Spotted in Japan: Gloriously fake-woodgrain Nissan Gloria wagon

I thought it was a Toyota Cressida wagon at first glance. We never got this car in North America.

When I went to Japan in March to see how the mighty Toyota Century is built, I did what I always do when in that country: kept my eyes open for interesting JDM vehicles not found on this side of the Pacific. On the way to the Toyota Motor East facility, about 50 miles southwest of Tokyo, we pulled the Century into a big highway rest stop (from what I understand, everyone stops at these rest stops) to get some noodles and gasoline, and I spotted what I took to be a Toyota Cressida wagon (known as the Mark II in its homeland).

Seems like a very sensible road-trip machine, even at age 35 or so.

Once I saw the badge on the tailgate, I realized that this was no Cressida. The rear-wheel-drive Y30 Nissan Gloria was built for the 1983 through 1987 model years, and the wagon version looks very much like a smaller version of the Detroit family wagons of the time.

The wheels look mean.

You won’t see many cars of this vintage in Japan, where vehicle inspections are super-rigorous, so this Gloria must be well-loved by its owner.

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