Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Return of the 400R! The "New" Skyline... plus a few extra!

So those of us diehard 33 fans know all about the 400R. 
Photo credit:

Here in Japan, Nissan has brought back the 400R! Sort of.

Basically it's a home market Infiniti Q50 Red Sport - 3 years delayed.  Actually, since 2013 when Nissan released this V37 Skyline as an Infiniti in North America, Europe, China and Australia, in the Japan market the car has been marketed and sold only as the Skyline - there are no Infiniti dealers here, plus it would be brand suicide to eliminate Nissan's most famous car model name. Unfortunately, this car had the Skyline name but it also had Infiniti badges (grill and trunk), and further had the shittiest (and I do not say that lightly) 2.0 turbo engine supplied by Daimler (part of a cross investment scheme that was not exactly good thinking). Or, you could get the classic VQ35 engine, but it came with a hybrid system so it wasn't exactly sporty (although Nissan hybrids are designed to emphasize sportiness over gas mileage, actually). 

So it's taken a long time but Nissan has FINALLY released a proper Skyline - same car as before but with a proper engine (VR30DDTT), all Nissan badging and the classic round (kind of) tail lamps. Further for the top of line 400ps versions, they have resurrected the 400R name. This is controversial with some in Japan saying it's good to highlight the most powerful Skyline ever but with others saying this detracts from the heritage of the R33 GT-R.  For me, I'm happy there is finally a decent Nissan sedan sold here in Japan that I'm interested in buying for myself...

Anyway some photos from the first day the car was announced here in Japan at Nissan HQ.
Looks good from afar although the lights aren't completely round...(and reminds of some of the recent Mazda designs...)
Little touches like the flares in the rear bumper are interesting. I was hoping for larger exhausts though.
Heh heh return of the 400R!!
Unbelievably affordable pricing actually. Can't believe what Lexus charges for its 400ps cars...
Not sure about the red brake calipers but I guess I can always get them repainted...
The metallic black is very you may know the front of the car is supposed to stylistically tie the Skyline to the R35 GT-R. Bonus is the fact that for cars equipped with ProPilot 2.0, the smooth lines are better for sensor placement.
Black though would be a nightmare to keep scratch free, even with Nissan's actually functional Scratch Shield paint...
Silver not bad either but I already have a silver Skyline...PS you can see the small infrared camera mounted on the center of the dash. That's to sense when the driver isn't paying attention when the car is driving itself.
This is what we call the "Hagane Blue" - exclusive to the Skyline. Not feeling it...
Really liking this darker blue...
But I wonder if there will be a Nismo version. I will have to ask around. If so it won't be blue...
Yes, that is a woman with her dog in the baby carriage...
The love it or hate it (mostly) steer-by-wire thing. Looks like all Skylines in Japan will come with this, damn...

In conjunction with this "new" Skyline, Nissan brought out some other Skylines to remind us how great the Skyline Brand really is...

1974 Skyline Hardtop 2000GT (the C1100
Beautiful blue (sensing a theme here) C110. 
The Fourth Skyline.
R30 Skyline. Something I missed writing about in my visit to the Prince Skyline museum. I remember seeing so many of these when I visited Japan in the early 80s.
1981 Skyline Hardtop 2000 Turbo GT-E/S

And yes R31 Skyline.  No way this would pass modern safety requirements (look, no B pillar!)
1985 Skyline 4 Door Hardtop GT TwinCam 24V Turbo Passage
(Period correct - the name reflects the over abundance of Japan's "bubble era" I think...)

There were two more interesting cars...

S21 Skyline Sport - hand built Micholetti bodies
Not sure how many were built - but again blue!
As I mentioned in my earlier post, this is a Prince, not a Skyline.

The very first Skyline - the 1957 Skyline Deluxe.

