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.
The sedan version of the Gloria A30 series.
There was also a wagon version available called the Gloria Estate. Throughout Prince's history they have always refered to their wagons as an Estate.
The Gloria used a number of styling cues from the Royale.
Length - 4690mm
Width - 1695mm
Height - 1445mm
Wheelbase - 2690mm
Weight - 1220kg
Top speed - unknown
Transmission - 4 speed Column change
Model - G-7
OHC 6 Cylinder
Capacity - 1988cc
Bore & Stroke - 75x75mm
Power - 106hp@4400rpm
Torque - 116ft/lb@3800rpm
Compression - 8.8 : 1
Carburettor - Nippon Kikaki dual throat down draught
Final Drive - 4.875 : 1
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