Rare Rides: 1991 Nissan Gloria Brougham - Formal, Turbocharged, Pillarless Motoring Awaits

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides 1991 nissan gloria brougham formal turbocharged pillarless motoring

Today in Rare Rides, we’re keeping it brougham. Last time, we examined a grey Mercury Grand Monarch Ghia (as 1970s America addressed brougham).

Now, we check out a grey Nissan Gloria Brougham VIP, as 1990s Japan addressed brougham.

The historic Gloria nameplate started off as a luxury offering from Prince, all the way back in 1959. At that time Gloria was offered as a luxury-oriented version of the Prince Skyline. Once Nissan married into the family, Gloria took a new first name. In the early 1970s, the Gloria became a version of Nissan’s Cedric sedan. The family relationship stayed the same through the very end in 2004, which was coincidentally one of only two years you could buy a Gloria in North America. That’d be the short-lived Infiniti M45 of 2003-2004 (seen above).

Our subject today is the very JDM and very upright Y31 generation Gloria. This is the pillarless hardtop sedan version, which existed in this iteration between 1988 and 1991.

Of the seven different trim levels of the Gloria, Brougham VIP rests atop the price list. At the time, Nissan’s JDM lineup suffered from a lot of crowding. The major competitors to the Gloria were other versions of Nissan sedans — often built on the same platform. The Leopard, Cedric, Skyline, Cefiro, and Laurel were all similar sedans appealing to roughly the same customer.

It’s easy to see, however, that this particular Gloria trim was aimed squarely at the more conservative buyer. An interior of brown velour still wears its branded, protective doilies.

A power rear seat control for the split bench provides executives riding in the back with comfort options. Most surfaces are covered in power feature buttons, along with high-gloss wood trim.

In a unique design choice, the three-spoke wheel turns around a stationary center cluster. In what was likely a first-of moment, there was an optional integrated hands-free phone system available for the Gloria. Look at that!

Powering all of this luxury equipment is something familiar to the American Nissan enthusiast: a turbo VG30ET engine, similar to what you’d find in a Nissan 300ZX.

With about 37,000 miles on the odometer a less-than-perfect condition, this Gloria Brougham is available in the trendy city of Austin, Texas for $3,495. I would not, as the ad suggests, use it for rural postal carrier delivery. I might, however, drive it about town in a formal and dignified fashion while wearing a conservative, double-breasted suit.

H/t to commenter JohnTaurus for providing today’s Rare Rides subject. Have your own submission? Send it to editors@ttac.com

[Images via Nissan, seller]

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2 of 46 comments
  • PandaBear PandaBear on Mar 22, 2018

    My first suit is double-breasted, I still have it somewhere in my closet. I'm waiting for it to be fashionable again before I gain that middle age belly.

  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Mar 23, 2018

    I hope its sharkskin Andy Garcia style in Black Rain

  • Analoggrotto Engine shuts down just like the dad-bod Patagonia outdoor clad driver's libido.
  • Legacygt Great review. I've only driven one Wilderness model (an Outback provided as a dealer loaner) and I found the handling a little sloppy on-pavement. It's good to hear they managed to give the Crosstrek the Wilderness treatment without hurting the on-pavement experience.And this is the first time I've read a review that dared to criticize Star Tex seats. I find the material interesting and low maintenance and fairly comfortable but I totally agree that it rates very poorly for breathability. It's so bad that I think Subaru should offer it with some sort of ventilated option. 5 minutes on a hot day and you're sitting in a pool of sweat.
  • Analoggrotto Too bad they don't sell Kia Telluride, the greatest selling vehicle in it's class over the pond in the UK who burned Washington DC down but that's ok.
  • Analoggrotto Kia Telluride never faced such problems and now offers a superior offroad trim for those times where soccerdad needs to go get the white claws from costco.
  • Zerofoo There's a joke here somewhere about Tim's used car recommendations, Tassos, and death traps.