Hello and welcome to a new segment we call “Chinese Survivor Cars”, where we aim to showcase the old Chinese made cars that are still roaming the streets, or those older cars that are still in top shape!
It is a sad truth that the majority of old Chinese cars are long gone, mostly as a result of ultra strict emmissions regulations and obsolescence as manufacturers came and went, especially during the wonderfully wacky 1980’s. Cars covered in multiple recent articles by my colleague Tycho have long been resigned to the history books, with the only evidence of their ever existing being old books, catalogues and of course wonderful people like my other colleague Erik, who travelled to China during those crazy times and managed to capture lots of them with their cameras.
Thankfully, there are some cars that escape the crusher for long enough that we may still see them today. Better yet, some are kept in original condition and are clearly loved by their owners. Today we have one such car – a 1996 Guangzhou-Yunbao YB6470.
The Yunbao YB6470 was a Chinese made Y30 Nissan Cedric wagon. Production was carried out using Complete Knock Down (CKD) kits from Japan and as a result, many of the components on this car were labelled as OEM Nissan Parts. Production commenced in 1990, and ended in 1998, around a year before production of the Y30 wagon ended in Japan some 11 years after production of the sedan ended.
This particular example was in stunning condition with almost no imperfections. In fact I got to ride in this car for around 40km and it ran as smooth as butter. It’s ultra soft suspension and plush seats made it one of the most comfortable cars I’ve ever been in. Sadly at the time I did not have my Chinese license so had to turn down the offer of driving it. Happily though I did once get to manoveuour this magnificent machine around a parking lot with my good friend Navigator84 🙂
The interior was also a large sea of brown and 80’s plastics.
Of course this wagon came from a time when minivans did not really exist and the station wagon was still a major player in the family car market, as a result many cars of the time, perhaps most famously Mercedes cars featured a rear facing, albeit child only third row. The Yunbao was also equipped as such, with the vin plate correctly stating that it is indeed a seven seater.
A picture of the lovely instrument cluster. Here we can see that the car has only done around 95,000km in it’s 20 or so years on the road. Redline a low 5500RPM. 240km/h speedometer perhaps a little optimistic.
What I believe to be the original CD player, interestingly it did not have a tape deck, my friend’s 2004 Audi A6 wagon has a tape deck, we once cruised the streets of Shanghai listening to Madonna on tape.
A spotless engine bay with Nissan branded parts absolutely everywhere, it seems that local parts content was not a priority for Yunbao. Rather wonderfully this car was equipped with a spring system consisting of long steel rods that kept the bonnet up without the need for gas struts or a prop to hold it open, meaning maintenance on this car would be a doddle with nothing getting in your way. I’m not implying that this is the only car ever to have had this feature, but it is nice to see.
Perhaps my favorite part of this car was the vin plate, where we see the English name for Yunbao was officially Clouded Leopard. Of course Yunbao 云豹 does mean just that, though it is a funny name.
A Yunbao badge on the handle for the rear hatch.
Chinese Guangzhou-Yunbao badge.
Model designation badge.
The hood ornament, looking like a slab of caramel.
Original Nissan branded key.
Yunbao made quite a few cars back in the day, including the Nissan Bluebird and Nissan Patrol, cars that we will come back to later on in a more detailed article.