Continued from “Skyline History, Part 7.“
With the C110 having drawn to a close and the oil crisis putting an end to the more performance oriented Skyline’s, where was the range to go? Well it would just continue it’s trend as it had done in previous years and in 1977 the 5th Generation, C210 was released.
Although the lineup did not include a GT-R, it still used the same formula as the previous generation, with sedan’s, coupe’s & wagons with a variety of engines all as part of the mix. The approach to the 80′s was evident in the styling of the 5th Gen cars, the curvy lines of the 70′s had been replaced by angular, sharpened edges, the unmistakable Skyline look was still there though with the square cut over the rear arch and in domestic models, the signature round rear lamps.
Again, the export market received the “240K GT” label, though this time it was partnered by “Skyline”. Instead of being a Nissan Skyline as it was known in it’s home land, in export markets it was the Datsun Skyline 240K GT. One of the larger export markets for the GC210 was the UK who seemed to receive a disproportionate amount of Hardtops compared to the Sedan. Australia was the other market to receive a decent share of the GC210, continuing on from their haul of GC110′s.
The Japanese nickname for the C210/211 was “Skyline Japan” which makes finding information on them relatively difficult!
The landmark for the Skyline Japan was the inclusion in the range of a Turbo-charged version. Though this did not come out until the face-lifted C211 series. With the loss of the GT-R the only version in the range to receive anything of a real performance nature was the GT Turbo. The problem of course being that the 6cylinder L20ET wasn’t exactly a massive powerhouse though that didn’t stop the Skyline from becoming a cult classic figure with the aid of the Seibu Keisatsu series.
Such wonderful technological wizardry, which of course continued in the Seibu Keisatsu series when the R30 was released after the C210/C211.
Engines in the C210 series ranged from the previous L-series in both 4 and 6cylinder forms and when the C211 facelift took over the L-4 was replaced by the Z-series. Not only was the C211 the coming of the Turbo Skyline it was also the release of the diesel Skyline with a LD28 6-cylinder diesel made available in both Hardtop and Sedan form. Power in the C210 ranged from 100bhp in the lowly L16 (4-cylinder 1600cc) version to 130bhp in the L20E (6-cylinder 1990cc) and in the C211 91bhp in the LD28 (6-cylinder 2792cc, Diesel) to 145bhp in the L20ET (6-cylinder, 1990cc, Turbo) Only 15bhp more than the non-Turbo version.
Very few of the Skyline Japan range seems to have made it’s way to NZ shores though I know there are at least two JDM Hardtops in the lower South Island, and a few export sedans in the lower North Island, the only other evidence I have seen of the C210 in New Zealand is at wreckers which as you might imagine doesn’t bode well for their over-all survival in these parts.
The differences between the C210 and C211 are quite evident in the nose of the car. The C210 retaining the quad round lamps at the front and the C211 switching to the more 80′s sleek large rectangular lamps. Such is the scary way of the 80′s vehicles, sharp angles were considered modern and futuristic.
This new front end was continued on to the R30, where the 80′s had truly taken hold and were the Skyline made it’s return to the race-track. More on that in the next entry.
If you’d like to see a well modified, period look C210, look no further than this example on JTuned.com;
With any luck we’ll have a bit of a feature including one of the local (NZ) C210′s in the future. No precise date on it as it’s currently being restored and we all know how long that can take, even when it’s not a car that’s hard to find parts for.
I’ll try to be a bit quicker with the entry on the R30, I might just get Ed to do it…