Cedric

1968-1972 2000 (130) 1972-1975 240C 260C (230) 1976-1980 260C 280C (330) 1980-1984 280C (430)

The Cedric range is one of Datsuns longest lived lines, it has competed directly against the Toyota Crown and prior to their 1966 merger with Nissan, the Prince Gloria models. When Prince were taken over by Nissan, the Gloria was then amalgamated with the Cedric models, with the Gloria badged vehicles taking over a slightly more sporting nature. However, some Cedric and Gloria models eventually became almost indistinguishable in later years. When the first models were imported into the UK, the Cedric range was considered by Datsun to be the pinnicle of the UK passenger car range. The first Cedric cars were brought into the UK in 1968, among the first shipment of the first Datsuns. The spacious estate model had some chance of filling a niche in the market competing against the Volvo 145, Triumph 2000 and Citroen DS estates, as well as Toyota’s Crown. This may be the reason why the estate model became a permanent fixture in the UK Cedric range, while the saloon had several import interruptions. As the car developed and subsequent replacement models took over, it used the L series engines in parallel to the 240Z/260Z/280ZX, albeit in detuned form. The emphasis was on slightly less performance but smoother cruising ability with marginally better fuel consumption.

 

 230_1Production line, Tochigi Plant
 230Distribution to dealers, Tochigi Plant

The UK press perception of Cedric, like the Laurel and Skyline were considered more comfort luxury orientated cars, rather than driver enjoyment attributes. Further qualities were measured in terms of body strength, build quality, reliability and ease of driving but the eventual crippling depreciation and the somewhat dated period styling took their toll when the cars became secondhand buys. The Cedric’s character dynamics with their traditional engineering and conventional road handling qualities continued largely unchanged for many years, echoing the demands and needs for Japanese markets. The model did receive periodic visual restyling, increased equipment and engine growth into the 80’s with the majority of sales propped up by showroom appeal and a conservative customer demographic, taxi drivers and those who appreciated unstressed motorway cruising. The Cedric models survived the Datsun to Nissan name change with the fuel injected 300C series but eventually ceased imports of the Cedric into the UK in 1987. Nissan have made a tentative return to the UK luxury car market in recent years, with the Infinity branded cars which owe something of a debt to the Cedric models. In more recent years, the Cedric (along with the Toyota Crown) gained a favourable reputation amongst banger racers – something that has actually helped increase values and desirability of good examples. 4 door and 2 door hardtop (pillarless) saloons and coupes were sold, but not as offical UK imports.

330_newport1977 Newport FC promo shot