How it all began
It was 1957 when the Prince Motor Company – a manufacturer taken over by Nissan around ten years later – came up with the idea of naming one of its models Skyline. However, things didn’t really get going until 1964, when Prince decided to increase its sales through success in motorsport. To this end, the engineers took the 2-litre six-cylinder engine from the Gloria luxury saloon and squeezed it under the bonnet of the much smaller Skyline, which had been lengthened by 20 centimetres at the front for this purpose. Thanks to the significantly improved power-to-weight ratio, they were sure that the Prince Skyline 2000 GT (S54) was a potential winning car.
They set to work at full steam to produce the 100 units required for motorsport homologation. It was a race against time – but two days before the first race, the much longed-for homologation sheet was available just in time for 1 May 1964. In Suzuka, the five-car Skyline fleet had to take second to sixth place behind a Porsche 904 GTS. But even if no one could have guessed it at the time, this battle against a flawless sports car from Europe planted the seed for what would later become the Skyline GT-R legend.
However, this designation only came in 1968, with the third Skyline series (C10) – and in the meantime as a Nissan. And it was first used for a rather staid sedan, which, however, again had a 2-litre six-cylinder under the bonnet, which, filled by three Mikuni-Solex carburettors, came to about 160 hp; shifted via a 5-speed gearbox. The thing flattened everything there was to beat in Japan (at least in its class) and was given the nice additional designation “Hakosuka” (which is supposed to mean “edgy Skyline”) by the fans.
832 units were built – and they cost, well, a lot of money today. Even more expensive is the coupé (KPGC10) introduced in 1970, which we show here. Let’s be clear: the name “Godzilla” came much later, from Australia, where the R32s won everything there was to win. Nismo” is also a term that only came into being in the 1980s.
At Gooding & Co. in Monterey in mid-August 2022, such a coupé will once again be put up for auction. We are curious to see what price the vehicle will fetch.
More interesting cars you can find in our archives.