The Nissan Skyline range has a long and illustrious history that begins more than half a century ago and was, for its first decade in existence, not actually produced by the company that would eventually make it a classic.
The Skyline began life as a product of the Prince Motor Company in 1955, but it was not made available to the public until 1957. It was originally conceived as a luxury vehicle designed for those who wanted four doors, a decent engine and a comfortable mode of transport.
In 1961 the Skyline S50 was released, this time utilising four headlights at the front instead of the original two. It took on a far more angular, boxy design than the original and this range would eventually spawn the GT Skyline in 1964 which would be used in competitive races.
By 1966 the Skyline became part of Nissan's stable of cars and in 1968 it appeared with the badge of this firm for the first time, coinciding with the launch of the C10.
The GT iterations of the Skyline continued to prove popular amongst performance enthusiast and it was in 1969 that the now famous Skyline GT-R made its first appearance. Its 160bhp 2.0 litre engine had racing pedigree and although it was primarily introduced as a four door saloon, within a year there was a two door coupe version on the market.
1972 saw the arrival of the Skyline C110 generation and in the same year the GT-R version of this model was already doing the rounds.
1977 was another landmark year for the Skyline, with the C210 arriving and the GT-R branding being replaced instead by the GT-EX. This was the first time that a Skyline had featured a turbo charged engine, allowing the fastest Skyline to output 145bhp.
The R30 revision of the Skyline arrived in 1971, with the RS model representing the performance end of the spectrum in this generation.
The sensibilities of the 1980s were perfectly encapsulated in the 1986 Skyline R31 range, extending the physical size of the range over its predecessor, making the models longer and more imposing.
It would take until 1989 for Nissan to reinstate the Skyline GT-R, with the R32 models introduced in this year. This time the GT-R got twin turbo chargers on the engine and 4WD, giving it 276bhp to play with.
1993's R33 would see further revisions made to the Skyline, with both saloon and two door coupe models remaining on the list of options.
Various iterations designed for the international market were introduced over the years, although it has been the performance side of the Skyline range that has really kept enthusiasts interested. It started life as a luxury saloon and eventually became the home of high tech hardware geared towards speed.
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