Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Parking Lot Spot: 1989-92 Infiniti M30 (Nissan Leopard)

The Infiniti M30 was the Japanese auto industry's first try at a personal-luxury coupe for the US market, and being rear-wheel-drive on the R31 Nissan Skyline platform, was ostensibly an excellent alternative to the Ford Thunderbird, Cadillac Eldorado, Buick Riviera, Audi Coupe and Mercedes-Benz 300CE.

Its undoings were being narrower than Americans were used to, being the flagship of an unproven brand, having no options and no manual transmission option, and sharing more parts with the concurrent Maxima and 300ZX than with the Skyline, along with spotty distribution, and it remains a very rare car, with roughly 12,000 made for the US domestic market only. Infiniti never returned to the personal luxury market, only returning to coupes with a rebadged CV36 Skyline in 2008 as the sporty G37 Coupe.

This is one of only 3 known M30s in Eugene (one being a maroon coupe and the other being a black convertible). In 3 months of knowing this car's existence, I have not seen it move once. Perhaps I might make an offer on it, buy it and restore it at some point.

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