The March of Time

When I started this website, the first generation Nissan Micra was not a particularly old car. The oldest ones in the UK were around seventeen years old and the youngest a mere eight. They were just everyday transport for the multitudes back then and thus not really of great interest. As always, the years fly by and attitudes change 20 years on. What was once common has all but disappeared and the original premise of simple, fun motoring has been lost. Three more generations of Micra have come and gone since that first K10 model and the model line has evolved and grown. The current 5th generation K14 model is very far removed from its ancestor. It’s not exactly “Micra” for a start. Perhaps the time has come to show the old K10 a little love…

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Get Yourself a Laurel Hardtop

There’s just a smidge over 24 hours left to go on this auction, but if you’re keen to own this beauty you’ll need deep pockets, as this ultra rare Datsun 200L Hardtop (C130 model) has topped £6000 already! This 200L Hardtop (or Laurel to give it its proper domestic name) is one of only two left in the UK. The other belongs to a friend of mine, and unless someone offered him some crazy amount of money for it, I doubt it’ll ever be for sale… so this is probably the only chance to get hold of one of these stylish coupes. I’ve saved some images from the listing so that they will still available to view after the listing is gone…

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C30 Laurel Coupe

c30laurel

The first generation Laurel hardtop, the C30 model, is one of my favourite Nissans of all time. They are a really elegant and understated car that, with their Prince Motor Company origins, are also technically advanced for their era.  Although C30 Laurel saloons were sold in a number of export markets, the Japanese kept the lovely coupe for themselves, so they are a very rare sight outside of Japan. This one is currently for sale in Japan at $14,010 (that’s around 11,225€). Pricey but if I had that kind of cash burning a hole in my pocket, I’d be all over it. Click through to check out all the pictures of it from the listing….

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Nissan Laurel 1800 (C30)

One of my favourite ever Nissans is the first generation of Laurel, the C30 model launched in ‘68. This mildly modified Laurel saloon currently listed on Yahoo! Japan Auctions is a ‘71 model but aside from some very minor changes to the trim, these cars stayed virtually the same throughout production, until they were replaced with the C130 Laurel (200L in Europe) in 1972.

There were only two variants of the C30, the four door saloon seen above and a sleek two door hardtop which arrived in 1970. The latter was Nissan’s first hardtop model.

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Stumpy Skyline

When you mention the C10 Skyline Hardtop, most enthusiasts immediately picture the legendary DOHC Six cylinder powered KPGC10 Skyline GT-R Hardtop, but in reality, the GT-R was only a small part of the Skyline story. The vast majority of them were rather more mundane saloons with four doors and four cylinders and engines as small as 1500cc. History has largely forgotten the more sedate versions of the earlier Nissan Skyline, so it’s all the more refreshing to see this rare 1971 Skyline 1800 GL hardtop up for sale in outstanding condition, with just 62,500km on the clock. As with the four cylinder saloons, the hardtop featured a shorter nose to accommodate its four pot power plant, the Prince derived, SOHC G-series engine. Unlike the four door and estate cars, which even with the short nose retain some balance of proportion, the hardtop looks quite odd when viewed from the side…

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Plastic Fantastic

I stumbled upon this oddball recently on Houston Craigslist, in the good ol’ US of A. From the front you would be hard pressed to tell what it is, but even the outrageous proportions of this IMSA inspired body kit can’t disguise the distinctive profile of a datsun B210 coupe. The advert sadly fails to provide any information pertaining to how and more importantly why this scary monster was created, but one thing’s for certain…  it’ll make small children frightened and grown men weep *shudder*.

Fancy Knobs

Yahoo! Japan Auctions isn’t just a great source of cool wheels. If you want some proper Japanese style accessories you’ll find those there too, like these wacky gear-knobs. Admittedly, these worked out to be pretty expensive by the time they arrived at my door, but for uniqueness the Japanese stuff can’t be beated. Not sure what I’ll do with the Maneki Neko (Beckoning cat or lucky cat as it’s commonly known) one on the left but I thought it was pretty cool. It turned out to be considerably larger than I expected! The Funny face one in the middle is for my 510. It kind of sums that cars character up nicely. The pretty flower one on the right is destined for my Violet SSS, as it seemed kind of appropriate. Amazingly, these type of custom gear-knobs are not quite as common on the auctions as you might expect and it does take some hunting to find them. Worth it though!

Not a Cedric

Nope… definitely not a Cedric. It might look like a 31 model Nissan Cedric,but this ultra rare beast I spotted for sale on Taiwanese auction site Ruten, is in fact a YLN-801. Eh…? The YLN from this cars moniker comes from the manufacturers name, “Yue Loong” and “Nissan”. Yue Loong (or Yulon as the company is now known) completed a deal to build Nissan and Datsun models in Taiwan in 1957, and the snappily titled YLN-701 was one of the first fruits of this collaboration in 1960. The 701 was a Datsun 211 model, and this was rapidly followed by the YLN-704 (Datsun 310 model) and the YLN-801 we see here.

Unlike many later Yue Loong built Datsuns and Nissans , the 801 closely followed its Japanese brethren in specification. Many of the OHV engines employed in early cars were continued into later models, often in place of the more modern OHC engines like the L series, giving Yue Loongs pretty odd specifications… a J13 powered, live axled version of the Datsun 510 for example.

This is the first time I’ve seen pics of a real, live, YLN-801. I really should write some more stuff about Yue Loongs sometime, as I’ve got a whole bunch of material I could use. Watch this space!

Ultra Low Mileage Datsun B20

hoshinoB20

Andy Hoshino in Japan has just bought this fantastic B20 Sunny pick up. It’s an ex-fire service vehicle, hence the colour and the red lights on the front. But the best bit… It has just 9800km’s on the clock!!! Arrrgh! I’m soooo jealous! As some who know me will already know, I’m a bit partial to B10 series Sunnys in any form. but a pickup is most desirable. At least I have my wagon to keep me happy.