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

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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  • 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

  • SCE to AUX It's not really a total re-badge since some of the body parts are unique, and the interiors are quite different.As I mentioned the other day, the Tonale has a terrible name and a dim future.As for the Alfa team - guess what, this is how corporate ownership works. You are part of Stellantis partly because you're not viable as a standalone business, and then your overlords decide what's shared among the products.By the way: That Uconnect infotainment system found in Alfas was originally a Chrysler product... you're welcome.
  • Kurkosdr Someone should tell the Alfa Romeo people that they are a badge owned by a French company now.The main reason PSA bought FiatChrysler is that PSA has the technology to enter the luxury market but customers don't want a French luxury car for psychological/mindshare reasons. FiatChrysler has the opposite problem: they have lots of still-respected brands but not always the technology to make good cars. Not to say that if FCA has a good platform, it won't be used in a PSA car.In other words, if those Alfa Romeo buds think that they will remain a silo with their own bespoke platforms and exclusive sheet metal, they are in for a shock. This is just the start.
  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
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