Jay Leno learns all about the original Nissan Skyline GT-R

Don’t you wish that Nissan still built four-door Skyline GT-Rs? Before 1971 the automaker did just that with its glorious Hakosuka.

This generation of the Nissan Skyline was first launched back in 1968 and ran up through 1972. The mighty GT-R variant arrived in 1969 and came packing 160 horsepower courtesy of its 2.0-liter inline-6. You’re likely to never run across one here in the States. Unless you’re Jay Leno and friends with the team behind Orange County-based car dealership Original Rare.

Chris Marion is the current caretaker of this particular 1969 Nissan Skyline GT-R. It’s the sedan version, and it looks perfect with its silver paint over darker wheels.The fender mirrors round out the classically cool Japanese style. A Hakosuka is typically dripping with this sort of style, and this clean, stock example is no exception.

Marion and Leno go over the history of the car, and it becomes clear that Nissan was thinking ahead with the Skyline. The engine utilizes a four-valve setup and breathes through a pair of carburetors. In fact, the S20 engine used here was once a race-car utilized engine stuffed into the bay of the amazing Prince R380. There it produced between 200 and 220 horsepower.

The engine in the Original Rare car has a few tweaks to its engine so that it’s making around 200 hp. That’s because a set of Weber carbs has been swapped in along with a revised cam and a set of headers. Jay properly describes the car as unassuming. He’s right because the Skyline GT-R from this era looks like a fairly basic, albeit quite handsome, little four door. But the power-to-weight ratio suggests otherwise.

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Leno even compares it to his McLaren F1, of which the Skyline carries just an extra 100 pounds of heft over Jay’s British supercar.

The pair spend a lot of time combing through all of the little details of the car. It seems that Jay is a bit smitten with the classic Japanese sports sedan. Especially when the car is let loose on the roads around Leno’s famous garage. There’s great sound emanating from that little inline-6. Pair that with the unassuming yet oddly desirable looks and heritage, and you have a car that’s a hit with enthusiasts of all ages.

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