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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

This Rare Nissan President is 1980s Luxury Perfection


Every corner of the world has a “people's car.” They tend to be cheap, rugged, simple, and overly abundant. This, however is most certainly not one of them.

This is a 1985 Nissan President, and as its regal name would suggest, owning one new was an honor reserved for a scant few. These luxurious Nissan flagship models were most often reserved for Japanese corporate big whigs or government officials, and given their size—amidst a sea of kei cars—it's easy to see how these could turn heads on the streets of Tokyo.

Interestingly, this President doesn't appear to have spent long in Japan at all. It recently surfaced on eBay, and it's said to have been originally imported to Switzerland for use by the Japanese embassy.

Imagine the political secrets these seats have heard.

The Nissan President's roots stretch all the way back to 1965, when the company first launched the super-luxe saloon, which picked up the reins from the upscale Nissan Cedric Special 50. Known as the H150, the first-gen President was unapologetically big in size, chrome, engine, and attitude…so much so, that if one were accompanying a flock of full-size American cruisers, it could fly right under the radar.

1973 saw a new President appointed, which featured revised styling, and amazingly this H250 generation would remain in production until 1989. A variety of different trim levels were offered, which included a base 3.0-liter straight six and a number of interior options. The one to have was this one—a top-of-the-line Nissan President Sovereign V8. This meant a 4.4-liter overhead valve V8 lived under the hood and put 200 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque to the ground through a three-speed automatic transmission. Not sporty, but superbly smooth.


Inside, the Sovereign delivers luxury in a reserved package. There are no wonky ‘80s car phones, no faux leather. Instead, the Nissan President packs sumptuous cloth upholstery, a sleek woodgrain dashboard, and an assortment of buttons and doodads for the chauffeur to play around with.

This 1985 ex-embassy vehicle is said to be one of around only 300 left-hand-drive President models produced, which if true makes it quite the rare bird. More impressive still, it's said to have covered only 12,000 km (around 7,450 miles) during its lifetime. A life of luxury, indeed.