18 September 2022

More than an old car #200: Nissan Cedric H31

Many people tend to associate Japanese cars with high performance, being small-sized or quirky. However, they are more than just that, just like this 1964 Nissan Cedric Custom H31!

First introduced in 1960, the Cedric was developed as a purely domestic medium-size passenger car to replace the Austin A50 Cambridge, which Nissan had obtained licence to manufacture previously. It featured a style strongly influenced by American cars, such as a wraparound windscreen, forward-leaning A-pillar, vertical dual headlamps and tail fins.

Initially, it was only available with a 1500 cc engine and came in either 4-door sedan or wagon version. A 1900 cc engine was later introduced: 2 separate trims were available, namely the 1900 DX and Custom. The Custom model was 1000 mm longer than the 1500 and 1900 DX. In October 1962, the vertical headlamps were now horizontal and the grille design was changed to a 1-piece version. The model number was also changed to H31 during this time. September 1963 saw a revised grille design: it was now split into 2 parts and the lower half had 7 vertical lines.


(Picture credits to: https://www.cutlass70.com/entry/2021/11/30_31Cedric)

The final facelift in September 1964 had the lower half with 4 vertical lines (i.e. this particular unit in the blog post). Furthermore, the taillights was also changed from 3 segments to 2 segments for the final facelift. A luxurious version known as the Cedric Special (type 50) was fitted with a 2800 cc engine, along with a number plate recess on the bumper. It was also longer than other Cedrics, coming in at 4850 mm.

Strictly speaking, the 'H31 Cedric' refers only to the Custom model but it has become a catch-all for the 1st-generation model. The H31 Cedric was powered by a 1883 cc Nissan H straight-4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 140 km/h with an acceleration of 16.4 seconds [0-100 km/h]. and had dimensions of 4650 x 1690 x 1505 mm. It weighed 1260 kg and had a fuel consumption of 13.4 litres / 100 km.

Production of the 30/31 series ended in 1965, where it was succeeded by the 130 series. The H31 Cedric was first sold here in 1963 by Tan Chong & Sons Motor Co where it was retailing for $8,450. However, no original cars here have survived: this unit was imported from Japan a few years ago. It is noted that H31 Cedrics still have a large number that exist: even though Japanese cars from the 60s are not deemed collectible, it is a pleasant surprise to know that someone actually knew about this model's existence and decided to bring it here. While it is currently unregistered, I hope that someday you can get to see this rarity out and about on our roads!

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