NEWS: Nissan celebrates 60th anniversary of the Skyline

Sixty years ago, in April 1957, one of the most hallowed names in the Japanese car world was introduced at Tokyo Takarazuka Theater. The Skyline was not a Nissan yet, but a Prince. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Nissan is bringing out every generation of its iconic car to Tokyo this weekend. 

The display will be at Roppongi Hills for this weekend only, from April 21-24, and since it’s Friday in Japan, the celebration has already begun. All the cars are from Nissan’s DNA Garage in Zama.

Taking center stage was the first Skyline, the 1957 ALSI-1, and the newest Skyline, a 60th anniversary limited edition V37 (aka the Infiniti Q50 in the US) in Aurora Blue Flare Pearl.

In case you’re wondering what the dapper bearded gent is doing when he appears halfway through the video, he is demonstrating a photo gimmick in which visitors to the exhibit can insert themselves into period scenes corresponding to each Skyline generation. For example, the 1957 photo shows a half-built Tokyo Tower during construction. Visitors will also have the chance to get four Skyline keitai straps, but it might take a while because they’ll have to complete the set one at a time by dropping ¥500 ($5) a pop into a capsule machine.

The festivities don’t stop there. At the Nissan Crossing in Ginza, a gallery of Nissan Skyline sketches used for design examination are on display. At the cafe on premises the baristas will draw Skylines in the foam of your latte as well (this is an actual thing Nissan says is happening). This will go on from April 22-24.

About a hour south of Tokyo, at the Nissan headquarters building in Yokohama, another Skyline display is taking place. Our friend and Nissan designer Ken Lee is at the mothership and snapped a few quick shots for us before he had to go upstairs and attend to important Nissan business.

The car selection is quite well thought out. The BLRA-3 doesn’t really fit into the regular lineup, so it’s perfect at the smaller display. Similarly, the Kenmeri sedan is in Tokyo, so it makes sense to put the 2-door in Yokohama. However, it appears that either Nissan has two early Newman R30s, or one that is so fast it can be in two places at once. The Yokohama display runs until May 31.

All this may seem like a lot for one model, but as one of Japan’s most beloved nameplates the Skyline’s milestone anniversaries are always celebrated. Ten years ago, one of the earliest posts on JNC was about the 50th anniversary of the Skyline at the then-new Tokyo Midtown Park. How time flies! Happy birthday, Skyline, and here’s to the many more that will come.

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7 Responses to NEWS: Nissan celebrates 60th anniversary of the Skyline

  1. Randy said:

    Nice to see CONTINUITY of a name. Wish we did that here, rather than dumping names that’ve been around for decades.

    • _John said:

      While I understand where you are coming from sometimes things are better off dead. I mean hell, look at the Impala or the Malibu, or the recent resurrection of the Eclipse. I do wish we still had Falcon’s though.

      • Randy said:

        Well, yeah, I mean you have to keep to the spirit of the vehicle…

        The new “Eclipse” is a stupid name choice, but at the same time, if you remember when Buick dropped “LeSabre” for Lacrosse, that was just dumb. Referring back the new Eclipse, somebody said something about a “Celica-crossover,” as I recall, and yeah, that’d be wrong; doesn’t maintain the spirit of the “Celica.”

        I’d have to disagree about the Impala and Malibu, actually, since the vast majority of them weren’t the SS version anyway… We’ve just romanticized ourselves (Ewww), into remembering them that way. Now, an Impala or Malibu SS on today’s platforms could be doable with an upgrade in the driveline, a la the ’92-’96 Imp., though I have a hard time equating “SS” with a FOUR-door sedan, much like I STILL don’t consider the Charger to be a Charger… Shoulda been “Polara.” Charger’s a mid-size 2-door, and Challenger is smaller.

        Losing the Falcon is a MAJOR shame (assuming you’re in .au)… Too bad they couldn’t even build them off-shore, at least… I wonder how sales will be for companies that quit employing people there; no reason now for “brand loyalty.”

        • _John said:

          I see what you are saying the Impala and Malibu but the same thing can be applied to the Skyline. We love the Skyline for the GT-R. The standard cars are good bases for replicars. And to be fair the Impala and Malibu got ugly. They also went from rwd to fwd. Far as I can tell the Skyline hasn’t. Some may argue that it had an ugly phase in the 80’s but it got pretty again in the 90’s.

          As for the Falcon, I live in the states, I just wish the Falcon had stuck around and with Ford having killed the Falcon off down under I’ve lost any chance at getting a resurrected nameplate in the states. I’ll just have to get me an early 60’s one which doesn’t break my heart but won’t happen any time soon. At least we’re getting the Bronco back so that’s something.

  2. Kenn said:

    Skyline GTR 34/35 on parimad racecar üldse!!

  3. Ant said:

    I like the latest Skyline – sold as an Infiniti Q50 in Europe, and presumably the US. Isn’t really up to the standards of the BMW 3-series, Mercedes C-class and the like, but I’m guessing that’s not as much of an issue as it is when it’s badged as a Nissan, rather than a premium car.

    But while it’s an attractive car, it’s not really a “Skyline” any longer, at least not in the same way we’ve come to know Skylines. There’s no “surf line” in the bodywork (I’m not sure the swoop high up over the rear arches really counts) and we don’t have a quartet of tail lights. Or an inline-six (only V6s).

    It’s funny Randy mentions the “spirit” of a vehicle above. Nissan has kept the Skyline name, but I’m not sure the spirit is there any longer.

    To be fair to the latest car though, the previous couple of generations haven’t felt much like “Skylines” either. The R34 was really the last that kept at least some of the basic characteristics.

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