Aoshima Gra-chan: Gloria 430 Review
This, ashamedly, is the car I thought I’d hate. I was working on another kit and only bought this because it had the wheels I wanted. I could have bought those wheel separately, but by spending $10 more, you get a whole car with the wheels.
Don’t get me wrong - I like the Brougham VIP and the MS120 Crown Royal Saloon - but the facelift Nissan 430 just wasn’t my thing.
I like the box-art for this kit - a nice wide-angle image with very clean gu-ra chan writing in blue, giving the illusion of a blue tint in the black paint. Being a facelift 430, it has the split indicator and sloping rear.
Fortunately, the kit has a clip-on optional bumper that has the big boxy bodykit. If you wish, you can make a factory-standard 430. As I wasn’t initially interested in the car, here it sits with the Racing Hart wheels from the C210 kit.
After taking inspiration from my JDM Collections, I figured the car would look better on some mesh/wire wheels, as is the style in Japan. The car does look good being a pillar-less hardtop - speaking of which, the roof in this kit is quite solid, as are the A and B pillars. I had a kit in the past where the pillars bent too easily.
If you know how a Gloria looks in standard form, you would notice that the grille is not standard - this kit uses a Crown MS120 grille. I thought that was very cool, given that the standard options are not pleasing to look at. There was also the option of headlamps and indicators from the Brougham, but I found the split indicators more enjoyable to paint. Also optional was a set of rear brick tail lamps similar to the AE86 coupe, which I believe to be Brougham tails.
Above is how the car would look had I used small dished wheels from the kit.
I must confess that at this time I was starting to feel a bit bored with the small, dished, wheels I had liked ever since the early 2010s, but I was still not sold on this car. I tried “hotrod style” which was popular in the 80s, but I had issues mounting the rear axle. By this stage the interior was completed - it was almost entirely matte brown with black highlights and a satin black dashboard. One interior feature I forgot to add was the optional car-phone included with this kit - an 80s brick phone with a detailed cord that sits atop the front armrest/glovebox.
I was conflicted as to whether I should use the large spoiler included, or to go without. I still did not like the sloping rear, so I chose to include the spoiler.
There was only one set of wheels included (SSR MK-I), and I had finally decided on a set of aftermarket wheels for this kit (Advan A3A), but they were out of stock so I went with the super-80’s Hero i-Speed (similar to Enkei EK84).
So far all the cars I made did not have bumper stickers - I had a premonition that this car would look better with some, so I added them. After seeing it covered in stickers, I thought it really livened up that car and made it look like it was being used, not just another museum-piece kit.
And in front sits the mignight-club-esque askew bumper sticker that gives this car some personality. Although the TV antennae are not part of the gura-chan kit, there are two bonnet emblems to choose from and 3 mirrors: chrome fender, body-coloured fender, and body-colour door mirrors.
I modified the front subframe to allow some negative camber, and tucked the front tyres under the guards.
Unfortunately the front indicators would not fit properly inside the aftermarket bumper so some cutting was required.
And at last, here is the hero-shot of the car.
Maybe it was the angle of the front turn lights, or maybe it was from the aggressively lowered front, but I started to really like this car when I noticed the sharknose.
There is just something about the sharknose that gives a car personality and presence. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of a toy car I had when I was young - a black German sharknose saloon that was crushed by my dad’s car when he arrived home one day (I shouldn’t have left the toys on the drive).
This car, those wheels, the stickers. I just fell in love.
It was very easy to build and I was more than impressed by the end result. It is a mix-match of Toyota/Nissan parts, but it is unique and there are many styles you could choose for this car. Build quality is very good, and the rear suspension uses a very bouncy single coil-spring. Would I have chosen the other 430 kits? Nope.