QotW: What’s the greatest Skyline?

The Nissan Skyline is celebrating its 60th birthday today. Since its debut on April 24, 1957, it has seen 13 generations, countless trim and option variations, and an immense number of limited editions and tuning specials, from ALSI to KPGC10 to R34, it has been a staple of the Japanese auto industry and its car culture. Therefore, it seems only fitting to ask:

What’s the greatest Skyline?

Is it a race car like  Takahashi Kunimitsu’s works Hakosuka GT-R or the Calsonic R32 GT-R? A factory special like the BCNR33 GT-R LM road car or R34 GT-R Z-Tune? Or perhaps some dude’s tricked out C210 bosozoku sled?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Where will you road trip your JNC this spring?”

All of your JNC adventures sound like great fun, and it came down to three this week. Though banpei‘s trip to pick up a newly imported Sprinter Trueno is surely thrilling, and redma61‘s camping expedition in a Hilux in Nagano Prefecture sounds like an epic trip, the winner this week was Darrel B, whose plans involve his Mazda Cosmo RX-5:

Taking my 1976 Mazda Cosmo to the Deals Gap Rotary Rally. It had been off the road for over a decade before I rescues it. I have mechanically refreshed it over the last 2 years. So far it has had about 500 miles, locally, put on it with nothing major other than working out some bugs.

April 26th, I’ll take it on a 500 mile round trip (not including driving the Tail of the Dragon). Oh, and for good measure, we’re putting the original rebuilt engine in it this weekend…….

Omedetou, your comment has earned you a set of decals from the JNC Shop!

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17 Responses to QotW: What’s the greatest Skyline?

  1. Ant says:

    I’d love to come up with something inventive or amusing but there’s only one real answer to this for me. After watching the Best Motoring video of Kurosawa driving an old works Hakosuka race car, blanked-off headlights, external oil cooler, screaming inline-six and all, it has to be that.

  2. Cesariojpn says:

    That’s easy. The rarest of R34’s unicorns, the Highway Cop Car version.


  3. Tj says:

    While we all love chrome bumpers, for me it’s hard to go past the BNR32 for the simple fact that it caused racing legend Jim Richards to call an enormous crowd of people a “pack of arseholes” from atop the podium after winning the 1992 Bathurst 1000

  4. Rio says:

    I think every Skylines are cool, but personally, the best Skyline (so far) goes to Motoharu Kurosawa’s KPGC10 GT-R No.3 which was competed in 1971 Fuji GC and took 49th consecutive winning streak (unfortunately it’s the last Hakosukas’ uncut dominance).

  5. Jayrdee says:

    Takeshi Nakazato’s R32 of the Night Kids … duhhhh

  6. Ryan says:

    Hard to say; there are many attributes I love about each generation up to the R34, but Skylines beyond the R34 generation have somehow failed to resonate with me in the way preceding generations of Skylines do.

    I’ve been lucky enough to spend time behind the wheel of most models of Skyline – S54 onwards – and I really find it hard to call just one single model the greatest. That said, a C10 or C110 with a worked L series make for a raw, almost muscle-car type experience, which never ceases to put a smile on my face. They just feel special.

    Of the newer generations, the R32 (GT-R in particular) is probably my favourite. The design still looks good to this day (in my opinion anyway) and it blends an amazing modern engine/drivetrain in a body that is not overly bulky. To me, the R33 and R34 are simply more refined and bulkier versions of the R32; they are not as groundbreaking nor as elegant in design.

  7. Luapus says:

    Hard to pinpoint one specific car…
    For me the Best Skyline Ever is RGO DEMO R-San-San from Wangan MidNight. In light blue, on BBS rims with gold centers. Almost stock looking. That car was able to smoke the allmighy Akuma-no-Zetto! Only the driver lacked skill…

  8. Rayson says:

    This is definitely a tough question. Hako and Kenmari are great, R32, R33, and R34 were probably the prime of the Skyline series. However, one platform stood out among all of the Skyline in my opinion.

    R31 GTS-R

    It is the last boxy Skyline before the era of modern Skyline (Come on boxy Skyline are great, because Hakosuka!). It was the first Skyline that is developed just for the Group A homologation rules (Probably one of the rarer models among the Skyline series even today). It was the Skyline that begin the Skyline’s Motorsport domination oversea (Correct me if I am wrong…….). This model pretty much triggered Nissan’s desire in dominating the Motorsport with the Skyline nameplate after Hakosuka. This model also pretty much served for the return of GT-R after decades of absent

    To me R31 Skyline pretty much summed up the 1980s Japanese bubble era cars. The time when Japanese manufacturers develop cars just simply because “WHY THE F**K NOT?” or “Lets make it first, then worry about how to sell it!”.

    As bonus, you get to showoff the front retractable spoiler that was a rare sight, even my modern day standard!

  9. Alex says:

    it is a tie between all of them

  10. Tom Westmacott says:

    This is a tough question since the Skyline has been a prince among cars since its birth, and is perhaps the best-loved domestic nameplate in Japan. Since JNC focuses on the overseas appreciation of Japanese cars, I would nominate the breakout global hit of the Skyline line – the R32 GTR.

    In the mid-80s Nissan decided to reinvigorate their legend, investing it with ‘hypercar-level’ technology with four-wheel drive, four-wheel steering, active diffs, and the RB26DETT engine. First it won over Japan, dominating both circuit and touge, before heading to Australia to do the same, beating Ford and Holden on their own turf. From here, the Skyline went on to win fame at the Nurburgring and across Europe, before finally cracking the USA.

    The R32 was the pivotal car in the Skyline’s global fame; our knowledge of the classic Skylines springs from the impact made by the ‘new GTR’ in the 90s, while equally Nissan’s ability to sell the range-topping R35 GTR around the world today stems from the image the R32 forged in competition. This includes competition both of the organised circuit kind and the, shall we say, unofficial flavour where innocent traffic lights become nocturnal zero-yon countdowns or the road up to a mountain village turns into a special stage.

    The R32 GTR is a legend in all its forms, but I were to pick one car it would be the first-year 1989 car, in classic gunmetal with those lovely five-spoke alloys, that lists as #210 in Nissan’s Heritage Collection ( http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/HERITAGE/skyline_gt-r_1989.html ).

  11. Rowan Day says:

    I agree with Tom Westmacott’s comment. Has to be R32. Specifically for the way it changed Group A racing by being so ahead of its time, earning the car across all models the name it is so synonymous with; Godzilla. No other Skyline has done such a thing.

    Again agree with Tom again that is has to be the 1989 R32, the one that was the origin of the Godzilla name, applied to it by Australian motoring media for it’s preeminent dominance of Australian Touring Cars.


  12. Jim Simpson says:

    Actually rather fond of my 1975 Kenmari Coupe… fun and easy to drive plenty quick a symphony of great mechanical noises while delivering great performance and comfort…


  13. Nigel says:

    First generation Maxima…

  14. Kiran says:

    It would have to be the C110 GTR for me

  15. Sam says:

    How about the R34 GT-R police car? It’s existence is well-documented, but nearly mythical. It appears to have gained popularity as a diecast collectible/video game car/desktop wallpaper. The idea of turning one of the country’s greatest automotive achievements into a highway patrol car is the stuff dreams are made of.

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