And finally - Nissan chose not to bother with displaying the over emphasized R32 and R34, but DID leave this historically significant Skyline on display:
Oh yes. The R33 Skyline GT-R that set the under 8 minute record at the Nurburgring. 
So I see that my friend Dino has now posted a photo of my car taken during our last trip to Nismo Omori Factory.  

Guess my next post will have to talk about that then....

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Prince Skyline Museum, Part 2 - The Cars!

In Part 1, I showed the gifts and historical tidbits on display at the Prince Skyline Museum. In this post, I am going to focus on the cars.  It's a small museum, so not that many cars but still an interesting selection with a good historical focus.

Anyway - once you go from the gift shop area downstairs into where all the cars are and follow the arrows, the first car you see is this one:
Wow so 90s! Check out that aero...
In a way, simple...
I don't know much about Tommy Kaira cars, but this is likely to be interesting for 32 fans.
For a full review of this car, see my EARLIER POST.
My eye was drawn to another one of my favorite Nissans, the R31 GTS-R

Those classic tail lamps! Huge spoiler! Gigantic rear deck speakers and BBS mesh wheels! If only I had the garage space...

And that SUPER SQUARE dashboard. Love it!

After salivating over this prime example for a few minutes, I decided to head to the opposite corner and start at the chronological beginning.

At the opposite corner, hidden in a literal garage built into the side of the museum, I first found these trucks:
The Prince Homer.  Who knows where they got the name from...(actually they got it from the Homy... yeah yeah awful...)
Prince Homer - 1974, 1.6L engine. 
1965 Prince Light Miler
Imagine if Prince had taken over Nissan, would all the cars have this emblem?
The Prince Light Miler. Ignore the Japlish...4 cylinder OHV 1.5L engine
Obviously not the original bed but I wonder if it was actually wood back then too...

Then coming back into the museum, I think this is where it all begins in chronological order:

Prince Truck - check out that rear view mirror!
Here we go with the cars...
Not a Skyline but a Prince Gloria
Prince Gloria 6 Estate - Station Wagon FTW!!
Prince Gloria Taxi Spec!
1964 Prince Gloria Open
Here are the obligatory 3 brothers, lined up. Nothing special about the 32 and 33, but the 34...
Turns out to be 1 of the last 7 to be made at the Murayama factory.
yawn... bayside blue... see it everywhere...yes I'm jaded...
Right in front of this display were some race cars. Let's take a closer look.

First, one of the Skyline Silhouette race cars!

Finally - now we're talking. R33 Power!

Amazing how small the wheels are and the tire sidewall so tall!

Looks pretty modern actually - sequential shifter and the digital MOTEC dash
I was interested in these carbon parts - wonder what the rear ones do - cool? Downforce?
Another poster I want for my garage.
I actually think this wing would be street legal in Japan (it doesn't extend past the fenders)

I was really curious about the aero set up on on the front bumper (yep always looking for ideas)
What's going on here?
Ok so let's focus on the old Skylines they had there:
The very first Prince Skyline - ALSI-1 (1957-1964)
2nd Gen Skyline - S50, S54 S5,7 (1963-1968) - this is the one called "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" due to its track performance
1966 Skyline 2000GT-AII (S54-AII)
Close up of the specs of this car.
1966 Skyline 2000GT-BIII (S54B-III)

Close up of the specs.
3rd Generation Skylines (C10 series) 

Here it is. Hakosuka GT-R. Not sure why the placard lists it as an "HT2000" GTR? Pretty sure it's a typo...Hard top 2000?
4th Generation - C110 - check out where the gas filler cap is! And ignore that sign, it's pointing at the C210
Background silver car is C110 car above with 4 round headlights.
Foreground white car is the C210 with the two square headlights, as below
C210 Series (and R30 in the back I forgot to take a photo of!)
Now yes I know I've missed a few - for some reason I guess I forgot to take photos of the R30, but not to worry, I've got a blog post on that coming up soon!

If I ever win the lotto, this COULD be what my garage looks like...