“Where did Paul go?” I heard my colleagues asking each other during an excursion to a Shanghai Auto Mall last week. We were visiting a vehicle service center with some work-related questions, which was in a long strip of luxury car dealerships, including BMW, Cadillac, and Infiniti. While we were waiting for our driver, something caught my eye, and I wandered off to see what it was. Turns out I was looking at a black Nissan Cedric, a classy and regal near-luxury sedan (the Y31 model, produced from 1987 until 1991.)
When my coworkers noticed I had strolled off to the used car lot, they came to see what I was looking at. All were surprised, even shocked, even horrified, to see me drooling over the old Nissan. “Why do you like that?” I was asked, and I had a hard time giving a simple answer. A lack of old cars has maybe made me all the more receptive to anything a bit dated and uncommon, but I really do like the upright and formal profile of the Cedric.
A ‘VIP” label made it clear that this car had once been considered to be something special, and I wonder if it was used as an official vehicle or luxury taxi. It was far from pristine, with its faded black paint, tarnished trim, and dirty interior, but it was the kind of car that I could picture looking decent after a little care and attention. A 'V6' label pointed out what was under the hood, but I doubt it was ever much of a sports sedan. That said, the Cedric WAS rearwheel drive, which can make any car more fun to drive.
As a bonus, a used black Volkswagen Santana sedan was sitting nearby, but it was getting quite rusty, so after a quick look I turned my attention back to the Cedric. No price was posted, and we had to leave before I could find a salesman and ask the price, but my coworkers assured me that it would be dirt cheap since no one wants that kind of car in China anymore. The more I poke around the more I see that old cars are rare but not inexistent, so I’m going to start snooping around even more to see if there are other jewels like this in and around Shanghai.
Welcome! My name is Paul, and I am an old-fashioned, low-pressure, low-buck car fan with lots of automotive stories to tell!