1970 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R 'Hakosuka'

Hosted at the famous Biltmore hotel next January the RM Auctions in Phoenix is the kick off to the 2015 Auction Season, one of the cars that caught my eye was this unmolested 1970 Skyline GT-R that will be crossing the block in a few weeks.  Leading up to the sale, the grounds of the Biltmore serve as the backdrop to the newly minted Arizona Concours d’Elegance. For more info on this Skyline visit the RM Auctions site HERE, the official catalog listing is below.

Official Catalog Listing:

160 hp, 1,989 cc DOHC 24-valve S20 inline six-cylinder engine with three Mikuni-Solex N40PHH side-draft carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, front strut suspension, independent semi-trailing-arm rear suspension, and front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 103.9 in.

The true forerunner of the legendary “Godzilla”
Rare and authentic first-generation GT-R Sedan
Powered by the race-derived S20, twin-cam, 24-valve straight-six
Indomitable competition history, with 50 overall victories in Japan

In April 1957, the first Skyline was introduced by the Prince Motor Company and marketed as a luxury car in Japan. It was modestly powered by four cylinders and had received aesthetic updates over the years, including the rare Michellotti-styled Skyline Sport. The second generation (S50) was launched in September 1963, although it was still very much intended for the luxury segment in Japan.

Perceptions of the Prince Skyline would be radically altered with the introduction of the S54 Skyline 2000GT in May 1964. As it was squarely 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 2nd through 6th places, and even briefly leading the Porsche, the Skyline legend was born.

The third-generation Skyline (C10), 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 2000GT-R.

The first GT-R was introduced as a four-door sedan (Type PGC10) when it was launched in February 1969. It was powered by the race-derived S20 inline-six, which featured dual overhead camshafts, a cross-flow head with four valves per cylinder, and a hemispherical combustion chamber that was fed by triple dual-throat Mikuni-Solex side-draft carburetors. A two-door coupe version (KPGC10) would later debut in October 1970. Ultimately, only 832 GT-R Sedans were produced, making them exceedingly rare, even compared to its two-door brethren.

This GT-R Sedan was restored in Japan by a respected marque expert who stated that the car was an excellent and original example to begin with, and the work was completed in 2009. The Hako was imported by a knowledgeable collector of Japanese performance cars and includes a copy of the official Japanese Export Certificate, which states that the car had 55,300 kilometers as of February 5, 2010, and 56,200 kilometers on April 17, 2012. Currently, the odometer reads 58,200 kilometers, and as such, it has been driven just under 3,000 kilometers since its restoration and engine rebuild. This late-production GT-R Sedan features the revised “dog bone” front grille and headlight surrounds, giving it a more menacing look over the earlier series sedans.

The interior is very correct throughout and is finished in very hard to find materials, such as a correct shift knob and wood-rimmed steering wheel. It is extraordinarily complete, down to the nearly impossible to find emergency flashlight in its correct holder, which is mounted by the passenger-side footwell. While many Skylines often feature aftermarket Watanabe wheels, this example retains its rare and purposeful black steel wheels, giving it an understated yet imposing stance. Finally, not to be overlooked, this Skyline is complete with its original Nissan Motor tool roll, tire iron, jack, wheel chock, and trunk-mounted spare wheel and tire.

Today, an authentic Skyline GT-R Sedan 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 its home country, the Hakosuka GT-R has attained a legendary stature among enthusiasts. Furthermore, it has developed a significant cult following amongst not only Japanese sports car enthusiasts but also, more recently, mainstream collectors who have an appreciation for the legendary stature and advanced engineering embodied in the original GT-R. Ask anyone who has had the rare pleasure of driving this very willing, high-revving, remarkably well balanced sedan, with its throaty rasp as a soundtrack, through twisting canyon roads, and you’ll find someone that has come away completely exhilarated and hooked.

The Hakosuka Skyline was the true progenitor of the legendary “Godzilla” GT-R, and this example represents not just Nissan’s introduction to motorsport but also the coming pinnacle of technology and innovation found in today’s formidable Nissan GT-R supercar.