October 23, 2014 @ 10:33 PM

Legends and Legacies: Nissan Skyline

We all know and love the Nissan Skyline but do we know about the car’s story? By Jerrica Leong

(image source: hyts.hu)

We all know and love the Nissan Skyline but do we know about the car’s story? By Jerrica Leong

Lovers of the Japanese racing game Initial D have three main favourite cars to choose from: the Mazda RX7, Honda Civic and the Nissan Skyline. I have always picked the Nissan Skyline despite the boys around me complaining that I’m a girl hence my less favourable choice, no doubt you, dear reader, would rather pick the RX7 as well! 

Skylines have always been on the “to-own-list” for Japanese car enthusiasts, I'm sure you've seen the evolution of the Skyline on Malaysian roads as well. In 2007, the “Skyline” name got dropped by Nissan and was then on known as the GT-R. But we of the Y-generation (or as I like to know it “The Gamer Generation”) will always know this beautiful car as the Skyline.

So when was the first Skyline produced? In 1957 actually, and, believe it or not, the Skyline was actually a luxury four-door sedan or a five-door station wagon rather than the super sport car as we see now. It was with the Skyline that Japanese car manufacturers made its name for themselves. Then again, back in the days, what we associate as Nissan Skyline now was actually known as Prince Skyline for it was made by a Japanese auto manufacturer that merged with Nissan-Datsun.

Fact: The Prince Marque used to manufacture WW II fighter jets before switching to on-road cars and still exists within the Nissan Company to this day.

(mage source: mad4wheels.com)

It was code named the Nissan Skyline ALSI-1 and ALSI-2 (image above). The first generation of the Skyline received an upgrade within a year it was launched. The newer design was fitted with a more powerful engine and the first quad headlights arrangement ever seen on a Japanese car. It resembles an American manufactured car rather than a Japanese car, many believe that this is the reason it was well loved back then.

The modern Skyline GT-R, or more specifically: the R35, is capable of hitting 0-97kph in just 3.2seconds with the use of “launch control” and has a top speed of 309kph, impressive for a car of this century. This development owes itself to the GT-R’s ancestors; the ALSI-1 has a torque power of 59bhp and the upgraded more powerful version ALSI-2 measures 69bhp. The 1957 Skyline has a top speed of 140kph, not bad for a car of the 50s.

Since the ALSI-1 and ALSI-2, the Skyline has evolved to become sports and super sports cars, morphing into the GT-R that we know and love this side of the century. You can still spot Skylines from each of the three decades since the car was first produced on the roads, well maybe not our roads the oldest Skyline I've seen dates back to 2005. This car proved that Japan could make a good and reliable car that was equal to cars offered by American and European car manufacturers.

The 1957 Skyline was the car that shaped the quality and performance of all Nissan cars of our current generation.

(image source: jbskyline.net)

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