We just brought a genuine KPGC10 Skyline GT-R to the Monterey Historics. It was a bit surreal to say the least, watching it enter the paddocks of the legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Though it never raced here, the circuit is the GT-R’s natural environment, and it dominated every one that it went to throughout the late 1960s and early 70s. From the banks of Fuji Speedway to perhaps the most famous track in the US, the GT-R had come home to roost.
Even as the hako rolled through the infield amongst a sea of multi-million-dollar race cars that included everything from Le Mans Porsches to Mille Miglia Maseratis, everyone turned their heads to stare. There is no place a GT-R looks more at ease than amidst the hustle and bustle of the pits. Scooters and golf carts whizzed about, mechanics wrenched and generators hummed. It was its natural habitat.
Avid readers might recognize this hakosuka as the one belonging to Tom Knudsen, the first American collector to own all three S20-powered Nissans. Tom has graciously allowed his car be displayed at the NISMO garage at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It’s part of the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, just one of many events happening this week.
It was an idea Tom and we here at JNC pitched to our PR contacts at Nissan, who is displaying their 2015 NISMO lineup. The purpose is to educate attendees about Nissan’s rich heritage and racing pedigree, as well as to bring a little chrome to the party. This is, after all, the Historics.
Tom’s GT-R will sit beside Nissan’s latest Godzilla, the 2015 NISMO GT-R, an even more technologically advanced and utterly bonkers 545hp machine than the “regular” R35 GT-R. The side-by-side should draw a nice parallel between the two legends spanning a four-and-a-half decade bloodline.
Nissan and Stillen will also be displaying (and driving!) the the No. 75 Nissan 300ZX GTS, which won the IMSA GTS class at Le Mans in 1994. The sticker from that running still resides in the cockpit.
Nissan’s entire NISMO lineup will be there too, including the NISMO Juke RS and NISMO 370Z, which just went on sale this week (starting at $42,800!). However, this week-long bash is about the classics, and we hope the presence of an original GT-R will connect the dots for a few people that weren’t aware of a pre-R32 GT-R.
To our knowledge, this is the first time a real KPGC10 GT-R has been to the Motorsports Reunion. Let’s hope there will be many more to come.
Both GT-Rs, the Le Mans Z32 and the rest of the NISMO lineup will be on display until this Sunday, August 17. Come take a look if you’re in Monterey.