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In 1966 Nissan absorbed the Prince Motor Company, and subsequently inherited their Laurel and Skyline model range. At the time Nissan were developing their 510 model, which would have competed directly with the C30. As a result the 510 utilised smaller L series engines, while the Laurel featured Princes own G series engines. While not so evident in the saloon, the coupe has the rear fastback styling element which was also carried over to the later C130 coupe. PMC also had considerable experience with engine tuning and the G-Series featured many technological differences to the L series Nissan engine, such as a cross flow cylinder head but also promoted on the comprehensive standard equipment list – a common trait with all later versions of the Laurel. Prince would retain their design and engineering divisions and their influences would remain with the brand for the future.
The Datsun 1800 was the first new model to be introduced after the initial batch of cars. First deliveries started in October 1969, and was only ever imported as a 4 door saloon. It filled a small gap in the Datsun line up and although outwardly similar to the Bluebird range, but shared no external panels and very little in terms of mechanical parts. An automatic version was introduced in early 1970, and a succession of small (as common on these early Datsuns and using the same American model year system) yearly updates usually limited to grill or trim updates. Due to the slightly fledgling pre Datsun-UK distribution, some non-UK spec cars did arrive on the shores, with dealers often having to consult the headquarters to advise. This technically intriguing range was discontinued in the spring of 1972, with a direct replacement not arriving until the autumn of the same year. The C30, like the 510, was something of an unknown quantity in the UK when new despite very positive road reviews and tests and was discontinued just before the re-organisation and distribution network of Datsun UK was set up.
A coupe version was also available in Japan, but it’s not thought that any were officially imported by Nissan into the UK. The car is often confused with the 510 but its status and subsequent values in Japan has been recognised and prices have firmed up for good examples. As a prestige model, Nissan decided that no estate models of the Laurel were manufactured, a pattern that all future Laurel model continued.
|Laurel 1800 (1969-1972)|
|G Series 4 Cylinder 1990cc OHC|
|4 door saloon|
|4 door saloon announced with deliveries starting in Feb 1970|
|Revised grill and instruments|
|Centre console and arm rest added|
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