Jay Leno has driven cars that would make any motorhead jealous, but in the most recent episode of his online show Jay Leno’s Garage, America’s most famous car collector gets wowed by what is perhaps the ultimate sleeper classic, the Nissan Skyline GT-R sedan.
We at JNC usually have mixed feelings about Leno’s videos. Leno is a traditional car collector, raised on European blue chips and Duesenbergs. Often, the host seems only half-interested in the Japanese cars that are paraded before him, and there seems to be little to no research or fact-checking involved. Leno relies entirely on the guest’s version of the car’s history, which can lead to mistakes.
However, in the case of the episode’s Skyline GT-R — a genuine S20-powered article made more interesting by the fact that it’s a rare sedan body — Leno seems truly impressed by its design, engineering, and racing pedigree. Viewing it through his Eurocentric lens, he likens it a four-door Jag, the famed British gangster getaway car. Leno remains open minded, though, even if he asks basic questions like whether it was sold as a Datsun or Nissan.
Leno mentions that his first car was a Datsun 1600 roadster, but it’s almost as if he hasn’t glanced at a Nissan since. The four-valve-per-cylinder straight-six and 5-speed transmission charm the host, though, and by the end of the episode we see something we haven’t really come across in these episodes — Leno really seems like he might dig it juuust enough to perhaps buy one.
I liked the video and I am glad Jay is doing more coverage of Japanese cars. That said, I watch a lot of Jay’s videos and I think your comments about him being half interested in Japanese cars is spot on. As an example he was told it was a dual cam and then he actually asked if it was a four valve. Really? Let’s hope he keeps the JNC videos coming.
Agreed on the half interested, but the not knowing if its four valve is a valid question from a guy who’s not an expert on a particular model of car. . as not all twin cams are four valve.
I agree not all twin cams are four valve but two valve designs are rare, even more so in a high performance engine. I don’t think Jay meant any offense but it is a typical American car enthusiast type of question.
you are absolutely correct that its an american car guy kinda response… but 2 valve twin cams are far from rare… just a very few examples… toyota 2TG, 18RG. alfa romeo 4 cyls, fiat twin cams jaguar twin cams etc.. etc.. all of course from the 50s, 60s, and 70s.. the time period of the early skylines ;] oh almost forgot the first japanese car to rock the GTR badge… the Isuzu bellet GTR.
my bad… the bellet was first japanese car badged GT… the GTR version didnt appear till sept 69 several months after the skyline GTR in feb 69..
“prince purchased nissan in 1966” ???????????????????? wth
At least they’re driving it, unlike those Hako-R-Us on JDM Legends!
The Prince Nissan forced merger was also misrepresented on Petrolicious recently too.
A world of alternate facts in the US it seems…
Sorry wrong place, but I just wanted to point out this beauty for a future article maybe? Its Paul walkers brothers ’88 FC3S with 1500 miles on it https://youtu.be/Wcim7R3d-RU
As mentioned elsewhere, the whole “it’s basically a race car”/”it’s basically a race engine” thing suffers from too much exaggeration. No, it’s a production *road* car with a production *road* engine. What it IS is a Homologation Special, made and sold to the general public with the express intention of legalising a similar specification as a base for race use in particular classes. The Prince GR8 engine in the R380-series race cars was the ancestor of the Nissan S20 engine, but shared virtually nothing with it (except perhaps the engine block, but even that was different…) and the S20 was built as a production roadgoing engine when the GR8 was not.
The whole point about something like the PGC10 was that it shared many, many parts with the 450,000 odd other C10-series Skylines built between 1968 and 1973, but also had a number of unique features. So those visible screws holding down the cowl panel are nothing to do with racing, but the 100 litre fuel tank is. And so on and so forth.
No disrespect to Leno – and I think his heart is in the right place – but shows like this are fairly lightweight and it really *should* be possible to get more right than they do (perhaps with a couple of researchers fact-checking beforehand). Once they are broadcast they are pretty much set in stone, and those mistakes are laid down like sedimentary rocks.