Did You See Infiniti’s Prince R380 at Amelia Island?
Porsche-Beating Prince Makes Its First Public Appearance in the States
One of the earliest motorsport victories in the Prince/Datsun/Nissan/Infiniti lineage was captured by this diminutive sports coupe. In 1966, as an answer to mounting worldwide pressure in the sports-car market, Japanese luxury brand Prince built a Porsche-beater: the R380.
Taking a 200-horsepower GR8 straight-6 engine and mounting it amidships in a 1,455-pound featherweight chassis was a great idea for a race car. This little beast won the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix (with a 1-2) ahead of a Toyota 2000GT. In doing so, it also bested Jaguar E-Types, a Shelby Daytona Coupe, and Porsche’s bespoke 906 Carrera 6 racing car.
Not long after that race victory, the Japanese government forced Prince to merge with Nissan as part of its efforts to consolidate the country’s automotive manufacturing industry. Prince was the luxury brand that became part of Nissan.
CHECK OUT: What Forum Members Are Saying About This Infiniti Precursor
As such, it could almost be said the ethos behind Prince is what bubbled under the surface to create the luxury brand Infiniti nearly 30 years later. In that context, it makes perfect sense Infiniti would want to show off its Prince-based racing heritage last weekend at one of the biggest vintage automotive events in the world: the Amelia Island Concours.
This doesn’t really indicate Infiniti will be coming out with a new, mid-engine, Porsche-beating race car any time soon. But it proves they care about their heritage, and about vintage automobile enthusiasts here in the U.S.
If you were at the Amelia Island Concours this past weekend, make sure to post your photos on the forums for all the other members to enjoy. We’d sure love to see every angle of this vintage Japanese wonder.
Via [MotorAuthority, Japanese Nostalgic Car]