Home » Cold Start: American Cosplay

Cold Start: American Cosplay

Pasted
ADVERTISEMENT

Ever heard of the Nissan Laurel? These came out in the late ’60s, and shared a lot with the Skyline. By the 1970s, they had started to feel quite distinctly American. I especially like this version, a 1978 one, that shows a lot of influence from cars like the Ford Torino, with that big, raked C-pillar.

The mix of very American styling and proportions with Japanese detailing and design vocabulary (that front end, the wing mirrors, those color-coordinated hubcaps) is really a fantastic combination.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Also, the coupé version had the nickname Butaketsu, which translates to “fat butt,” so you have to love that, right? I mean, I can not lie.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
28 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
1 year ago

For a country who’s auto industry built their reputation on doing the polar opposite of whatever was going on in Detroit in the ’70s and ’80s, they did seem to like cribbing styling cues, especially on luxury and sports models. Didn’t Nissan also do JDM wagons with Town & Country-style fake wood paneling ?

Dead Elvis Inc.
Dead Elvis Inc.
1 year ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked
Dead Elvis Inc.
Dead Elvis Inc.
1 year ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

They did, at least on the 210 & early Maxima wagons.

I replied earlier with a couple links to Old Parked Cars dot com pages that feature wood-grain examples of those two, but that comment is apparently still stuck in moderation (because of the links? IDK.).

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
1 year ago

I love Laurels, I even have one. A C130 butaketsu coupe or C230 hardtop like the one in the article pic are dream cars of mine but nice examples of them go for big money in Japan. A nicely restored butaketsu will run you in the neighborhood of 100k USD before you even get it out of Japan.

Mine is a 91 and even then it still feels like an odd mix of American and European cars. It has a small inline 6 that redlines at 7500 RPM paired to a manual trans like you’d expect to find in some Euro sedan but cushy red velour seats that wouldn’t look out of place in a Crown vic. They even kept the pillarless hardtop style until the generation after my car came out in the mid 90s. I have a pic of it set as the banner pic for my profile on here.

The Nissan Cedric/Gloria is another of my favorites of the Japanese domestic market cars that look American, especially the 230-430 generations of Cedric/Gloria. In my opinion, the 230 Cedric coupe looks miles better than any of the bigger personal luxury coupes America was putting out in the 70s

ThisWeissachFuchs
ThisWeissachFuchs
1 year ago

OT/ The other website that shall not be named is reposting old Torch articles it seems. Curious if there is any comments on that?

David Fernandez
David Fernandez
1 year ago

I think they have more repost articles than new ones lately. Pretty sad, but what can you do. The herb did it to themselves.

Andreas8088
Andreas8088
1 year ago

There used to be another website?

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 year ago
Reply to  Andreas8088

Jello Picnic or something like that.

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
1 year ago

They have even reposted articles by Kristen. I think they’re hurting badly for content and that’s all they’ve got. It’s pretty sad.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
1 year ago

I do like it and the color is very 70s.

I am curious for those have driven with the mirrors that far forward. Can you see anything with them? Are the the adjust, then drive or there some sort of control in the cabin?

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 year ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

The forward mirrors take some getting used to. When I lived in Japan as a young lad, what I thought was neat was the taxi’s (and some personal cars) which had 2 mirrors on the fender: one to look behind, and another angled so driver could just nose out of an alley and check traffic to the right. Odd-looking, but often needed

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
1 year ago
Reply to  Arrest-me Red

They are not only a Japanese thing – European cars used to have them as well. Adjust by hand, jump in the drivers seat, check view. Jump out, re-adjust, rinse and repeat. None of that luxury remote adjustment malarkey!

Of course if you have friends or children, you can get them to do the adjusting while you sit inside.

Arrest-me Red
Arrest-me Red
1 year ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Interesting and good to know.

I will just have Jeeves adjustment for me. 🙂

Scott Lelievre
Scott Lelievre
1 year ago

Like the Celica of this era it looks better than the american car it was copying to my eye.

Philip Dunlop
Philip Dunlop
1 year ago

This would be called a four-door coupé now. Which is annoying.

H4llelujah
H4llelujah
1 year ago

Its giving me Australian vibes for some reason. I absolutely love the roofline on this.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
1 year ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

Part of that is that this is the facelifted model with a late ’70s/early ’80s-style nose on a late ’60s/early’70s looking body. That happened down under a lot because it took them a long time to amortize production tooling with their relatively small market.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
1 year ago

Oh my. I’m not much of a JDM guy, but that is rather handsome.

Thi
Thi
1 year ago

Body color matches wheels need to make a comeback.

ddlloydd
ddlloydd
1 year ago

‘Butaketsu’ is ‘pig butt’, not ‘fat butt’, since it was thought to look like a pig’s butt. https://vabene-d.com/trivia/butaketsu

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
1 year ago
Reply to  ddlloydd

“I’ll take ‘Terms of Endearment’ for $1000, Alex!”

Bob Jablonski
Bob Jablonski
1 year ago

4 Door Hardtop. So Nice

Occam's Shaving Cream
Occam's Shaving Cream
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Jablonski

Love me a 4-door hardtop! I’ve had two: 1961 Buick Invicta and a 72 Olds 98.

Car Guy
Car Guy
1 year ago

How common were matching painted chrome hubcaps? Doesn’t seem like that happens much anymore.

HeyCharger
HeyCharger
1 year ago
Reply to  Car Guy

Mercedes Benz comes to mind, but can’t say I’ve encountered many that aren’t Euro.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
1 year ago
Reply to  HeyCharger

For a couple years in the ’70s some top-of-the-line Chevys and Fords did, before fake-wire wheelcovers took over as a de rigeur part of the Brougham look.

Squirrely
Squirrely
1 year ago
Reply to  Car Guy

The only ones I ever had were on my 76 Cadillac…

Occam's Shaving Cream
Occam's Shaving Cream
1 year ago
Reply to  Car Guy

The ‘83 Firebird my wife bought the day before we first met was red with alloy wheeels w/matching plastic hubcaps

28
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x