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Rare 1965 Nissan Silvia Is Like A Far Eastern Lancia Fulvia

Tiny first-generation Silvia coupe is powered by an 89 hp 1.6-liter, twin-carb motor, and is far too nice to turn into a drift weapon


by Chris Chilton

May 5, 2024 at 07:37

 Rare 1965 Nissan Silvia Is Like A Far Eastern Lancia Fulvia

  • Original Nissan Silvia was unveiled in 1964 and based on the Fairlady platform.
  • Slow, largely hand-built production process meant only 554 were made in three years.
  • Almost all remained in Japan but this 1965 car is now for sale on Bring-a-Trailer in the U.S.

Even those of us not fully immersed in drifting culture are familiar with Nissan’s S-series sports cars, the rear-wheel drive S10-15 coupes sold with Silvia, 200SX, 240SX and other badges between the mid 1970s and early 2000s. But the first-generation Silvia seen here was never sold new in the U.S., and was produced in such tiny numbers that even in its homeland it’s a rarity.

Looking like a slightly uglier Japanese take on the slim-pillared Lancia Fulvia coupe that was unveiled a year later, the original Silvia made its debut in the fall of 1964. But unlike the Lancia, the Nissan was rear-wheel drive, and had an inline four rather than the Fulvia’s V4.

Related: You’ve Never Seen Anything Like This Nissan Silvia Pickup

The X-shaped ladder chassis and running gear came from the Fairlady, Nissan’s answer to the MGB, and though the design was credited to Kazuo Kimura and Fumio Yoshida, Albrecht Graf von Goertz, who had previously created the 507 for BMW and would go on to shape the Toyota 2000GT, is said to have had an influence very early on in the project. And get a load of that interior. It’s absolutely stunning, looking like something you might expect to find in an early 1960s Ferrari, Lamborghini or Maserati costing 10 times as much.

A tiny 89.8-inch (2,280 mm) wheelbase helped keep the curb weight below 2,200 lbs (1,000 kg), and meant that performance was still reasonably brisk with only 89 hp (90 PS) of twin-carb 1.6-liter four stashed under the hood. But brisk definitely isn’t a word you’d apply to the production process. The Silvia was reportedly built largely by hand, and only 554 had been produced by the time the car was canned in 1968, leaving the Silvia name without a home until it was resurrected for 1975’s S10.

 Rare 1965 Nissan Silvia Is Like A Far Eastern Lancia Fulvia

Almost all of those 554 cars were sold in Japan, but just under 10 percent were apparently shipped to Australia and a handful made it to other countries. This 1965 car arrived in the U.S. in 2005 and is now up for grabs on Bring a Trailer. Though it looks solid underneath, the paint and interior trim could do with a refresh, and hopefully the next owner will attend to that and then hit the show scene to let people know that the Silvia was a thing long before the drift scene was.

#Rare #Nissan #Silvia #Eastern #Lancia #Fulvia

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