• Jul 30, 2009
1967 Nissan Prince Skyline 2000GT - Click above for high-res image gallery

Long before Michael Jackson named two of his sons Prince, there was a Japanese manufacturer that went by that name. Actually, they were initially called Tachikawa Aircraft Company (builder of the Pearl Harbor-attacking Zeros) but then changed their name to Prince before changing it again to Fuji Precision Industries before finally switching it back to Prince in 1961, just in time to merge with Nissan in 1966. Stick with us, we're getting somewhere with all of this.

None of that would be important to non-WW2 buffs except for one Prince car – the Skyline. We were lucky enough to drive the latest and greatest Skyline (now known as the Nissan GT-R) the other day and noted how it reminded us of a Porsche 959. At that time, we were talking about the two cars' ground breaking technology and performance – but there's another similarity. Both supercars come from humble bloodlines. After all, the Porsche descended from a Volkswagen Beetle. Godzilla's ancestor is the Prince Skyline.

The second-generation S54 Nissan Prince Skyline is a particularly historic car, as it is the first time an inline-6 wound up under the hood. In fact, Nissan had to graft eight inches onto the front of the Skyline (all in front of the firewall) just to shoehorn in the 2.0-liter inline-six from the larger Gloria S40. The 1.5-liter inline-fours went into stumpier cars.

The car above is the S57 Skyline, slightly tweaked for 1967. Called the GT A200 in New Zealand – where this car hails from – the S57 is usually known as the 2000GT and came with three Weber carbs, a limited-slip diff and a five-speed manual transmission. Pretty sweet stuff for 1967... now you see where Godzilla gets it. The only drawback we can see is the 17-hour flight to Aukland.



[Source: eBay]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not to be too picky, but Mitsubishi build the 'Zero' fighter.

      Autoblog needs to do their homework, or ask a 7th grader studying American history.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ummm....

      Mitsubishi designed and built the A6M (hence the M, as in Mitsubishi) Zero. Just to be clear.

      Tachikawa Aircraft Company built some of the Zeros under license, to supply the japanese navy, but they didn't design the aircraft. They did design others, though.

      The Tachikawa facilities actually became an american air base after WWII, and most of their production turned to Prince automobiles, and was sold to Nissan, as mentioned above... Toyota evidently aquired some of Tachikawa's engineering talent, as well.

      But, as long as we are mentioning the A6M "Zero", there was a low-production version A6M2-N float-plane adapted from it by Nakajima Aircraft, which is one of the conglomerated companies that later became Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru.

      Quite a lot of Japanese automotive development came out of their aeronautics industry during and before WWII, when the US re-built the Japanese infrastructure and economy after the war, and turned their efforts to commerce, rather than military intentions.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Nakajima Aircraft B5N Torpedo bomber.

        Subaru wasn't even a business theory in 1941, and Nakajima is one of FIVE companies that were combined into Fuji Heavy Industries.

        My point was, not to mention Subaru specifically, but to make the point that Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Subaru, most of the Japanese Auto industry, was a product of WWII aeronautics industry being converted under the AMERICAN occupation, to peace-time automotive industry... and that aside from Honda, those brands can be directly traced to the war-time military industrial complex.

        It isn't as though the US automotive industry didn't benefit from the capital investment of the war. The US Space program was significantly influenced from german rocket development, including Werner Von Braun directly. They also influenced the US Army Air Corps, which became the Air Force, developing jet propulsion technology.

        That particular war changed a lot of fortunes, some for the better, some for the worse. The Axis powers happen to be largely improved under reconstruction, and the Marshall Plan. Germany and Japan have joined Great Britain as some of our closest allies. Our WWII ally, the USSR ended up being not such a wonderful benefit, and led directly into the cold war.

        Lots of things changed around very significantly after WWII.
        • 5 Years Ago
        A Subaru fan will find any way to mention his favorite brand in a discussion about a Mitsubishi even if it concerns the infamous Zero. LOL. You could have talked about the Subaru torpedo bombers that assisted in the attack on PH.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did american care about German, Australian, Italian or other countries automotive history in the 50's and 60's? No. They just wanted a good looking car.

      That's it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought Mitsubishi built the A6M Zero?
        • 5 Years Ago
        They were contract manufacturers of the Zero.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cool, but not quite as cool as the full carbon fiber bodied Hakosuka. http://gtrusa.blogspot.com/2009/07/full-carbon-fiber-body-hakosuka.html

      I always here people here in the US say the Skyline has no history. Just because it didn't happen here, or wasn't here in the US, doesn't mean it has no history. Lots of Americans just can't see past their border.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Man,
        No cave, I just took off my rose-colored Nissan glasses and what I saw was a car that by American standards was at least a decade behind when compared with the most entry-level American economy car of 1967. You forget, there was a company selling turbocharged cars, cars with four-wheel independent suspensions, rear transaxles, etc. doing business in the US in 1962. By 1967 there were American cars with 560 Horsepower, 500 lb-ft of torque, fully independent suspension, and four-wheel disk brakes. Meanwhile this cute little example got by with 125 raging horsepower and a disk/drum setup similar to what was being sold on economy cars in the US. As an example of Japanese automotive technology of 1967 it's a shining example; as an example of automotive technology in general... It's not even worth mentioning. A little like finding a Commodore PET2001 or a VIC 20 in a closet and then trying to compare it to a CRAY II in some kind of favorable light.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ dave1w41

        Is it dark inside your cave?
        • 5 Years Ago
        @dave1w41: how did those 500hp cars do in the turns?
        I've seen reviews of the muscle cars, the steering is best described as "optional". You do know that on most of world, racing involves more then left turns in an oval, right?
        btw,The corvette had an engine option in the 60's that put out more then 500hp. can you point out some of other 500 hp cars of the 60's?
        • 5 Years Ago
        wow, that carbon fiber Hakosuka is pretty awesome...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not to get on Autoblog's case again, but when this was created Prince wasn't even part of the name. This car came out at the Nissan Skyline 2000GT...B.

      Not GT. GTB.

      Also, this car is more or less a direct predecessor of the Inifiniti G37 then the GT-R.

      No longer is the GT-R name associated with the Skyline nomenclature.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Car may be historic but the styling does nothing for me.

      I REALLY like this Skyline. I think starting around this time and afterwards, the Skyline started to look great. Love the bulging fenders and sloping rear.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GT-RC110.jpg
        • 5 Years Ago
        Haha

        Dodger charger look a like front end
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pretty cool stock car from 67, three webers and a 5 speed must fly in the mountains.
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