The Gloria (Japanese: 日産・グロリア) is a large luxury car made from 1959 by the Prince Motor Company, and later by Nissan Motors since its merger with the former - hence being originally marketed as Prince Gloria and later as Nissan Gloria. Initially based on the smaller Prince Skyline, the Gloria line was merged with Nissan Cedric starting with 1971 models and both continued until 2004, when they were both replaced by Nissan Fuga.
Glorias were sold at Nissan Prince Shop dealerships that were formerly affiliated with the Prince company; when Nissan assumed operations, Glorias were sold along with the Nissan Skyline. The Prince G engine was used in the Gloria until 1969.
According to the article found in Japanese Wikipedia, the Gloria got its name as a tribute when the first series BSLI sedan was presented to the then Crown Prince Akihito, the future Emperor of Japan, and Princess Michiko as an anniversary gift after one year of marriage. The Prince Automotive Industry was the official vehicle supplier to the Imperial Household at that time, previously known as Fuji Precision Technology. It was inspired by the Latin word "Glory".
The Prince Automobile Manufacturers, previously known as Fuji Precision Industry, released a modification of their Prince Skyline with a more luxurious approach, and modified exterior sheet metal, at the All Japan Automobile Show, after the Tokyo Motor Show and the Skyline 1900 exhibition, in October 1958. In February 1959 the Gloria was released with the 1.9 L OHV 4-cylinder engine.
In April 1959, the Crown Prince and future Emperor of Japan was presented with the first Gloria.
For 1961 and 1962, Prince modified the Skyline with a larger 1.9 L engine and more luxury features. The GB-30 straight-4 produced 80 hp (60 kW).
The suspension used double wishbone and coil springs in the front, and De Dion setup in the back.
Later in 1962, Prince introduced the second generation, "S40" Gloria. It was the first six-cylinder Prince, while also offering an updated straight-four, the 94 hp (70 kW) 1.9 L G-2. On June 1963, the first mass-produced Japanese SOHC six-cylinder engine was introduced, known as the G-7, and was installed in the new Gloria Super 6, model S41. The same engine was used in the Gloria 6 Estate and in a commercial delivery van called "Gloria 6 Wagon". This new engine produces 106 hp SAE (79 kW) at 5,400 rpm, with a new SOHC head. The Gloria has an independent suspension in front and a de Dion tube in the back.
A prototype of the second generation Gloria had many design similarities to the Chevrolet Corvair, but the production version was completely redesigned. This Gloria also made it into export markets, for instance going on sale in Finland in April 1965.
On October 1962 at the 9th All-Japan Auto show, the 2.5 L G-11 engine was presented, although it was not immediately installed in any car. On May 1964, the Grand Gloria S44P was released. This vehicle included electric power windows and the 2.5 L engine. This was the first Gloria that was no longer regarded as a compact sedan under Japanese vehicle classification regulations due to the engine displacement exceeding two litres.
The second Japan Grand Prix saw the G7B-R Gloria Super 6 engine win the T-IV class race, albeit installed in a lighter Skyline.
April 1967 saw a restyle of the bodywork, and all Prince vehicles were now known as Nissan (but the A30 Gloria was officially registered as "Prince" to the Government). The former Prince company, now a Nissan division, was given the task of designing the Nissan Prince Royal, to be used by the Imperial Household, and thus presented a special version of the Gloria which had a similar appearance to the previous Royal Prince. The styling of this generation was said to emulate Pontiacs and Cadillacs during the same time period. Vehicles designated as the Super Deluxe, the Super 6 and Van Deluxe had the 6-cylinder engine, whereas the Standard and Van Standard used the 4-cylinder engine. Later the Super Deluxe GL became the top trim level. Due to the Gloria and Cedric being combined to save on production costs, the De Dion axle previously used by the Prince Gloria was downgraded to a solid rear axle with leaf springs.
In 1971, the Gloria model was merged with its former competitor, the Nissan Cedric, to become the Nissan Gloria. This name was also used in some export markets instead of the Cedric or 260C moniker. The name continued in use through the latest Cedric model line.
After the S44 was the PA30 sedan and WA30 wagon, which were only available with either the G7 or G11 engines. Disc brakes for the front wheels were added to the options list.
The appearance of the A30 Gloria is very similar to the Nissan Prince Royal, built exclusively for the Emperor of Japan.
Fourth generation 230
Starting with this generation on February 1971, the Cedric and Gloria were essentially the same vehicle, with the Gloria being more upscale than the Cedric. The hood ornament is a stylized version of the Japanese Paper Crane (Orizuru). The primary differences are the hood, radiator grille, taillights and wheel covers.
The four-cylinder is the H20-series OHV engine, with the 6-cylinder engine using the L20 twin carburetor, sourced from manufacturer SU carburetor. The H20P uses LPG for fuel, and the SD20 OHV is a diesel engine. The SD20 was the first time a diesel engine was offered in a Gloria.
October 1971 saw the 2.5 litre L26 six-cylinder engine added to the options list.
On August 1972, both a two-door hardtop coupé and a four-door hardtop was added, to compete with the Toyota Crown coupé.
