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The first generation of Cedric models to be imported arrived with the first batch of cars in 1968, its thought that the saloon was only imported for a month or so. Presumably the C30 1800 saloon was deemed adequate for that engine class but Datsun used the opportunity to fill in a small gap in the UK market for 2 litre estates. Introduced in Japan in 1965, the cars never displayed the Cedric badge in the UK, usually using the less whimsical numerial engine size designations. Datsun had already produced a very different car called the 2000, which was an open top roadster, but as the car had never been available in the UK there would have been no confusion between the two. It was rarely road tested by the UK press, the smaller models usually being the main interest to UK owners, but the car would have been noted for its refinement and cruising abilities. The first batch of cars used the straight 4 OHV J series 2 litre engines – unique to this model in the UK. The J series engines were only seen in the UK powering the later Datsun 1500 (620) commercial pick ups. Eventually the car was the first to gain the new OHC L series straight 6 for its last year along with a subtle facelift, which brought the family look in line with the rest of the Datsun range.
As Japanese cars developed in the 50’s and 60’s, European styling houses were often called in to assist and design cars for the Japanese. In this instance Nissan used Pininfarina to design their flagship export model, with a degree of success. The smooth clean lines were very modern for its time and when the car was face-lifted without Pininfarinas guidance in 1968, the update still looked clean but marked the end of Pininfarina’s design input for Nissan for a decade. The cars useful load space, standard equipment and decent level of refinement would have helped to contribute the marque as the manufacturer of quality cars. Its direct competitor the Toyota Crown Custom offered a virtually identical experience, the main advantage of the Toyota was that the importers also sent the saloon and later a coupe version of the their flagship model. The 130 came from a line of able Cedric rally cars, having achieved 5th and 7th place on the particularly wet and tough 1968 Safari rally. No coupe models 0f the 130 were produced.
|J Series 4 Cylinder 1973cc OHC|
|4 door saloon, 5 door estate|
|L Series 4 Cylinder 1998cc OHC|
|5 door estate|
|4 door saloon launched in the UK|
|5 door estate launched in the UK|
|4 door saloon imports cease|
|Revised grill and front and rear exterior change|
|New L series 1998cc engines introduced|
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