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The Nissan Gloria is an underrated Japanese luxury car unfamiliar to the average American driver. Originally called the Prince Gloria, this car saw 10 distinct generations over its 45-year production run. Throughout that long production run, the Gloria had some things in common with its more internationally famous sibling, the Nissan Skyline.

A black and white photo of a Nissan Skyline GT on a racetrack, which is powered by a Gloria V6 engine
The Nissan Skyline GT racing | Nissan Motor Corporation

Although one is a luxury car and the other is more of a performance car, the Nissan Gloria and Nissan Skyline have a similar family lineage. For starters, they both originated with the Prince Motor Company in the 1950s. The original Prince Skyline was introduced in 1957 as a luxury car with a design heavily influenced by American cars. Take one look, and you’ll notice a striking resemblance to the Chevy Bel Air of the era.

The Prince Skyline was already considered a luxury car, but the Prince Gloria came out in 1959 as an even more upscale automobile. The exterior design was very similar, but the Gloria had more standard interior features. Extra luxury features in the Gloria included a standard clock, a radio with two speakers, a rear center armrest, and more plush seats.

The original Gloria employed a 1.9-liter engine that would later power the Skyline. According to Cars Directory, the Gloria and Skyline would continue having some overlap in available engines for many years. For example, the G7 and L20 inline-6 engines, the Z20 inline-4, and the VQ30 V6 were all available in both cars.

The split between the Nissan Gloria and Skyline models

Although they would continue to share a few engines, the Nissan Gloria and the Nissan Skyline were already starting to move in different directions by the early 1960s.

The Gloria became something of a halo car. It followed the luxury sedan ethos of offering luxurious comfort, premium features, and strong engines without compromise. The Gloria also continued to have a design inspired by American cars. The second-generation Gloria resembles a Buick LeSabre from the late 1950s, and the third-generation resembles a Ford Galaxie.

The Gloria continued getting more high-tech and high-performance, culminating in the final generation introduced in 1999. The Gloria was discontinued in 2004 and replaced by the Nissan Fuga, which ended production during its second generation in 2022.

On the other hand, the Skyline quickly grew a reputation as a driver’s car. It was more affordable than the Gloria and successful in racing circuits. It became famous for its GT-R variants, which were competitive with more expensive and exotic sports cars. The Skyline is one of the Nissan brand’s longest-running nameplates, having been in continuous production since 1957.

They’ve both now been branded as Infiniti models

Another thing the Nissan Gloria and Skyline have in common is that they’ve both been sold under the Infiniti name. The final generation of the Gloria was the only one ever offered in the U.S. in the form of the Infiniti M45 sold for the 2003 and 2004 model years. When the Fuga replaced the Gloria in 2004, it became the new basis of the Infiniti M and, eventually, the Infiniti Q70.

Since the V35 generation of the Nissan Skyline came out in 2001, we’ve had the Skyline sold in the U.S. under the Infiniti banner. It started out as the Infiniti G, and the Infiniti Q50 sedan available at American dealerships today is essentially the same car as the current Nissan Skyline sold in Japan.

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