The year is 1959 Prince Motors began the production of a large 4-door luxury sedan named Prince Gloria. In 1967 Prince and Nissan Motors merged to form Nissan Motors, and like many Prince Cars that changed their names to Nissan, so was Prince Gloria, it changed to Nissan Gloria. The earlier Gloria was based on the Prince Skyline platform which was smaller, but later in 1971 Prince Gloria merged with Nissan Cedric to become Nissan Gloria.
Fourth Generation Gloria
Fast forward, the year is 1971 Nissan released the Gloria 230 was unveiled. On this release, the Gloria was more or less the same as the Cedric with their only difference being the hood ornament, the hood, radiator, grille, wheel caps, and tail lights.
The exterior design of the Gloria featured the coke bottle design that features a narrow center with flared fender surroundings a common feat on most 70’s Nissans.
As standard, this Gloria model came fitted with a 100 HP 4-cylinder 2.0-liter OHV H20 petrol engine. The high-performance model came fitted with a 162 HP 6-cylinder 2.6 liter OHC twin SU carburetor L26 engine. The 6-cylinder 2.0-liter twin carburetor L20A petrol and the 4-cylinder 2.0-liter S20 diesel engines were other options. These engines transfer power to the wheels via a 5/6-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission.
Fifth Generation Gloria
The Nissan Gloria 330 was released in 1975 just as the Nissan Cedric 330 (aka Datsun 200C/220C/260C/280C on export markets). On this release, these two Nissan models were essentially the same. Some of this model’s distinguishable exterior features include halogen headlights and wheel covers with a color that matches the car. The interior received the floor-mounted shift in place of the column-mounted.
In the mid-’70s emission regulations were strengthened and due to that Nissan omitted the twin carburetors on the L20A but also introduced the NAPS (Nissan Anti-Pollution System) emission technology. The Gloria 2000SGL-E and 2000GL-E were released on this generation, with the letter ‘E’ signifying fuel injection as part of the NAPS technology.
The standard engine on this release is the 130 HP 6-cylinder 2.0-liter OHC petrol engine, and the higher-spec option was the 167 HP 6-cylinder 2.6-liter SOHC petrol engine. Other options were the 6-cylinder 2.8-liter petrol and the 4-cylinder 2.0-liter SD20 or 2.2-liter SD22 diesel engines, with LPG options as well. These engines transferred power to the wheels via a 4/5-speed or 3-speed transmission.
Sixth Generation Gloria
The 6th generation of the Nissan Gloria and its sister Nissan Cedric also known as the Datsun 220C/280C outside Japan was released in 1980. This release was a completely redesigned model with assistance from the Italian designer Pininfarina. Some of the earlier exterior changes include the introduction of four sealed beam headlights in place of the two halogen headlights. In 1981 Gloria and Cedric were redesigned with changes on the grille, headlights, tail lamp, and c-pillar. To differentiate the two, Nissan gave Gloria a horizontal grille and a vertical grille for Cedric.
Apart from the introduction of the 143 HP 6-cylinder 2.0-liter L20ET petrol engine not much changed on the engine side, with most of the previous engines continue being used. But Nissan introduced several technologies such as the computer-controlled fuel injection system, Electronically Concentrated Engine Control System (ECCS) that lowers emissions and fuel consumption among others. Apart from the introduction of the 4-speed automatic transmission, the other options remained the same.
The Gloria was available in several trims including the Standard, Deluxe, Custom Deluxe, Custom S, Turbo S, GL, SGL, SGL Extra, Brougham, and the Jack Nicklaus.
Seventh Generation Gloria
Early in 1983, Nissan treated us with the release of the Nissan Y30, and the Gloria/Cedric sisterhood continues. The designers of the Gloria/Cedric had cubism in mind, and with this release, they hit the peak of it. The cushy interior comes with seats covered with Velour button-tufted upholstery, a steering wheel covered with leather, and plastic wood finishing. The Gloria is boxy; some of its exterior features include a hood ornament, fender side mirrors, and a chrome-plated grille.
