|Transmission:||4 Speed AT|
The Nissan Laurel may not have supercar looks that turn every head as you cruise down the street. But car enthusiasts in the know go gaga over its boxy, somewhat luxurious mid-sized body that looks fantastic with just a little lower-body modification. For many car lovers, ownership of a Nissan Laurel has become a symbol of status and taste.
There were eight generations of the Nissan Laurel sedan during its 34 years of production from 1968 to 2002 (C30, C130, C230, C31, C32, C33, C34, C35). The styling changed dramatically during these many transformations and there were over two dozen engines, including 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder SOHC and DOHC variations, diesel engines, turbo models and displacements ranging anywhere from 1.8 to 3.0 liters. Luxury amenities included everything from 4-wheel steering and 4-wheel drive to the world’s first electric retractable door mirrors.
The Laurel was a fairly luxurious model, but smaller than Nissan’s top-end President. It loosely shared the same platform as the sportier Skyline, but was more luxurious in character. Nissan sold the Laurel in Asia, Europe and various other markets including Saudi Arabia, Chile and Panama until 1989 when distribution became limited to Japan. By 2002, the 34-year history of Laurel production was over, but the market for secondhand Laurels lives on.
Laurels are popular for street racing and drifting due to their front-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration and easy modification¬. Many components are shared with the Cefiro, Skyline and Silvia, meaning there are countless options available for upgrading performance and style. On YouTube, you can see examples of Laurels drifting all over the world, in Russia, Ireland and Japan’s MSC Challenge, for example.
The sleek white 1998 Nissan Laurel shown in the accompanying photos is an eighth-generation C35 — the final generation. It features a powerful, naturally aspirated 2.5-liter straight six-cylinder engine with variable valve timing that sounds wonderful and generates well over 200 hp (turbo versions of the C35 output 280 horses!). The model shown is equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission, a very comfortable interior and a capable suspension with front struts and rear multi links that contribute to excellent handling.
Since all Nissan Laurels produced after 1989 were sold in Japan, the best deals on late-model Laurels are in the land of the rising sun. Shop around internationally, compare for yourself, and we’re confident you’ll agree that the best JDM Laurels in the finest condition are available at the most reasonable prices in Japan.
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