Suprisingly, the Nissan Skyline has been in existence for around forty years. The Prince Motor Company was in existence from 1952 until 1966 when it was merged with the Nissan Motor Company. In 1952 the Tachikawa Aircraft Company started production of the Tama Electric car. In 1955 Tachikawa changed it’s name to the Prince Motor Company, in honor of the Emperor of Japan Crown Prince Hirohita, and from then on the cars were sold under the name Prince.
PRINCE SKYLINE ALSIS-1 SERIES 1955 – 1957
At the same time Prince stopped building electric cars and started building petrol powered cars. In the mid-60’s the Japanese Government suggested a number of mergers of Japanese companies to create larger companies that would be better equiped to handle any hostile takeover attempts by foreign companies. Nissan and Prince took the government’s advice, and in 1966 they merged. (At the same time Toyota merged with Hino and Daihatsu.) Most of the Prince models were kept in production, but from 1967 on they were sold as Nissans or Datsuns. The Prince division still operates independently inside Nissan and is responsible for the Skyline range, including the awesome GT-R.
The first model Skyline was powered by a 1484cc 60hp OHV 4cyl. GA-4 engine. It was available in 4 door sedan and 5 door wagon.
PRINCE SKYLINE ALSI-2 SERIES 1957 – 1961
The ALSI-2 was basically the same as the previous model. The most noticeable differences are the quad headlights replacing the twin lamps of the ALSI-1, different bonnet emblem and the single large horizontal bar in the grille was replaced with 2 curved bars. It retained the 1484cc 60hp OHV 4cyl. GA-4 engine.
PRINCE SKYLINE SPORT BLRA-3 1961
The Skyline Sport was designed by the Italian designer Michelotti. Only a small number of them were ever built. They had hand built bodies. Available as a coupe and a convertible. They were powered by the 1862cc 83hp OHV GB-30 engine. The design was dropped in favour of the S50-E series due to it’s cost effectiveness to produce, and retailability.
PRINCE SKYLINE S50-E SERIES 1961 – 1967
The second generation Skyline had a new 1484cc 70hp OHV 4cyl. G-1 engine. Early models, like the one pictured above, have a pressed steel grille, later models have cast alloy grilles. The first of the cast grilles have a series of vertical bars, after the merger with Nissan the cars had a grille with one large horizontal bar. Most models have large round stop lights (similar to those on a Cortina) with smaller round indicators beside them, later cars have a (rather odd looking) 3 piece tail light lens. The base model cars have a chrome strip along the side of the car that ends half way along the front door, with the emblems mounted on the front door. The deluxe models have a full length chrome strip. They had either a 3 speed column change gearbox or a 4 speed floor change gearbox. Cars with the 4 speed had bucket seats. Available in 4 door sedan (S50) or 5 door wagon (W50).
PRINCE SKYLINE GT S54 SERIES 1965 – 1968
When Prince wanted to go racing with the Skyline someone had the bright idea of taking out the 4cyl. engine and replacing it with the 6cyl. from the S40 Gloria. At first a small number were built to homologate the cars for racing, when these proved so popular they decided to put the GT into full production. There was no way the 6cyl. engine would fit in the S50, so what they did was they cut the car in front of the fire wall and inserted an extra 8 inches of panel work into the nose of the car to give the extra room needed.
When you look inside the engine bay this modification is clearly visible. This gave the car a very dramatic appearence with it’s long bonnet and short boot. It was available in two versions, the “B” model had the 1988cc 6cyl. 127hp OHC G7 engine. It had triple 40DCOE-18 Weber carbs, 5 speed close ratio gearbox, 99 litre fuel tank, full
instrumentation, limited slip diff, power brake booster and a higher compression engine. The “A” model had a 106hp single carb version of the G7 with a lower compression ratio. Both models had disc front brakes with twin piston calipers and alloy finned drums at the rear. Later models had flow through ventilation with small eye ball vents added to the dashboard. Later cars were sold as either a Prince A200GT or Nissan A200GT.
In 1966, under pressure from by economic and government forces, Prince Motor Co. merged with Nissan, so that both companies will have better chances in survival.The S54-series Skyline was sold as a Prince A200GT or a Nissan A200GT. Production of the S54 continued until 1968.
NISSAN SKYLINE 1500 1968 – 1972
This car replaced the Prince Skyline S50E series. It was powered by the new 1483cc 94hp OHC cross-flow 4cyl. G15 engine. Available in 4 door sedan and 5 door wagon.
NISSAN SKYLINE GT GC10 SERIES 1969 – 1972
As with the previous Prince Skyline GT, the new Skyline was available in a long wheel base GT model. One of the great things is that the development team decided to go with a 6 cylinder engine. It was Powered by the 1988cc 106hp OHC 6cyl. G7 series engine and later the 1973cc 109hp OHC 6cyl. L20 engine. It was available in a 2 door sedan (KGC10), 4 door sedan (GC10) and 5 door wagon. But best of all was the Skyline GT-R, Which featured the new 1998cc 160hp double over head cam 6cyl. S20 engine. This was available as a 2 door (KPGC10) and a 4 door (PGC10).
Late 1972 to early 1977 gave us the C110 series: 1600GT, the 1800GT, 2000GT-X, and the 2000GT-R. The 2000GT-X was powered by the L20 2.0L OHC Inline-6 engine with 130HP. The 1800 was powered by the G18 engine, and the 1600 by the G16.The 2000GT-R had the powerful S20 2.0L DOHC Inline-6 engine with 160HP . The PGC110 denotes the 4-door configuration, and the KPGC110 was the 2-door version.
