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Nissan Skyline GT

Updated on January 5, 2014

Nissan Skyline Summary

The Skyline is a Japanese based car which is produced by a little known company called Nissan. The first Skyline was produced in 1969 and after a long line of models the more commonly known skyline was born in 1989 , the Skyline R32. The car was called Godzilla playing on the movie set in Asia that was popular during the 90's for its special effects. The GTR also did very well in motorsport with a whole raft of wins and a records under its belt.

After years in production the Nissan Skyline became the flagship car of the brand as it began to showcase some of the best in house technologies that the guys at Nissan could come up with.The car was also very reasonably priced for its capabilities and in comparison to its European rivals, many of which were not as good as the GTR. After years of production the car became extremely popular with in many forms of motorsport including street racing and legal circuit racing.

Although manufacturing never occurred outside of Japan, the car was heavily exported to other countries and continents as it was extremely sort after. Regardless of where it was manufactured the car went on to be one of the greatest sports cars that Nissan have ever manufactured.

first generation nissan skyline
first generation nissan skyline

First Gen Nissan Skyline

The roots of the Skyline were very humble and far from what the Skylines looked like years down the line. The car was first released in February of 1969 and it was codenamed the PGC10, although the car was a 2 liter rear engined car it was actually available only as a four door sedan. There were mixed messages sent at the tokyo motor show after the car was advertised next to the R380 racer as to what type of car this was meant to be. In terms of performance the first model of the Skyline was not particularly fast or beautiful or provocative. The 160 horsepower engine was not immensely powerful and the 5 speed manual gearbox produced some problems. The car was produced from 1969 to 1972 and although a coupe version was introduced in 1972 the alternative body shape never really had time to take off only a total of 2000 First Generation Skylines were produced.

old school nissan skyline
old school nissan skyline

Second and Third Generation Skylines

The second generation Nissan Skyline was produced in 1973 with its introduction to the market being made earlier in 1972 at the Tokyo car show. The car had the same 2 liter engine that was found in the first generation car however the engine had been tweaked somewhat to be more reliable and more responsive. The cars mechanical features bar the engine were almost identical with the same 5 speed manual transmission and front engine rear wheel power drive train. The car had however changed aesthetically and it was now more aggressive looking and it also had a much better aerodynamic shape. However the car was plagued with problems through its production life due to a problem which the people at Nissan could not do anything about. There was a energy crisis which had hit the global economy in the early 70's the same time the Skyline GT-R was released. The car did not sell nearly as much as it should have and after a production run of only a year the car was discontinued.

In 1989 after things had calmed down and people had started to spend again and felt more comfortable buying sports cars with their disposable income the GT-R was revived. The car this time was going to be better than before in every way but it also had to keep true to the design objectives of the first car. During the time of production and design Nissan had taken to the racetrack and was competing in a track only version of the Skyline , the GTS-R. The car had been competing for some while and as the time had gone by the car grew less and less competitive. As a result Nissan were looking for a replacement to remain competitive in the Racing business. After testing and design the R32 was produced and was sent into racing for Nissan, it did very well which prompted Nissan to make a production model of the car.

R32 and R34

The Nissan Skyline as it was known was officially reborn with an all new engine a 2.6 liter Nissan in house produced motor the car was able to produce 276 horsepower. With the car only weigh 1.5 tons it was very light for a four seater vehicle which produced very good performance figures. A number of variations were produced from the R32 body but the general production of the car remained the same. The R32 proved to be very popular and all the way through to 1994 the car was on the production line. Around 44,000 of all variants of the model were made through its entire production life making Nissan some heft royalties.

The Fifth Gen Skyline was the R34 and it was released in 1999 the car had been heavily modified from the R32 and the R33 and although the car still bared some resemblance to its predecessors it was a totally different animal. The car was smaller in length to its predecessor and although the car was heavier it was also much more powerful. Most of the mechanical works had received an overhaul and the car now featured new hardware both in and outside the car. A new aerodynamic body was used so that the car would flow through the air better, not only that but the car was more low down to the ground. This ride height helped the car in the corners and the car was able to maneuver in quicker fashion than its predecessors.

The R34 only came in a 2 door coupe version although it did feature back seats which adults could occupy easily. The engine had been upgraded to a 2.6 liter motor which was also easy to modify but also very reliable. To thoroughly utilise the power of the engine the car now came with a six speed manual gearbox that used a shorter shift transmission for quicker response.

The Legend

The Nissan Skyline has made a name for itself throughout the years for many reasons and one of the main being its notoriety with racers, especially street racers. They love the car for its customizability and the natural potential of the engine. There have many aftermarket companies that showcase what this car can truly do with some encouragement. It was not a coincidence that the car was used in the first Fast and Furious movie. It was because they knew what car to use to engage with that audience. It is hard to describe how a 30,000 dollar car can be this good and this reliable but it is. You will be hard pressed to find any other cars supercar or otherwise that drive consistently and as the R34 does for even twice the price. For this reason as performance based cars go this is one of the greatest ever made.

Coming soon a review of the R35
Coming soon a review of the R35


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