An Unexpected Surprise: Skyline Japan

After meeting Hitomi Okada at Wekfest with the ‘Looking’ RX-7, she informed me that she was holding a drift meeting at Meihan Sportsland the following day. Being the drift maniac that I am, myself and some friends made the drive to Nara Prefecture from Nagoya City to indulge ourselves in a day of excellent entertainment.

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However, this article is not about Meihan Sportsland. Today we focus on something a little bit different, two people in particular. Ken and Mary. It was about 3 pm, and we were getting ready to pack up shop and drive back to Nagoya to eat a tower of chicken wings, when this showed up in front of my camera.

It’s the C210/211 Skyline, made from 1977 until 1981. The model we look at today is the pre-facelift C210 and the first Skyline without the option of that elusive GT-R badge that Nissan is so famous for. This is the 2000GT-EX model, or so the badge on the rear says.

From the factory, this C210 came with a 2 litre, inline 6 cylinder, L-Series turbo engine (L20ET) producing a whopping 142 hp or 104 kW with 177 N m of torque. This is the most powerful engine that was available in combination with this chassis during that time.

It’s a first for me, seeing one of these in Japan and getting time to take a few photos of it. This particular GT-EX looks to be in a rather good condition for a 30-year-old car. The yellow-tinted lights at the front give off a retro racer style, along with that and the fender mirrors, it’s a 70s boys dream.

Overall it’s rather standard from the outside. The only modifications that I noticed were the rear duck tail spoiler, and the bolt on guards holding the much wider than factory heavily dished wheels.

This inside is what gave it away. From just looking at the outside, you could be duped into thinking it’s just a weekend getaway car. It’s a different story once you peer through the windows though. The ginormous tachometre blocking vision from the original speedo cluster is the first dead giveaway, along with the other supporting gauges, and the aftermarket steering wheel plus driver and passenger racing seats.

Sadly, the bonnet wasn’t open, so we will never know what engine was actually turning the rear wheels on this 30 year old piece of beautiful machinery. Personally, this C210 has me leaning towards this model looking better than the C110. It also looks like this is where those infamous dual round tail lights the Skyline is so famous for become the norm for this model of Nissan.

If you owned such an awesome example of motoring history, what would you do with it? Would it be a weekend cruiser, daily driver, or would you keep it looking just like this? A C210 with plenty of style and I’m assuming the power to back it up.

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Photos: Shaun Constable | Words: Shaun Constable

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