We’ve discussed which automaker had the best year, but which year had the best autos? Prior to 1970, Japanese cars were either grossly overpriced or built for a populace just graduating from a moped. By the turn of the decade, the automakers were filling that middle ground with actual cars we’d be familiar with today, and the earning power of the average Jun had reached a point where they could afford them. Suddenly cool cars were everywhere. Nissan had the Z, Toyota had the Celica, Mazda had the Capella RX-2, Mitsubishi had the Galant GTO, and Honda had the 1300 Coupe 9. Innovation, optimism, and kick-ass designs came to the forefront. It was the best of times.
What was the greatest single year for Japanese cars?
What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW,”Which Japanese automaker had the best single-year lineup?”
For Mitsubishi and Mazda, you thought the 90s were anything but grungy. Toyota ruled the 80s, but Nissan was clearly your chosen favorite the 1970s. More specifically, Banpei made the best case for Nissan in 1972:
Nissan had a marvelous lineup in 1972:
Nissan Fairlady Z S30 (aka 240Z)
Nissan Skyline C10
Nissan Skyline C110 (introduced in 1972)
Nissan Laurel C130 (introduced in 1972)
Nissan Gloria/Cedric 230
Nissan Bluebird 510
Nissan Bluebird-U 610
Nissan Sunny B110
Nissan Cherry E10
1972 was a special year as both the new (Kenmeri) Skyline C110 and (Pigsbutt) Laurel C130 got introduced. Both are nowadays the most iconic cars for Nissan in the 70s. Both were also sold abroad and were not limited to RHD only. And obviously the introduction of the Skyline GT-R KPGC110 in September 1972 marks the second most sought after Japanese classic ever. And let’s not forget the C10 also was still for sale in early 1972.
The Fairlady Z (aka 240Z) is one of the most iconic and beautiful cars Nissan ever produced. Unfortunately Z432 was no longer for sale in 1972, but if you were lucky some of the Fairlady ZGs might still have been for sale.
The coke bottle styled Gloria and Cedric 230, introduced a year earlier, are nowadays also sought after classics in Japan.
In 1972 also both the 510 and 610 were sold alongside and both were available in SSS and hardtop coupe trim. Especially the 510 SSS hardtop coupe is sought after nowadays. I think the JNC/Petrolicous video will explain you why:
The Sunny B110 is still a popular car and especially the UTE has a great following.
Last but not least, the Cherry E10. The bonkers styled coupe: you hate it or you love it. Many of the X1-R coupes have been sacrificed to the holy gods of zokusha (bosozoku) for their unique tail lights and integrated into various C110 and C210 tail light panels. The tail lights alone would set you back over a thousand dollars nowadays and those original Cherry X1-R coupes are impossible to find.
Yes, Nissan got everything right in 1972. And then in 1973 the oil crisis happened and, also due to the emission standards getting more strict, the party was mostly over.
Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!