April 27, 2009

Nissan Laurel

A little history

The Laurel stood in the upper part of Nissan’s range, just a notch below the luxurious Cedric, for almost thirty-five years. Based on a Prince project, the first Laurel was introduced in April 1968.

Exactly four years later the original car was replaced by a brand new model powered by engines ranging from a 1.8-litre four to a 2.8-litre six in later versions. Customers had to choose between a saloon and a hardtop coupe, so gracefully nicknamed “pig’s ass” by the witty Japanese due to its heavy, American-influenced “coke bottle” tail.

These two cars were replaced by a third generation Laurel in January 1977, followed by five subsequent versions, successively launched in 1980, 1984, 1989, 1993 and 1997. Production of the Laurel was finally cancelled in 2002.

(This car’s history will be expanded in due time, please be patient.)

About the models

Model: Nissan Laurel SGX
Year: 1972
Maker: Ebbro
Scale: 1/43
Distributed by: Ebbro, "Oldies" series ref. 43561 (white) or 43563 (green)
Acquired: brand new, in February 2007, in Hong Kong, S.A.R.

These models are among my favourites in Ebbro’s range of vintage Japanese cars, as they represent an original car (Laurels were seldom sold outside Japan throughout their career) that is both good looking and masterfully executed in scale. The body sports many separate parts, including the door handles, the side turn signals, the scoops on the C-pillars and the crest on the boot lid. Ebbro didn’t forgo quality inside its model, and of all splendid details the steering wheel is probably the most stunning. Upholstery being colour-keyed, I have a preference for the green version of this car which offers, in my opinion, a better contrast of tints than the white or the brown. As a result, I sold my white Laurel since these pictures were taken. I’d give 15/20 to these beautiful die-casts.





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