Continued from; “Skyline History, Part 4.”
With Prince’s interest in racing peaking the S50 made the transition from family sedan to GT, the nose was extended 200mm to fit the G7, OHC 2litre Straight 6 as used in the Gloria. This homologation development was done in 1964 and the car was initially known as the S54A-I.
Unlike the Gloria, this was to be a racing car and as such it was to come in a couple of different versions, one more similar to the Gloria, a single carb’d 105ps affair known as the GT-A, after the potential of the said GT-A was witnessed on track, the 125ps GT-B version came into being, this “B” version was equipped with three Weber Side-Draught Carbs, a larger fuel tank and a few other bits, bobs and improvements to make it a performer on the track. This new 6cylinder variant is known as the S54. Note the extended nose in the following picture;
In 1965 when the GT-A (S54A-II) and GT-B (S54B-II) the external difference became clear and remains true to this day. The more purposeful variant (GT-B) was badged with a Red and White GT shield whilst the GT-A received a Yellow and White GT Shield.
This Skyline GT became both popular and famous due to it’s ability on the track, inparticular it’s battle with a now common rival. Porsche. Back in 1964 the battle was between the S54 and privately entered Porsche 904GTS seeing a Japanese family car and truck manufacturer keep pace with a German sports car manufacturer was a glorious sight for many to behold. Sadly, all I have to provide are a few images.
The 60′s were of course a relatively turbulent financial time during history and several automotive manufacturer’s were suggested by the Japanese government to merge. Prince did so with Nissan, and during the course of which, lost it’s name. It did however retain the development of the Skyline within Nissan.
In October of 1966 a facelift of the S54 was released, this was done post-merger and being the Skyline was still within S54 design, it received badging for both Nissan and Prince and was called the Nissan Prince Skyline. Quite the mouthful but a lovely looking car none the less.
Before the next generation, the S50 also received another change. The G1 engine was replaced by the G15, power was increased to 88ps instead of 71 and the car also took the pleasure of undergoing a facelift and becoming known as the S57-III. The last of the 2nd Generation of Skyline.
During the 2nd Generation a combined amount of over 114,000 units were sold. The next in line was the shape that’s become almost common to people interested in Skyline’s, the 3rd Generation of Skyline. The C10.
More on that next entry..