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Nissan (& Mitsubishi) vs. Porsche

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Nissan, Porsche
Opinions expressed by Bill Crittenden are not official policies or positions of The Crittenden Automotive Library. You can read more about the Library's goals, mission, policies, and operations on the About Us page.

Nissan (& Mitsubishi) vs. Porsche

Bill Crittenden
August 30, 2014


Vintage Porsche Magazine Ad
I saw this classic (1980's?) Porsche ad with someone's photo commentary (found unattributed on Fast Car Magazine's Facebook page) contradicting the esteemed marque's assertion with a picture of a classic Nissan Skyline.

Sure, there are some Porsches I'd love to own for novelty's sake. A front-engine 928, in my opinion the best looking front-engine Porsche ever produced, would be a fun car to own. But to me that's a fun little novelty, not a dream car.

Nothing Porsche has ever made, currently makes, or has planned for the future quite interests me like the R-34 Nissan Skyline GT-R, a car which I DID spend my youth wishing for. I'd love to have it in the classic Gran Turismo fan favorite Bayside Blue, but the midnight purple is a lovely, more subtle color for it, too. Or perhaps in my personal favorite for showing off: white with green wheels and a graphic for The Crittenden Automotive Library on the sides.

Since that was fairly unattainable in the United States my reachable goal as a young adult was a Nissan 300ZX convertible in the dark purple color. Or, if I went and customized it with performance parts and a new front end, repaint it in Nissan's Bayside Blue, a color not available on the U.S. version of the car. Which would look great with the black soft top, too.

Or for more of a museum or display piece, how about that 1967 Ford Mustang fastback with the Nissan RB26DETT engine from Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift? I have the model kit, someday I'd love to build it into the rough, unrepainted version of the car. It's the only model kit I've ever wanted badly enough to pay full price for, and the inspiration for another one of my dream cars: a 1968 Pontiac Firebird with a Toyota 2JZ engine.

Oh, and if engines can count in this, I have to sneak in a mention of Mitsubishi. How about my idea of a perfect "sleeper car" from my youth? Take an early 1990's Hyundai Sonata, nice looking sedan with clean lines and a 3.0L plain Jane Mitsubishi engine, and replace the drivetrain with that from a Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4, which had the same engine block...and everything else much better.

And when I grew up just a little, and wore sweater vests and went to college? I had my more mature heart set on an Infiniti Q45 or M45. The broker who ran my wife's office had a 1990's silver Q45, so much better looking than a Cadillac and less pretentious than a Lexus or Mercedes, my idea at the time of having "made it" in the world was to get my hands on my own Q45: most of the fun of the 300ZX I'd spent years pining for but nice enough to drive clients around in.

Oh, and thinking of Infiniti, the original pearl white M30 convertible was also catching my eye at this point in my life as I saw it as being the fun of the 300ZX but with the class of the mature adult I thought I was becoming.

Another fit of practicality even earlier in my life was also directed toward owning a Nissan was when I had just turned 18 and dreamt of someday owning my own pickup truck and moving out to the country, but I wasn't going to go full redneck and leave my love of Nissan in the suburbs. Nissan had just come out with the wildly redesigned 1998 Frontier, available in an electric blue close enough to Bayside for me. Sadly, I settled for a dark blue S-10 because I got a great deal on one from a family friend, but I still felt regret when I saw a Frontier.

On the subject of trucks, my stupid kid "I have no idea what money is worth" dream vehicle was actually a custom Ford F-350 dually, changing to a Dodge Ram 3500 when the 1995 redesign came out.

No, nothing from Porsche was ever something I dreamt about one day owning when I was younger, but I could have filled a large garage with half a dozen Nissans and a Mitsubishi-powered street racer before I ever considered, "hey, why not a Porsche, just to shake things up a bit?"

I don't mean for this to be a knock on Porsche or to say that Nissan is a better brand all around. I'm always a "to each their own" kind of guy and aside from enjoying a little nostalgia trip I hope people realize just how wildly varied the cars of our youthful daydreams can be.



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