another Japanese
car manufacturer called the Prince Motor Company. Prior to the merger Prince
had been selling vehicles in competition to Nissan, and Prince themselves
had their own large and varied range of cars and trucks at the time of
the merger. The problem the newly merged companies had in 1966 was that
they now had a range that involved a lot of duplication of similar models.
One of those problem vehicles was the Gloria.
Throughout it's life the Prince Gloria had been sold in competition against
the Nissan Cedric. The dimensions of the first generations of Glorias and
Cedric closely mirrored each other, and the same thing happened when the
second generation cars came out, both cars grew in size at the same rate
as each other. Prince's model cycle for the Gloria was a year or so ahead
of that of the Cedric, and at the time of the merger the third generation
Gloria was well advanced in it's design phase and was on target to enter
production in early 1967. What the engineers at Prince had designed was
a car of almost identical proportions to the 1967 Nissan Cedric 130, in
fact the Gloria A30 was only 10mm longer and 5mm shorter than the Cedric
130. The project was too advanced to cancel, and so in April 1967 the Prince
designed A30 went into production as the Nissan Gloria.
While it may have been a similar size to the Cedric 130, the A30 Gloria
was a world apart in it's styling. The Cedric had been designed by the
Italian Pininfarina design studio, and featured soft flowing lines and
there was barely a straight line to be seen anywhere on the car. The Gloria
on the otherhand looked more American than anything else. It's straight
lines gave it a bold and strong look. It looked like a slightly more modern
version of the 1967 American Ford Fairlane sedan.
In the mid-1960s Prince had the honour of being chosen to
build a small fleet of specially built limousines to be used exclusively
by the Japanese Royal Family. The car they designed and built was called
the Prince Royale, and after the merger it became the Nissan Prince Royale.
The Royale was one of the most famous cars in Japan, and the Prince engineers
decided to incorporate some of the design features of the Royale into the
A30 Gloria. The most obvious of these features was the vertically stacked
headlights, and the big rectangular grille opening was another. The back
of the car attempted to mirror the Royale as well with it's tail lights.
At a time when everyone was moving to horizontal tail lights the Gloria
bucked the trend and reverted to vertical lights. Inside, the car was quite
luxurious and spacious, again mirroring that of the Cedric.
The engines used were all Prince designs carried over from the previous
S40 series Prince Glorias. The main engine used was the 6 cylinder overhead
cam 1988cc G-7 engine, which produced 106hp. An up-spec version was available
with the 2494cc OHC G-11 engine, which produced 134hp. Later in the production
run, as the two merged companies began to consolidate their resources the
Prince engines were dropped and the car was fitted with the Nissan L20,
which was a 1998cc OHC 6 cylinder engine producing 113hp. This was the
same engine being used in the base model Cedrics.
In the end, although the A30 Gloria was a very good car,
there was no place in the consolidated line-up for another Cedric sized
car. The Cedric was outselling the Gloria by a large margin, and it came
as no surprise that no replacement for this car was ever built, and the
last A30 Gloria rolled off the production line in January 1971. After that
the Gloria name continued on, but from now onwards the Nissan Gloria would
share the same body as the Nissan Cedric, with the Gloria being a slightly
more up-market version.
Pictured directly above is the the Nissan
Prince Royale, the car the Gloria A30 attempted to emulate