Fifth generation 330
This generation of the Gloria has been completely shared with the Cedric, essentially being the same vehicle, aside from changes in appearance. Halogen headlights are introduced to the Gloria, along with both a 2-door and 4-door hardtop body style, in addition to a 4-door sedan. Twin carburetors are removed from the L20 4-cylinder, due to emission regulations. The 2.8 L engine is replaced with the 2.6 L and used on the 4-door sedan for taxi usage, and uses LPG fuel.
October 1975 saw the introduction of the 2000GL-E and the 2000SGL-E, with the "E" designation signifying fuel injection.
June 1976 saw cosmetic changes, with halogen headlights being used on all versions except the sedan used for taxi service. Wheel covers are now painted to match the exterior body color.
June 1977 saw the introduction of the 2800 E Brougham at the top of the options list. The SD22 2.2 L diesel on the basic sedan and wagon, which was a first for the Gloria. Column shift is replaced with a floor-mounted system on the 4-door hardtop.
November 1978 saw another emissions adjustment. Items found on the 2800 Brougham were introduced on the 2000 SGL-E sedan and hardtop. Radial tires are introduced.
Sixth generation 430
June 1979 saw a completely redesigned Nissan Gloria with assistance with Pininfarina, with a more simple and straightforward appearance over the previous generation, and exchanging the single unit halogen headlights with 4 sealed beam headlight units, achieving a more American appearance, similar to the Buick Century during the same time period. Computer controlled fuel injection was added to more engines offered, with the "E" designation signifying fuel injection. The L20ET was the first usage of a turbo on Japanese production vehicles.
The 2-door hardtop coupe was discontinued and replaced with the luxury sports coupe Nissan Leopard.
Trim levels were expanded, and were designated the Brougham, SGL Extra, SGL, GL and the Jack Nicklaus edition which was very similar to the Brougham, which offered the turbo. Other trim levels were the Turbo S, S Custom, Custom Deluxe, Deluxe, Custom, and the Standard at the bottom. The diesel engine SD22 was offered in 1979 on the sedan GL and DX. The Standard SEdan and Van were discontinued April 1981. October 1979, the 6-cylinder LD28 diesel was added with the automatic transmission selector moved from column shift to a floor-mounted system. December 1979 was when the first turbo L20ET was introduced.
February 1980 saw the LD28 6-cylinder offered with a 5-speed manual transmission installed with a floor-mounted shifter, but leaving the column shift for the 4-speed manual transmission. Later in April of that same year the Turbo Brougham appeared with a 4-speed automatic transmission, floor-mounted, to the 4-door hardtop model. A glass moonroof was also offered on the options list.
Seventh generation Y30
June 4, 1983 saw a major restyle of the previous generation for all versions of the Gloria. Sedans used for taxi service utilized four round headlights whereas other versions upgraded to European style halogen headlights.
The Straight-6 cylinder, which was used for many years, was upgraded to an all new V6 design, called the VG series engine. This was the first, mass production engine used in Japan, and used fuel injection instead of a carburetor for fuel delivery. The VG20ET was turbocharged, another first for Nissan in Japan. The diesel Straight-6 LD28 was also upgraded to the RD28 Straight-6 engine. The CA engine was built to run on LPG fuel and used for taxi service. The 6-cylinder L20P also ran on LPG. In June 1984 the VG30ET turbo V6 was introduced.
Trim levels offered were the Brougham, SGL, Grand Edition, GL Grand Edition, GL and the Standard. In June 1984 the Brougham VIP appeared as the top level car. The Jack Nicklaus special edition, introduced with the previous edition, was a sales success for the company and continued to be offered as a hardtop only with a turbocharged engine. Electronically modified air suspension appeared in June 1984.
On the 4-door hardtop, the front driver and passenger seat belt shoulder strap was connected at the top to the ceiling, however, the upper portion could be detached, with the shoulder strap resting on the driver's and passenger's shoulder so that rear passengers could have an unobstructed view from the rear seat without the seat belt hanging from the ceiling. The upper part would then swing up to the ceiling and could be fastened into place.
June 1985 saw mild exterior changes, with the biggest change being a variable nozzle for the VG20ET turbocharged engine. The LD28 diesel was replaced with the RD28. A sonic modified suspension system was added to the options list, with an upgrade to MacPherson Struts for the front and a rigid link coil suspension for the rear.
Eighth generation Y31
June 1987 saw a special-edition Gloria built for parade usage. The sedan remains with revised body appearance and is still in production currently. Private Glorias are now only available in 4-door hardtop guise. Engines available continue to be the newly developed VG series engine, with the VG20DET adding DOHC, another first for Nissan.
The 4-speed automatic transmission is now computer controlled for smoother shifts. The transmission now exclusively uses a floor-mounted gearshifter, and a 5-speed manual transmission is still available. The rear suspension was upgraded to multi-link independent setup. Trim levels start with the VIP Brougham, Gran Tourismo, Classic SV, Classic and Super Custom. The Gran Turismo received more sport-oriented styling, adding a youthful appearance, which found new, younger, buyers.
The Gloria competed for buyers with related Nissan vehicles that shared platforms used for the Gloria, specifically, the Nissan Cima, Nissan Leopard and the Nissan Cedric, as well as other sport oriented vehicles, such as the Nissan Cefiro, Nissan Skyline and Nissan Laurel.
The Gloria Y31 can be distinguished from its sibling, the Cedric Y31 by the taillights at the back. Unlike its sibling, the Gloria has not received a new body.