Continued from “Skyline History, Part 5.”
So, in July of 1968, 11 years after the release of the ALSI-I 1st Generation Prince Skyline the model took it’s new name of Nissan and despite still being under research and development of the Prince faction operating inside Nissan, the label on the car was to read ‘Nissan Skyline’ and with this, came a new chassis code. This new Skyline was the ‘C10′.
Despite several cues being taken from the previous generation, one thing the C10 did lose was the famous round rear lamps. However, it made up for this in other areas…
The engine used in the initial 4 cylinder cars still hailed from the previous gen. The Prince G-series. This engine was shared amongst the sedan, estate and van variants and came in both 1500cc (G15) and 1800cc (G18), these options and body types and additionally the 6 cylinder versions, giving the Skyline more variations in the one model than ever before.
As it was with the previous S54 model, the C10 wagons only came in 4cylinder versions, the 6cylinder for the C10 was no longer a Prince engine, instead the L20A (L-series, 2.0litre, SOHC) was used. Those cars with a 6 were labeled as ‘GC10′, the ‘G’ in the model code indicates that’s it the longer wheelbase version. The easiest way to pick the difference between a 4 and 6 cylinder is to look at the front fender. If the section of steel between the wheel arch and door-shut is very short (like that in the wagon above) then it’s a 4cylinder, if it’s about twice the distance then it’s a 6.
Again keeping in line with the S54 there were the more standard variants and then there were the performance ones. The C10 shape was the birth-place of the Nissan GT-R. In February of 1969 the very first GT-R was released, the PGC10 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R. The GT-R used the Prince developed S20 engine, a 2.0litre, DOHC, triple Mikuni-Solex Side-Draught, inline 6. It was based on the GC10 sedan body type, had a max speed of 200km/h and 160ps to get it there.
The 2000GT-R was a star on the track and as a consequence equally as popular off the track. The road going versions sold well often and had their race pedigree used in the sales pitch and photographs. As demonstrated above, where the PGC10 is shown with the Prince R380 Race car. Despite it’s great success on the track there was still the desire to made the Skyline better and in October of 1970 a new body type made it’s way into the lineup, the Skyline Hardtop.
The Hardtop was available in L20A and of course, the 2000GT-R S20 version, the shorter wheelbase and weight were obviously advantageous to the Skyline’s racing career.
As can be seen, the Hardtop 2000GT-R came equipped with flares on the rear and a higher cut rear arch to accomodate wider tyres for racing as well as a rear spoiler as standard fitment. I’ll go into further detail on the GT-R and it’s accomplishments and reason for popularity at a later date but for the time being we’ll get back into the rest of the history of the range.
In September of 1971 a revision was made to the Hardtop, 10 more ps was gained from the L20A the detriment of course was that other changes had brought the weight up from 1080kg to 1095kg. Following this, in March of 1972 the final change was made to the C10, this time it was sedan’s turn for a facelift. It essentially received the same modifications that the Hardtop had, increased power but with weight to combat that.
With the C10, people had fallen in love with the Skyline and it’s not hard to see why, it was a fantastic looking car with a variety of options to choose from, styling detail akin to the error and serious performance available if you so required from what many would consider a family car. I’ll leave you in this post with a few more pictures of a little G15 powered C10 Skyline Deluxe.
Of course, later in 1972 the 4th generation of Skyline was released. The C110. We’ll cover that next time, so stay tuned for Part 7. Coming to a retro-classics blog entry near you!