Introduced in April 1960, the Nissan Cedric 30 Series was Nissan's first large sized car since the pre-war Nissan 70.
The car was designed in-house at Nissan. Having just ended a "technological co-operation agreement" with the Austin Motor Co. Ltd. of Great Britain, during which Nissan built Austin A40s and A50s in Japan under license, it was only natural that the styling of their new large car should have something of a British appearance. Though it wasn't all British inspired, the rather ornate chrome and stainless steel trim was reminiscent of the larger Italian cars of the era, and that wrap-around windscreen is pure American. Oddly enough, the distinctive vertically stacked headlight clusters of the 30 Series were inspired by a Japanese commuter train from the late 1950s.
The design itself, whilst being bold and handsome, was essentially fairly conservative. The most controversial thing about the whole car though, was it's name, Cedric. Nissan wanted to give the car a name that would evoke an image of upper class British aristocracy, what they ended up with was something that was nothing short of a joke. To quote Nissan themselves, this is their explanation - "The name was taken from the hero of the English-born writer Burnett's famous book Little Lord Fauntleroy, who was well known throughout the world as a model of strength, justice and beauty. The aim was to inspire the same love in the car as that felt for Fauntleroy." While the car itself may be a model of strength and beauty, the only thing the name evoked was either laughter or bemusement.
When it was first introduced in April 1960 the Cedric was available only in sedan form, the wagon and van versions were introduced at a later time. The 1960 model 30 Series had a grille with seven wide horizontal bars. Initially there were two models available, the Standard and the deLuxe. The Standard had side strips that started at the front of the car and ended half-way along the front door, the door window frames were painted the same colour as the body, and the hubcaps only partially covered the wheels. The deLuxe model had side strips that went down the full length of the car, with an almost 'Arrow-head" shape at the front. The door window frames were in polished stainless steel, and the hubcaps fully covered the wheels.
The dashboard had an instrument binnacle with two large round dials, on the right is the speedometer, and on the left the dial contained amp water temperature and fuel gauges. On the deLuxe model between the glove box and the binnacle there is a clock, a radio and heater controls. On the Standard model it has a flat panel with a Nissan badge. On both models there is a panel under the dash near the steering wheel that houses pull-out knobs for the choke, wipers, etc. The steering wheel is a deep cone shape with a D shaped horn ring. The rear window in the deLuxe models has a white see-through curtain.
Initially the 30 series had the 1488cc 71hp OHV 4cyl. G series engine with a 4 speed column change gearbox with synchromesh on 2nd, 3rd and 4th. In November 1960 an additional engine, the 1883cc 95hp OHV 4cyl. H series engine was introduced. From this time onwards both engines were available, but the majority of all the export models were shipped with the larger H series engine, the G series was mostly only for the domestic market.
Carburetor is a Nikki 2D-32A two barrel down draught with mechanical secondary control. The air cleaner sits beside the carburetor, as opposed to the later models that had the air cleaner sitting on top.
In November 1960 an up-spec Cedric Custom was introduced with a longer wheelbase. The extra length was all added to the back seat section of the car. The rears doors are nearly 10cm longer than the Standard model, the extra length gave the back seat passengers nearly 10cm more legroom. These cars had Custom badges after the Cedric badges on the side, and under the Nissan badge on the bootlid. This extra length made the Cedric Custom the largest production car ever built in Japan up to that point in time.
Shortly after the introduction of the sedan, a Van version became available. The Van was based on the Cedric Standard model, and used the same length wheelbase and doors, but is actually longer than the Standard sedan due to the extra length of the Van body behind the rear wheels. Like the sedan, it is also a 6 seater, with two rows of bench seats. October 1960 also saw the introduction of the Cedric Wagon, which was sold alongside the Cedric Van. The Wagon used the same body as the Van, but also had a third seat in the back. The Wagon was an 8 seater, with a small rear facing third seat in the back. This seat folded down into the cargo floor when not in use. The wagon had an electrically operated tailgate window. The Van had a pair of steel bars inside the rear side windows to protect the glass from breaking if the cargo carried in the back of the van moved around. The Wagon did not have these bars. The side strips on the Van were the same as the Standard sedan, and finished halfway along the front doors. The Wagon had full length strips.
From the beginning of production until the end of October 1960, the badges on the front guards said Cedric and the badge at the rear of the car said Nissan. On the deLuxe model there was a gold deLuxe badge under the Nissan badge. The grille had a gold Nissan star emblem.
After October 1960 the side badges say Cedric and if the car had the 1900 engine it then had a 1900 beside the Cedric badge. Custom models will have Custom instead of 1900. At the back there is a Nissan badge on the right side. A deLuxe model will have a gold deLuxe badge under the Nissan badge, the Custom will have a gold Custom badge, and the Wagon will have a gold Wagon badge. Standard models have a small version of the rear Nissan badge located in the centre of the dash, where the radio would go in the other models. A gold Cedric star emblem is located in the middle of the grille.
The deLuxe is a short wheel base model fitted with luxury car appointments. It has a 4410mm long body with 912mm long front doors and 860mm long rear doors. Has stainless steel door window frames, hubcaps that cover the whole wheel, stainless steel side mouldings that run down the full length of the car.
In the 31 series cars the deLuxe model has longer rear doors, the same as the G30 listed below, but for these early Cedrics the deLuxe is a short wheel base model.
The Custom is a long wheel base model. Has a 4510mm long body with 912mm long front doors and 958mm long rear doors. Has stainless steel door window frames, hubcaps that cover the whole wheel, stainless steel side mouldings that run down the full length of the car.
In the 31 series Cedrics the Custom model has longer front doors as well, but in these early cars the front doors are the same length as the other Cedrics in the range.
The Standard was the base model of the range, and was fairly basic and lacked a lot of the luxury fittings of the other cars.
It has a 4410mm long body with 912mm long front doors and 860mm long rear doors. It has painted door window frames, smaller hubcaps that only partially cover the whole wheel and stainless steel side mouldings that end half way along the front door
The wagon has an 4510mm long body with 912mm long front doors and 860mm long rear doors. Is an 8 seater, with a rear facing 3rd seat that folds down flat under the cargo area. The wagon has chrome strips that run the full length of the vehicle. The wagon has stainless steel door window frames.
The van has an 4512mm long body with 912mm long front doors and 860mm long rear doors. Is basically the same as the Wagon except it is a 6 seater, it does not have the 3rd seat. Has painted door window frames, smaller hubcaps that only partially cover the whole wheel and stainless steel side mouldings that end half way along the front door.
Length - 4410mm
Width - 1680mm
Height - 1510mm
Wheelbase - 2530mm
Weight - 1180kg
Top speed - 140kph
Column change 4 speed
Model - H
OHV 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 1883cc
Bore & Stroke 85x83mm
Power - 95bhp@4800rpm
Compression - 8.5 : 1
Carburettor - Hitachi D3234A-14 dual throat downdraught
Final drive 4.62 : 1
Model - G
OHV 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 1488cc
Bore & Stroke 80x74mm
Power - 77bhp@4800rpm
Compression - 8 : 1
Carburettor - Hitachi 30/32 dual throat down draught
Final drive 5.125 : 1
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