Introduction to Nissan Skyline:
The Nissan Skyline is a household name. A car that transcends motorsports and has become so much more than just a vehicle brand and model. Producing multiple culture defining cars throughout the different generations the Nissan Skyline has firmly cemented it’s legacy amongst the most elite sports cars ever to come out of Japan.
The Nissan Skyline featured in video games such as “Need for Speed” and ‘Gran Turismo”and even in the ‘Fast and Furious” franchise being driven by Paul Walker. It’s pedigree as a champion in motorsports, the fact it was just sold domestically in the Japan and it’s presence in many of the most popular video games and movies all bundled together to make the Nissan Skyline brand an icon.
History of Nissan Skyline:
The origin of the Nissan Skyline dates all the way back to 1957. Originally produced by the Prince Motor Company who had a great deal of success building luxury vehicles such as Prince Sedan, Prince Gloria, Prince Skyline and the Prince Homy. All of these vehicles would all eventually be sold under the Nissan banner when the two companies merged together in 1967. The man credited with the breakthrough design and engineering of the Skyline was a Japanese engineer called Shinichiro Sakurai.
Sakurai was originally employed by the Prince Motor Company. He is often referred to as the “Father of the Skyline”. A true visionary of his time for dropping a straight 6 cylinder engine into an elongated body. This would ultimately transform a run of the mill sedan into a revered racing machine. Sakurai stayed working on the Skyline for 32 years during which time he was involved in the development of icons such as the Hakosuka and Kenmeri.
History of Nissan Skyline GT-R
The most well known model of all the Skyline’s is the GT-R. The Nissan Skyline GT-R first appeared at the 1968 Tokyo motor show and eventually could be purchased in the domestic market in Japan in February of 1969. It was known by fans as the “Hakosuka”, Hako meaning box and Suka is short for Skyline (sukairain is the Japanese word for Skyline) . By 1971 the GT-R was available in a two door coupe. This in itself was a huge leap forwards as previously all Skyline models sold were exclusively sedans.
1973 saw the introduction of the second generation GT-R. Only available as a coupe and only sold in 1973 with a grand total of 197 units built. The second iteration of the GT-R is known as the Kenmeri and due to it’s incredibly short life and limited production this car has achieved cult status amongst enthusiasts and a sought after car for collectors to accumulate.
Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R
In 1989 following an extended 16 year absence the GT-R burst back onto the scene changing the Japanese sports car market forever. The R32 GT-R, also called “Godzilla” feaured a twin turbo RB26DETT engine producing 276hp as stock from factory an all new ATTESA all wheel drive system and a completely redesigned body style that would go on to decimate the competition in motorsports. Successfully winning 3 Group A Championships between 1990-1992 and achieving 1st place at the Bathurst 1000 in 1991 and 1992.
Another feather in it’s cap was setting the fastest lap record at the Nurburgring making the R32 GT-R the fastest road car in the world at the time. The raw track focused aggression of the R32 won the hearts of enthusiasts and fans worldwide. With supercar engineering the R32 GT-R would defeat the Porsche 959 over and over again in Group A races, however it could be purchased at a fraction of the cost.
A total of 43,937 R32 GT-Rs were produced, making it a commercial success amongst it’s achievements in motorsports. It was truly an icon of it’s time. Capturing the imaginations of tuners and racing aficionados. For fans in the United States they would have to wait 25 long years, all the way until 2014 before the first R32 GT-Rs were eligible to import. As the GT-R at this time was exclusively sold in the Japanese Domestic Market the overseas demand to own the world famous “Godzilla” was insatiable.
Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R
Produced from 1995-1998 The fourth genration R33 GT-R saw a more refined approach to the prior generation. A huge emphasis for the fourth gen was reducing front end lift and refining handling when pushed to it’s limit. Eventhough the R33 was about 300lbs heavier it destroyed the R32s Nurburging lap time becoming the first car to crack the eight minute lap time and now holding the fastest production car lap record. With a fresh new design that was longer and heavier than it’s predecessor the R33 did not receive the same critical acclaim as the R32.
Many felt it was too bulky and a departure from the raw track foucused brutality that made “Godzilla” an instant success. The middle child of the motorsport sensation of the R32 and the polished movie star good looks of the R34 the R33 GT-R saw a production of just 16,668 units. In recent times and with the eligibility of the BCNR33 for import to the United States has seen a greater appreciation for this truly sublime car. The updated styling has grown on so many and very few will argue that the improved drive-ability paired with a fresh interior redesign which seen the use of better materials that were less prone to wear over time.
The R33 GT-R was absent the infamous dash bubble that has plagued so many R32s and the materials used in the door cards, dash and seats are considerably more robust. The R33 GT-R has seen such a tremendous resurgence in popularity. It is truly a breath of fresh air to see this amazing chassis be recognized for the pivotal piece of history that it deserves. At JDM Sport Classics we have such an affinity with the R33 GT-R that it has become encompassed in our dealership logo.
