In the U.S., we have the Nissan Skyline-derived Infiniti G line and Nissan brand halo car GT-R, but a Skyline model was never officially sold on these shores. Still, the Skyline name is legendary among American enthusiasts. A series of videos from Nissan sheds light on why the nameplate is so well-known all over the world, despite never being sold in the U.S.
The videos highlight the Skyline’s racing history, which dates back to the 1964 Japan Grand Prix. In that race, a number of Prince Skyline GT racers were entered to show off the pre-Nissan company’s latest sport sedan. One video explains the Japanese automaker almost missed the race, as homologation rules required 100 units of the car to be built and the Prince barely met the target. Powered by a triple-carbureted 2.0-liter I-6, the four-door Skyline GT kept pace with – and even passed for the lead on one lap – the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS, which won the Targa Florio that same year. Though the Skyline GT didn’t win that race, the sedan swept second through sixth place and began the nameplate’s legend.
The other videos show two other successful Skyline iterations: the 1967 Skyline 2000 GT-R and R32-chassis Calsonic Skyline GT-R race car. The original GT-R won 50 races with help from its 160-hp twin-cam 2.0-liter I-6 and rear-drive layout. Later, the GT-R would be resurrected with all-wheel drive, a system that would become inseparable from the GT-R name. That car arrived in 1989, and won 29 races from 29 starts between 1990 and 1993 in racing trim.
Watch (and hear) these famous racing machines in the videos below and get a brief history lesson on the origin of Godzilla.