Ultra rare 1960 Prince Skyline found in Idaho scrapyard

A true unicorn has surfaced in a junkyard in Nampa, Idaho when a 1960 Prince Skyline found its way into the inventory at Jalopy Jungle. What’s more, it is an unobtainable left-hand-drive example of an already extremely rare specimen. While this vehicle is far from a prime example of an ALSI-1 Skyline, it is one of only a handful of export models known to exist.

The car has lived an extremely rough life, but its rarity lands it firmly in the realm of “save at all costs.” There are more known existing Duesenberg Model Js than there are known existing ALSI-1 Skylines. When you limit early Skylines to LHD export models, we would be shocked to find more than a dozen left in the world.


We should note that this restoration project is not for the faint of heart. This Skyline will require a complete rebuild and many of these parts are completely unattainable. There is a not insignificant amount of damage, the most notable being in the left quarter panel where it looks like some kind of impact took place.

Given the rarity of this vehicle, a replacement panel will be nigh impossible to find, and it will be easier to have the metalwork fabricated instead. On the bright side, for a 50s era vehicle the body lines of this car are relatively simple, which will help keep the fabrication costs down.

The second most extensively damaged section of this vehicle is the left rear door. Much like the quarter panel, it will need new metal to be fabricated. It does appear, at least, that the door handle has minimal damage to it and so the latch box could be savable. Lastly on the body, the hood is completely misshapen. It will require substantial metalwork, and it may be even more difficult than that of the door, depending on the reinforcement structure on the underside.

The interior is a mess. While all of the fabrics are completely destroyed, the bones appear to all be there. In the world of pre-war restorations and 50s American cars, this is considered to be less than ideal but workable. Luckily, there is an entire industry of companies that offer restoration services for everything from the cracked steering wheel to the upholstery. It is not outside of the realm of possibility to completely restore this interior.

Under the hood of this Skyline, the engine is largely complete sans several rubber pieces. It is believed that this is a 60-horsepower GA-30 engine, though other Prince Skylines found in America have had the more powerful 80 HP GB-30 engine. Before beginning the restoration of the engine, confirm the engine by referencing the serial number located on the block.

The serial number located on the chassis does note that this is a 60 HP GA-30 engine but there is a precedence of vehicles presumed to be original with inexplicably mismatched engines.

We’re not going to lie. A restoration project of the magnitude won’t be easy, will likely take years, and cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, today we have the power to save this tremendously rare and unique Skyline. Even some of our Japanese friends extremely plugged into the classic car community have never seen an LHD version before. Someone reading JNC must have the skill and wherewithal to take on this project. Hot rods and 50s-era American cars are routinely restored with the equivalent amount of labor this car will require. Let’s restore this car to its former glory.

The staff of Jalopy Jungle are on board with letting the car get saved. They recognize its importance. We at JNC are willing to help connect whoever takes on this project with those who can lend a hand, both here and in Japan. If you, or someone you know, are interested in taking on this restoration project please contact jalopyjungle@yahoo.com.

Photos: Alexis Campos

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32 Responses to Ultra rare 1960 Prince Skyline found in Idaho scrapyard

  1. Steve said:

    Wow, super rare. Hoping that it’s rebuilt and it would be interesting to hear the story of where it’s been.

  2. Dave Patten said:

    This is a true unicorn!

    The real questions are;
    1) Will it ever be saved and/or restored?
    2) Given the scarcity of parts and current condition, would saving it restomod style be sacrilegious?

    • Ben Hsu said:

      It would have to be someone with metal fabbing skills. If only someone here made body panels for old Nissans… 😉

    • j_tso said:

      I think even turning it into a Lemons racer is saving it compared to letting it sit in its condition.

      Sacrilegious would be modding a nice condition, all original example.

    • bill tannahill said:

      It is not ever sacrilegious to save, rebuild and re-manufacture a find like this. I wish I had the bank.

  3. speedie said:

    Rarity unfortunately does not make a car a candidate for restoration. The cost of the restoration will be near the six figure mark. That is a cost which the restored example is never likely to recoup. I would think that Nissan would be the most likely candidate to do it as it is worth more as part of their history than it would be to a collector.

    • Ben Hsu said:

      That’s the unfortunate situation. It would have to be done by someone for immense love for the Skyline and thus doesn’t care about the cost. We thought it was worth posting in case someone like that is reading. Nissan USA, unfortunately, is unlikely to take this on. I’ve sent other rare Nissans to them before, in perfect running condition and which would’ve cost a lot less to purchase than this would be to restore, and have been told there’s no budget.

      • speedie said:

        Assuming the car could be bought for reasonable money this could be a good project for an auto restoration school like McPherson College. Maybe Nissan could give some seed money and the rest can be done through donations.