The driveline is sublime, the upgraded transmission is robust and the handling when pushed to the limit is smooth. It is a personal favorite for us and one that we intend to import in it’s various trim levels for years to come.
Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R
The fifth generation R34 GT-R saw the entire brand achieve superstardom on a level that few cars in history will ever match. Featuring in “2 Fast 2 Furious” and being driven by Paul Walker this franchise would change car culture for ever. It became the first movie that really represented a car community. Featuring Japanese Domestic Market vehicles on American big screens which would lead to global appeal. The prior iterations of the GT-R were steadily building up to this moment that would encompass the perfect page of design and performance.
The R34 will remain the forbidden fruit until it reaches eligibility status for import into the United States in 2024. Of course a few examples have made there way stateside through the now defunct “Motorex”. These R34s have been grandfathered into the system but this tiny little bite of the forbidden fruit has created such pent up demand for a culture defining car. The impact of the R34 GT-Rs arrival into the United States will likely be a landmark moment in the history of the JDM scene here in the states. For many they will achieve a childhood dream of owning an icon, a car that was the backdrop to there youth.
Produced from 1999-2002 with a total production of 11,578 units the R34 GT-R was the lowest production of all the 90s GT-Rs likely adding to the mystery and intrigue that surrounds it. Fearturing an all new Getrag 6 speed manual transmission. Combining 11 years of competitive racing and extensive testing which resulted in an end product that improved in every way. From the ceramic intercooled turbos which reduce turbo lag, a lighter frame, a stiffer chassis and better aerodymnamics. Weight was reduced wherever possible including a lighter weight carbon fibre rear diffuser.
Popular Nissan Skyline Trim Levels:
Nissan Skyline GTS-t
The Nissan Skyline GTS-t features a 6 cylinder RB20DET motor and is the most deirable of all the R32 models after the GT-R. Producing 212hp from factory this is a more cost friendly option that is loved and adored by the drifting and tuner community. The RB20 motor can be built to produce a lot more power and like all RBs is a robust block and highly sought after. This happens to be one of the most often requested vehicles our clients ask for.
Nissan Skyline GTS25-t
The Nissan Skyline GTS25-t is another highly sought after model and is only one step down from the R33 GT-R. A more attractive price point and offering a higher displacement engine than the prior R32 GTS-t. The GTS25-t is powered by the single turbo 2.5 Liter RB25DET, producing about 250HP from factory. This might be perhaps the model we are best known for importing.
Nissan Skyline GT-T
Lastly the R34 GT-T. First sold in 1998 we have just over 2 years to wait for the GT-T to reach that golden 25 year old status and thus be eligible for import to the United States. Featuring arguably the most attractive body style of all the generations the R34 is a icon for most people who grew up watching Paul Walker driving one in the movie ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’. Aside from the stunning aesthetics the GT-T was equipped with RB25DET NEO engine.
Financing a Nissan Skyline
Here at JDM Sport Classics we work closely with multiple lenders who specialize in classic vehicle finance. Every vehicle we import and have in stock can be financed at competitive rates for clients with good credit and payment history. We most often recommend LighStream, JJ Best Banc , Collector Car lending and Navy Federal Credit Union however other options are also availabl. For more specific information and for links to apply today, simply Click Here.
Where to find A Nissan Skyline
If you are in the market to purchase your dream car we have got you covered. JDM Sport Classics is a classic vehicle dealership that specializes in the import and sale of federally legal, titled and landed cars, vans and suvs from Japan. Simply follow this link to our inventory page.
At JDM Sport Classics we consistently have 50-80 JDM cars in stock and en route. Which means if your dream car is not currently in stock there is a very good chance we have it en route. For more details on our en route inventory, simply visit the ‘En Route‘ tab on our website.
You will notice between what we have in stock and arriving soon we consistently have a large selection of Nissan Skylines in our inventory. With one of the broadest selection of JDM vehicles in the country and the ability to source your dream car if we do not have it available.
How to Import a Nissan Skyline
The benefit of working with an established importer is we have landed, titled and serviced vehicles arriving every single month and a wide selection to choose from. As one of the largest importers in the United States we are constantly adding more Nissan Skylines to our inventory. We source each of our vehicles directly from Japan through our trusted suppliers. We can also custom source certain models from suppliers in Australia.
We use a combination of Japanese auctions, private sellers, dealers and car shows to accumulate our inventory. Each vehicle is thoroughly inspected prior to purchase. With each sale we provide a clean Michigan title which is transferable to all 50 states. In addition we provide all of the necessary import, export and customs paperwork which includes the original and translated export certificate, EPA and DOT exemption forms, customs stamped entry summary form 7501, certificate of origin and a bill of sale.
Our job is to take the mystery out of the import process for our clients. We provide freshly imported, state titled and federally legal to own and drive Japanese Domestic Market vehicles. Our showroom is based in Three Rivers Michigan however we can arrange shipping nationwide, straight to your front door.