After a four year hiatus the new 5th generation was released in August of 1977. Again a full range was released ranging from the 1600TI which was obviously powered by a 1.6 litre engine through the 1800TI-e.x, 2000GT up to the 2000 GT-e.x in April of 1980 packing a 140HP L20ET OHC Inline-6 Turbocharged engine. This was the first point that a turbo had been introduced and the 2000 GT was the top performer so far how ever there was no GT-R released in this generation.
The 6th generation onwards begins to look familiar for those who had never seen the previous generations. This is the point in design that the Skyline adopted it’s length. There were basically 5 models released in this series.
The 1800TI, 2000GT-e.x. and 2000GT-e.x turbo, the 2800GT, the R30 2000 RS and the R30 RS Turbo which were powered by the FJ20 2.0L DOHC 16V Inline-4. The DR30 RS had a normally aspirated FJ20 giving 145HP, and the RS Turbo version’s turbocharged FJ20 had 190HP. 2000GT and 2800GT were powered by Inline-6 engines.
With the obvious popularity of the R30’s, the design structure remained consistent. The 7th generation features the R31’s from the 1800I to the GTS-X turbo. They were first released in August 1985. The GTS-X came equipped with Nissan’s HICAS All-Wheel-Steering system.
It even has an adjustable electronic front spoiler, the R31 was a starting point for using the RB20DE engine. The R31 GT features an RB20DET.
The 8th Generation Skyline
1989 saw the release of the R32 which is the 8th generation of the Nissan Skyline. Nissan brought out the GXI, GTE, GTS, GTS25, GTS-t, GTS-4 and the Godzilla GT-R. Well known for it’s performance and power, there is a model to suit everyone from families to full blown enthusiast’s. The R32’s power ranges from around 90KW’s up, the engine capacities range from 1.8 litre up to 2.6 litres in the GT-R.
The GT-R also introduced the ATTESSA system, which controls the car’s all wheel drive capabilities. ATTESSA is Nissan’s AWD on-demand system, and it diverts torque from the rear wheels to the front wheels as required, increasing traction with inputs from sensors in the car. The VSpec (also known as ‘Victory Specification’) version of the GT-R had a better suspension and Brembo brakes as stock. The R32 was produced up until late 1993, which saw another change in design.
The 9th release of the Nissan Skyline was the R33. This machine is a little bigger and a little heavier than it’s predecessors, however to compensate Nissan have outfitted the majority released with 2.5 litre engines. This gives the standard non-turbo version 142KW, and the turbo models 187KW. R33 GT-R has improved ATTESSA AWS and HICAS AWD.
The GT-R was released with a KW rating of just 206KW due to Japan’s power restrictions, however with just a few modifications that can be increased immensely. For the general consumer market the R33 was released in non-turbo, turbo, rear and four wheel drive models. The range and specifications can be found on the specs page of this
This brings us to today, the new 10th generation R34 Nissan Skyline. The specs for the R34 can be found on the links page on this site. The R34 still features the RB26DETT, in-line six cylinder 2.6 litre twin turbo motor. The main visual differences are the outer body design, different geometry on the rear wing, the guarded undercarriage, and the new GPS and engine management computer screens inside. The R34 is much more refined than the the bulky R33 and already boasts much better performance on track. R34’s are being imported into New Zealand both by Nissan and by private importers.
Nissan Skyline V35, introduced in June 2001, was based on Nissan‘s FM Platform, shared with the Nissan 350z. The Nissan Skyline used a front-midship engine (VQ35DE and others as below), rear-wheel-drive layout (four-wheel drive was available for the sedan) to achieve a 52%/48% weight distribution. The V35 was the first Skyline made for export to the United States. There it was sold under the company’s luxury brand, Infiniti as the Infiniti G35. The new car comes with two entirely new engines, the VQ25DD producing 215hp and 275Nm from 2.5l of displacement, as well as the VQ30DD, with 260hp and 330Nm from 3.0l.
The Skyline Sedan went on sale on November 11, 2006, with an update to the Skyline Coupe beginning in fall 2007. Early models included the 250GT, 250GT FOUR, and 350GT.It was first available only as a 4-door sedan in Japan and was also sold in the USA as the 2007 Infiniti G35. On May 13, 2008, Nissan announced that a convertible variant of the Infiniti G37 (U.S. Spec Skyline coupe) would be produced for the 2009 model year. The convertible is not available in Japan.
Nissan GTR R35
Between 1969 and 1974, and again between 1989 and 2002, Nissan produced a high performance version of its Skyline sedan called the Nissan Skyline GT-R. This car proved to be iconic for Nissan and achieved much fame and success on road and track. The Nissan GT-R, although no longer carrying the “Skyline” badge, has heritage in the Nissan Skyline GT-R. Like the later generations of the Skyline GT-Rs, the Nissan GT-R is four-wheel drive with a twin-turbo 6 cylinder engine and has the signature four round tail lights. However, the GT-R is an entirely new model sharing little with its Skyline siblings and is a complete redesign from previous Skylines rather than an incremental evolution; the four-wheel-steering HICAS system has been removed and the former straight-6 RB26DETT engine has been replaced with a new V6 VR38DETT. Because of the GT-R’s heritage, the chassis code for the all-new version has been called CBA-R35, or ‘R35’ for short (where CBA is the prefix for emission standard), carrying on the naming trend from previous Skyline GT-R generations. The GT-R has also retained its Skyline predecessor’s nickname Godzilla, given to it by the Australian motoring publication Wheels in its July 1989 edition. Additionally, the R35 GT-R has carried over the tradition of using a twin-turbocharged 6 cylinder engine transmitting power through a 4-wheel drive system, much like previous generation GT-R’s.