Further to the comment in my Skyline History series (Skyline History, Part 1.) which states;
“Despite common thought that the Skyline’s were never exported to America, one of the destinations for the ALSIE (the E designating it’s the Export variant) was in fact America. Though as you could imagine in the mid to late 50’s, the US was quite happy with it’s own car industry and the some 600 cars they received were likely not well met. (Though it has to be said, this is pure speculation on my part. Given the size of American cars and the price of fuel at the time, I doubt there would be little regard for a smaller 1.9l, 4cyl car from Japan)”
So, contrary to popular opinion, the Skyline was in fact sold in the US and not just recently.
Though it was not under Nissan moniker (as most people know the Skyline) because of the period involved it was in “Prince Skyline” guise and from what I can find, it was only the first of the 1st Generation (LSI-1) that was sold, which in my opinion is quite possibly the classiest of all for the US (or anyone for that matter) to have been recipients of.
I can hear you all saying “Well, that’s all well and good to claim Michael. But where’s your evidence, where’s your proof?!” The reality is I don’t have much but what I do have should be enough for those state-side to perhaps investigate further on their own, should they wish to.
The first bit of such evidence is this snippet scanned from a book published in 1960 by Floyd Clymer called “Complete Catalog of Japanese Motor Vehicles” (cheers to Eddie for the clarification on that).;
A brief scan of the image shows the LSI in it’s Export form (broader side stripe with a slight downwards kick near the rear arch) which would go further to it being a line-up of exported cars, unfortunately I wasn’t alive in the 50′s or the 60′s so I can’t confirm that the background titled as the Port of Oakland in San Francisco, is infact that. Though it would be strange for what appears to be a legitimate image/scan to be lying.
Further to that, are these shots taken of an LSI, appearing to slowly return to the earth;
A quick scan of Oregon USA plate history via the Support Services DMV History website seems to show the plate to be correct for an early 60′s vintage; http://www.oregon.gov/ which totes Oregon as being a “Pacific Wonderland”
As you can see, it’s most definitely of export specification, though perhaps hard to read the Model No. states ALSIEL-1 which basically translates to it being a L.H.D Export LSI-1.
If my memory serves me correctly, I think Steve (nzmax) from whom I received these photos (cheers again man) mentioned that the car had been bought my MoonEyes Japan (perhaps MoonEyes USA and then sent to Japan for the restoration), to be completed in a similar style to the well-known MoonEyes Toyopet Crown. Which incase you are unfamilar with, looks like this;
So, if that is the case I look forward to it appearing in a more common sense in future Japanese classic shows in either the US or Japan. Fingers crossed!
If anyone has any further information to add to this then please by all means share it, it would be greatly received by everyone with an interest in the history of the Skyline.
Photograph of Toyopet Crown is from the MoonEyes Japan website. Check them out here, http://www.mooneyes.co.jp/
Other photographs and scans are from email correspondence with Steve (nzmax) and are much appreciated (as always)