I think I’ve just found the Japanese version of the Lancia Fulvia!!
Spotted via Bring-A-Trailer, this is a Nissan Silvia from 1965. Just 554 of these were hand-made over a four year period. It was powered by a 1.6 litre, inline 4-cylinder engine making just 96hp.
The car is for sale in Japan for around $20,000 (which is reasonable value for a pretty little car, I reckon).
It’s been said that Asian carmakers don’t mind imitating designs by other manufacturers and that’s arguably been the case when these companies are just starting to break into western markets. It’s one less hurdle for a new player to jump over.
So did Nissan pinch a few cues from Lancia’s little Italian coupe from the 1960’s?
I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, but the similarities are right here for you to see. The twin headlamps and horizontal grille are similar, but punctuated by a sharper point in the middle on the Nissan.
What’s most striking is the roofline and the B-pillar, which are remarkably similar. The rear is quite different.
The reason I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt?
The Silvia was made from the mid-1960’s. The Series 2 Fulvia, which bears the closest resemblance, arrived about 5 years later. Nissan might have copied the B-pillar design but were ahead on the front end.
Maybe the designers at Lancia copied the Silvia for the Series 2 front end??? 🙂