The Prince Gloria: Car to the Imperial Household

An ad for the Prince Gloria, from the magazine
An ad for the Prince Gloria, from the magazine “Olympic Tokyo Taikai Tokushuu No. 2_Tokyo Shimbun”

My uncle in Tochigi told me that he had a car and its name was Gloria. I had just arrived in Tokyo and my Japanese wasn’t very good, so I couldn’t tell if he actually named his car. As it turned out, he was the proud owner of a Nissan Gloria.

This full-page ad was selling the Gloria, although it was manufactured at the time by a company called Prince Automobile Manufacturers. In 1959, this company presented to Crown Prince Akihito a Prince Gloria in commemoration of his recent wedding to Princess Michiko. This company would go onto become the official vehicle supplier to the Imperial Household Agency.

The car in the ad was the Grand Gloria S44P, which was launched in May, 1964, prior to the Tokyo Olympics. In addition to including electric power windows, it had a large enough engine (2.5 liters) to make the Grand Gloria the first vehicle manufactured in Japan to not be classified as a compact sedan.

The ad states that this car transported athletes, officials and members of the press during the torch relay leading to the opening of the Tokyo Olympics.

In 1966, Prince merged with Nissan Motors, adding Prince’s Skyline and Gloria brands to their range of vehicles.