  4. aristopoulos said:

    Hi I have an excelent LHD Prince Skyline ALSIL that you can seeon my site jn fb Is the only one in Europe ,USA , AUSTRALIA .Lot of photos

  5. MikeRL411 said:

    Surely Nissan USA, Nissan Yokohama or the Petersen Museum would be interested .

    • Lee L said:

      Agreed. I am going to send this link to Nissan USA through their contact page.

      If enough people send it to them maybe it will get sent to someone who cares. Does anyone on here have any contacts at Nissan USA?

  6. Please keep us updated to the status of this unicorn Prince.

  7. There is another option besides restoration….. it’s called Preservation.

    • nlpnt said:

      In this case it would be a case of truly preserving it as an artifact exactly as it sits apart from any necessary stabilization to prevent further deterioration. And it would be worthwhile for such a rare car.

      To preserve it in the usual automotive definition – get it safely and legally drivable, and capable of being sat in without ruining your clothes – would be fully 80% of the cost and effort of a full restoration.

      • I fully agree with this statement:

        “In this case it would be a case of truly preserving it as an artifact exactly as it sits apart from any necessary stabilization to prevent further deterioration. And it would be worthwhile for such a rare car.”

        This would be the most cost effective, and practical thing to do with this car. Get it out of the elements, and stabilized. Basically, keep it as is.

  8. merlin j blackwell said:

    I own 3 1964 LHD Nissan Cedric’s in Canada that have similar styling and lines to this. One is fully restored. it was a large and not inexpensive task tp restore a car with less than 8 known examples surviving in North America. It took me years of gathering parts. This car is considerably rarer and of essentially an orphan marquee. a quick search of YahooAuctionsJP shows some used parts available, but not much. I would love this car, but would love to find a better example to start with… this is the 3rd one I’ve seen come up in the last 10 years in the USA.

  9. Steve said:

    600 of those left hand drive ALSIEL-1 Prince Skylines made it to the US in 1960. Part of the 1st generation range, they are rare no matter what side the steering wheel is on.

  10. Clint said:

    The one I sold had a tag for the GA engine but it did have a GB engine. That looks like a GB engine to me.

    Thanks

  11. clint said:

    This is the fourth car I think they have found.

    1- Blue one – Still in the states
    2 – Pink car – Sold and went back to japan I believe
    3 – Pink car – It was in Utah and I am not sure what happened to it.
    4 – This car

  12. F31Roger said:

    I get upset seeing good cars being trashed and half assed fixed.

    I know Nissan is going through some changes, but I hope they see this and decided to save it.

    These types of cars shouldn’t be trashed…

  13. WasabiCars said:

    This is absolutely incredible.

  14. R100guy said:

    A “Pick a Part” yard is the last place you want to see this car end up. This car is in grave danger of being crushed. Once a dismantle certificate is obtained, forget it. Move fast!

  15. Someone should try to get Nissan USA or JP aware of this project, maybe they’re into funding such an old piece of their history? it’s definitely worth beeing added to their collections… and with their new panel fabricating robots they would defintely have the tools and skills to reproduce any panels based on the good side (scanned) or old drawings… NISSAN, please get into this! defintely worth to save!

  16. MikeRL411 said:

    Please don’t let this fall into the hands of cable TV auto shows like Monkey Garage or this will end up with Hemi head engine and velvet velour upholstery. Yeah Danny Koker, I’m talking about your taste [or lack therof].

  17. I’ve offered to grab it… but with the Canadian boarder closed, its a bit of an issue. I have also talked to the guy who found it and connected him with a Japanese restorer of Prince vehicles who is interested in bringing it back to Japan. As much as i would love to have this car, or have it stay on this side of the Pacific, i do think Japan is the best place for a possible restoration of such extensive damage/age.

    My Cedric after restoration… be here and done this…

  18. Tad said:

    I would love to restore this, but with the minimal free time I have on my hands; plus 3 other projects I have going it would take me 10yrs to even start a restoration. Hope this one finds a good home rather than rotting away.

  19. HotWheelsAndFriedChicken ! said:

    Man, I wish I could do something with this. Unfourtionatly this is a little beyond my talent (absolutely none at all) or anybody I know (let’s a car sit in a wet Pacific northwest driveway for 15 years till it rots. Actually happened to a nissan 280zx). Hopefully someone saves this soon before it rots.
    Also I can’t spell

  20. HotWheelsAndFriedChicken ! said:

    This is a good challenge for Ant Anstead and Paul Geiser to take on. If only they still worked together. Or Dan from Fantomworks but I don’t think he’d be able.

  21. Ivan said:

    Looks like it made it to Japan. From a Facebook group “I work at a junkyard here in Idaho and this 1960 prince skyline showed up. They were going to scrap it but I wanted to find a home for it. This guy in Japan who has a couple of these cars reached out to me and purchased the vehicle.”

    https://i.imgur.com/70JAkLq.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/Ch787jY.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/LVmQSmC.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/Q5bWdUE.jpg

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