- Forefather of the legendary “Godzilla”
- Exceedingly rare and authentic Hakosuka GT-R
- Powered by the race-derived S20, twin-cam, straight-six engine
- Indomitable competition history; 50 overall victories in Japan
- “Skyline’s only rival is Skyline”
160 hp, 1,989 cc DOHC 24-valve S20 inline six-cylinder engine with triple side-draft Mikuni-Solex carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, front strut suspension, independent semi-trailing arm rear suspension, and front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 101.2 in.
THE BIRTH OF A LEGEND
Perceptions of the Prince Skyline would be radically altered with the introduction of the S54 Skyline 2000GT in May 1964. As the Skyline was aimed at competing in the GT-II class at the second Japanese Grand Prix, its wheelbase was duly extended by 20 centimeters in order to accommodate the larger G7 six-cylinder engine over the modest inline-four. The S54B 2000GT was developed by Prince engineer Shin’ichiro Sakurai (Mr. Skyline), and it would dominate the Suzuka Circuit that year, finishing second only to a Porsche 904 Carrera GTS. After sweeping the second through sixth places, and even briefly leading the Porsche, the Skyline legend was born.
The third-generation C10 Skyline, nicknamed “Hakosuka” (pronounced Hak-OH-skaa and loosely translated as Boxy Skyline), was introduced in 1968. It was originally conceived by Prince and was badged and marketed by Nissan after the company’s merger. With the success of the first 2000GT, Nissan further developed the Skyline with the triple-carbureted 2000GT-X and, the ultimate iteration, the DOHC 2000GT-R.
The first GT-R was launched in February 1969 as a four-door sedan (type PGC10). It was powered by the race-derived S20 engine, which featured dual overhead camshafts, a cross-flow head with four valves per cylinder, and a hemispherical combustion chamber fed by triple dual-throat Mikuni-Solex side-draft carburetors. A two-door coupe version (KPGC10) would debut in October 1970 and ultimately be introduced to the public in March 1971. It is believed that only 1,115 GT-R Coupes were produced between 1970 and 1972.
Nissan stripped the GT-R down to its bare essentials, as they intended to conquer the Japanese Grand Prix series, and conquer they did. The Hakosuka Skyline racked up an indomitable 46 straight and outright class wins and more than 50 overall wins over a three-year run, cementing the GT-R legend.
THIS HAKOSUKA GT-R
Japanese documentation indicates that this GT-R was first registered in July 1972 in Aichi-Ken, Japan, and in 2008, the previous owner purchased this largely impressive original Skyline from the family of the first owner. He undertook a two-year sympathetic cosmetic restoration, with the car retaining the majority of its original parts, including the standard GT-R rear fender flares and its rare factory rear spoiler. Although the car currently sports lightweight Watanabe wheels and a Datsun Racing steering wheel, which were popular modifications amongst Skyline enthusiasts, the original black factory steel wheels and original steering wheel are included with the sale of the car, as are the jack, spare wheel, and tool set.
This Hakosuka Skyline has been imported by a knowledgeable collector of Japanese sports cars, and included with its sale is a copy of the official Japanese Export Certificate, which states that the car had 41,500 kilometers as of October 12, 2007, and 41,600 kilometers on September 5, 2013. Its mileage is commensurate with the car’s sympathetically restored original condition, and it remains below 42,000 kilometers.
Today, an unmolested and original Skyline GT-R is an exceedingly rare sight, as they are difficult to find even in Japan and are rarely seen outside their domestic market. Despite the fact that it was never sold outside of Japan, the Hakosuka GT-R has attained a legendary stature among enthusiasts. As the Hakosuka is the forefather of the fabled “Godzilla” GT-Rs (R32, R33, and R34) and an inspiration for the current GT-R supercar, it represents not only Nissan’s period dominance in motorsport but also an ongoing commitment to engineering, innovation, and competition success.
One cannot overstate the rarity and burgeoning interest of these exciting and very entertaining sports cars. To find a low mileage, sympathetically restored, and virtually original example in the U.S. is an opportunity not to be missed, and one that is unlikely to be repeated any time soon.