1992 Nissan Laurel C33 Medalist
Nissan's Laurel is one of the more underrated chassis out there. While many just see a big 4 door coupe, it brings so much more to the table. The turbocharged heart of a Skyline, the suspension out of the S chassis, with the comfort and size of a luxury sedan. These factors make the Laurel an appealing car to modify and extremely easy to get parts for. With such a versatile underpinning these are just as capable drift cars as they are daily drivers. When it comes to searching for either a daily driver or a project car the most import consideration is condition. If you start with a strong chassis, it's far easier to end up with a quality finished product. Our 1992 C33 is a great example of this philosophy. Finished in Nissan's trademark Black Pearl Metallic (732) makes this sedan look good from any angle. The paint itself shows really well, with a body to match. Aside from some routine little door dings there's nothing out of the ordinary to report. All of the panels line up nicely, even the hood struts have held up pretty well considering how massive this hood is. The exterior has been kept completely stock and even has the more desirable kouki tail lights with clear turn signals. The only change up comes by way of 16" Enkei Circlaz wheels which looks more fitting than the stock wheels did.
The interior is one of the best Laurel interior we've seen. Rare factory black leather seats really bring the level of the interior up over the more common cloth ones. Leather is uncommon in Japan due to the way it wears, typically more prone to showing it's age. The driver's seat in this Medalist has held up great over the years with very minimal cracking/stress. The bolsters are prone to accelerated wear from getting in and out due to their size, but we really don't have any signs of that here. The passenger seat shows just as well, while the rear seats look hardly used. Even the other high wear items such as the gear selector and steering wheel have held up remarkably well. Unlike the cloth door panels which are prone to peeling the leather ones show a heck of a lot better. Because of the resilience of leather there are no stains on the seats, and the same can be said about the carpets. These interiors are clearly designed for that mid-sized sedan luxury market, which is why these are such great daily driver's. Fitted with all of the power accessories of the time; power folding mirrors, power windows, automatic climate control, even steering wheel controls for the radio. Everything is in good working order although the pixels on the stock radio are starting to go out. Since most people swap them out in favor of newer, more US friendly, radios it's not a huge concern.
Both mechanically and aesthetically it's hard to believe that this Laurel currently has 101K verified miles. Most cars 5 year old cars on the road today don't present as well as this one; it's obvious that the previous owner really took care of it. The timing belt and water pump were replaced at 88K miles which shows that they were proactive in their maintenance schedule. The RB20DET fires right up and purrs quietly through the stock exhaust. Since these are such popular cars to modify, finding an exhaust with a little more presence wouldn't be an issue. Then again these were built for luxury, so it's no real surprise there. The suspension was upgraded with a set of Cusco coilovers giving it a much better ride height. The automatic trans in these are surprisingly pleasant. With adjustable modes for snow and sport you're always right in the sweet spot. Since there's no loss in boost while shifting, the auto cars are actually a bit quicker than the manual ones. Since touching down with us we've put on four new tires, replaced the air filter, and re-tightened the valve covers for good measure. These wildly versatile platforms can fit any bill. Whether you're after a weekend cruiser, daily driver, or a platform to build the Laurel has you covered.
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB compliant first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.