Continued from; “Skyline History, Part 1.”
As mentioned, the rest of the 1st Generation of Skyline did not change dramatically from the very first release. Cosmetic and minor mechanical advances were made, the compression of the engine was increased to up the performance on the higher capacity and sportier versions and the car sold enough and was popular enough to maintain it’s production.
The second release of the Skyline was the ALSI-2.
The ALSI-2 now used a GA4 instead of the previous GA30 1500, the added compression of the GA4 boosted power from the 1500cc car from 60 to 70ps, with a similar increase in torque.
As you can see from the pictures, the Skyline received a face-lift. Where there was once two headlamps, there was now four. More chrome was added and the tail end received a similar change. Lamps were moved from the tips of the fin-tails and replaced with aforementioned chrome trim. The lamps themselves located further down the body and came into being the first of the round rear lamps that Skyline’s are so famous for, to this day. These “rocket lamps” as I like to call them (being they’re similar to the little lenses that were on the back of the wind up old rocket tin toys) added a completely different look to the rear end. The rear bumper was pushed out slightly to cater for the length of the lamps and the overall appearance of the car became a lot sleeker and more refined than the first.
Then, in September of 1961, the third release took place.
The new model was the BLSI-3.
Again the powerplant was improved, this time the GB4 added in 1900cc format, increasing the ps to 91. Not bad for a 4cylinder of the 1960′s and certainly nothing to sneeze at.
Very little changed cosmetically, the overall length of the car was 20mm greater than the ALSI-2 and 100mm greater than the ALSI-2, and the factory fit tyres increased to 4ply 7.00-14′s where they had previously been 4ply 6.40-14. Effectively giving the car 14mm more tread width front and rear thereby increasing the Skyline’s road holding performance.
Already with these first models and variants on the G*-series engine, the Skyline was becoming known for it’s surprising capabilities given that it was a family sedan in Standard form and a more a luxury sedan in Deluxe form.
What’s also interesting to note is that the Prince Gloria when it was conceived, was simply a more luxurious version of the Skyline, using the same body with more accessories and trim and options over and above what was offered in the Skyline Deluxe. Of course, the Gloria went on to the S40 shape thus seperating it’s look from the Skyline.
In part 3, I’ll move onto the first of the more “performance” oriented Skyline’s, the Skyline Sport and the last of the 1st Generation, the S21.