The Gloria is a truly high-end car with regard to comfort. This generation of Gloria/Cedric introduced the V6 VG-series engines. The 110 HP 2.0-liter SOHC VG20E, the turbocharged 209 HP 2.0-liter SOHC VG20DET, the 153 HP 3.0-liter SOHC VG30E, and the 229 HP 3.0-liter SOHC VG30ET. Other engine options were the 4-cylinder 2.0-liter CA20S petrol, and the 6-cylinder 2.8-liter LD28 and RD28. A 4-speed automatic or manual and a 5-speed manual transmission that transferred power from the engine to the wheels.
The Gloria/Cedric nameplate was not known on the export markets, with Nissan Y30 or 300C being used to identify the 7th generation instead.
Eighth Generation Gloria
The Gloria Y31 was unveiled in 1987. Not much changed body-wise on the sedan, but other areas were a bit touched. This Gloria was available in several trim levels which are from the lower-spec Standard, Custom, Super Custom, Classic, Classic SV, Gran Turismo, to the higher-spec Brougham VIP respectively. The Gran Turismo is sporty and appealed to the young mostly, while the Brougham VIP is posh and built for the executives.
The VG series engines continued being used on this generation exclusively with the exception of the RD28 diesel engine. The VG20DET was now a DOHC and not SOHC. On the transmission side, a new 5-speed automatic transmission is now available and the 4-speed automatic is now computerized making shifts much smoother.
Ninth Generation Gloria
The 9th Gloria was released in mid-1991. Unlike the previous releases, this came with B-pillars that made the car much safer. The Gloria was available in the following trim lineup, the Brougham, Brougham G, Brougham VIP type C, Classic SV, the Classic Gran Turismo SV, Grand Turismo which is a performance-oriented vehicle with food round headlights, and the highest trim being the Gran Turismo ULTIMA.
The Gloria Y32 continued using the V-series V6 engines with either SOHC or DOHC versions, with the 6-cylinder 2.8-liter RD28 diesel being the only diesel option. There was no 4-cylinder option for this release. On the transmission side, the manual transmissions were omitted, with 4-speed and 5-speed transmissions being the only options available.
Tenth Generation Gloria
The Nissan Gloria Y33 was introduced in 1995. Some of the changes on this release include a restyled body, trimming off trims, and new VQ series engines. Natural laws of the economy forced Nissan to cut down on the number of available trims, and on this release, the only available trims are the Brougham, Brougham VIP, the Brougham J Gran Turismo, Gran Turismo S, Gran Turismo type X, Gran Turismo SV, and Gran Turismo Ultima.
The V6 VQ series engine lineup includes the 153 HP 2.0-liter DOHC VQ20DE, the 200 HP 2.5-liter VQ25DE, the 224 HP 3.0-liter DOHC VQ30DE, and the turbocharged 276 HP 3.0-liter DOHC VQ30DET. Other optional engines were the RB28 diesel engine and the twin-cam turbocharged 250 HP 2.5-liter RB25DET which was fitted on the Gloria AWD which utilizes Nissan’s ATTESA E-TS which is an all-wheel-drive technology that electronically regulates the torque split on the center differential. The only transmission option was a 5-speed automatic transmission.
Eleventh Generation Gloria
The final version of the Gloria lineup was released in 1999 as the Gloria Y34. The Gloria Y34 also known as the Infiniti M on the American market. On this release, Nissan made all V^ engines direct injection, symbolized by’DD’ which improved performance, fuel consumption, and reduced emissions.
With this release, the available engine options, are the turbocharged 2.5-liter RB25DET and the 3.0-liter VQ30DET, and the naturally aspirated for 2.5-liter VQ25DD and 3.0-liter VQDD. The high-end 300 Ultima Z and 300 Ultima ZV were equipped with a CVT transmission while the rest used a 4-speed automatic.
The Nissan Gloria has been in production for over 40 years, and each release was well received and proved to be a solid contender with regards to durability, comfortability, luxury, and power. The Gloria was built with consideration for all users (different use) with some models designed to be taxis, some built as performance cars for the tuners and modifiers, and some built for the executives. With regard to this, I conclude by saying Gloria is a glorious car for people of all ages.
Written by: Samuel H. Mponezya