Nissan GT-R, more than 50 years old

I think one of the most iconic and ground-breaking mass-produced cars is the Nissan GT-R, although I’m sure many European brand followers would disagree!!

Originally released between 1969 and 1972 as the Skyline GT-R under the model code KPGC10, it very quickly became a hit in Japan becoming the car of choice in Japanese Touring car events.  However (for whatever reason, and probably at the recommendation of a bean counter) it ceased production in 1973.

Thankfully some common-sense came into play in 1989 when the GT-R was revived as the Nissan Skyline BNR32 or more affectionately known as the ‘R32” … and the rest is history. It show-cased many advanced technologies like all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering and immediately won the Japanese Touring Car Championship four years in a row, while here in Australia, Fred Gibson Motorsport with Jim Richards and Mark Skaife driving won the Australian Touring Car Championship in 1991 and 1992.

But then Australian motorsport politics came into play (surprise surprise!!!) and due to pressure from Holden and Ford who didn’t like their bigger more powerful cars being beaten by smaller imports, in 1992 the rules were changed, and the new class structure meant that the primary series basically consisted of Australian-produced 5.0-litre V8-engined Fords and Holdens.   

Although officialdom won on the Australian racing scene, it certainly didn’t extinguish the publics’ love of the GT-R or as Wheels Magazine nick named it in their July 1989 edition ‘Godzilla’. They described it as “The best handling car we have ever driven…”, the publics’ love and admiration of the car just grew stronger.

The R34 GT-R followed and when it covered a quarter-mile drag in just 12.2 seconds from a standing start and accelerated from 0-100km/in 4.4 seconds, it became one of the fastest accelerating production cars at the time.

By the time the R35 GT-R was released in August 2002, the GT-R had become one of the most favourite cars in the world for import drag racing, circuit, tarmac rally, time attack and events hosted by tuning magazines.

I know I’m biased, but now more than 50 years since its introduction, I reckon the impact the Nissan Skyline GT-R has had on the world is second to none, as this video and the associated comments shows.

Nissan Skyline GT-R

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