Curbside Classic Outtake: 1990 Infiniti M30

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer

Comments to last Tuesday’s Curbside Classic pointed out the lasting stylistic influence of the BMW 6 Series on such cars as the Acura Legend coupe. That reminded me of this out-of-focus shot I took of a 1990 Infiniti M30 last winter. I try to stick to cars 25 years and older anyway, but this is a car that has really fallen off the radar, as well as my camera’s auto-focus function. The M30 was a left-steering version of the Nissan Leopard, which in turn shared its platform and basic configuration with the legendary Nissan Skyline R31. Performance was quite another story: the M30 had a 162 hp version of the Nissan 3 liter V6, and came only with an automatic. Given its weight of 3330 lbs, performance was modest. But with the availability and interchangeability of Skyline and Nissan 300Z turbo components, the M30 is the easiest way to end up with that unique JDM-Skyline look on these shores.

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Paul Niedermeyer
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4 of 41 comments
  • John Horner John Horner on Oct 31, 2009

    " ... to 1971 (145hp), to 1972 (95hp or 98hp depending upon the application)" Part of what happened in 1972 is that most auto makers began quoting SAE Net horse power based on standard J1349, instead of the earlier gross horsepower numbers. The earlier numbers used undefined setup techniques and an engine lacking basic things like an exhaust system, water pump, etc. Thus, most (if not all) of the drop off from 1971 to 1972 isn't real, it is simply a matter of moving to a defined test procedure instead of practically making the numbers up. You can find a bit more background here: Because the move was from no-system to a defined test regimen, there is no handy conversion factor available or possible. This historical anomaly causes confusion in the enthusiast community to this day.

  • Accs Accs on Nov 01, 2009

    I actually had someone, a very good and very close family member of mine wanted to sell me a convertible version of a '92 of this car. I... turned it down, mostly because of the low miles, and I didn;t know how well it had been kept up, that and I don't have room for a 90 / 92 M30. It was white with either a tan or a white interior. Shnazzy car.. but not my taste.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Nov 01, 2009
    I say this as a longtime driver of a 1966 Pontiac Bonneville convertible who was finally weaned from the idea of restoring it when a family member gave me a 4-year-old ‘83 Civic 1300 (an 1800-pound car with 12-inch wheels).... You are joking, right? I do get the low weight is a plus thing - I drove a 2400 pound K car for a bunch of years and the tossability of such light weight made up for many shortcomings. But really, there is something awesome about 60's American convertibles...can't imagine that itch being scratched by a Civic...
  • Gary Numan Gary Numan on Nov 01, 2009

    OMG....I briefly had a 1980 Impala 2dr with that wonder of a motor, the 267 V8 2bbl. What a waste of iron. Gutless performance and not so good mpg. This same Impala had the dash split on me in two places during the first cold night it sat outside in the driveway. Ah yes.....and people wonder why GM has not meant "The Mark of Excellence" for so many years only to become Gov't Motors......