After many years on the forbidden fruit list, the Nissan Skyline R32 GT-R is fair game in America. With even more high-tech features than before, the R34 Skyline sold in modest numbers and was finally phased out in 2002, the 350Z sating the appetite of Nissan performance enthusiasts until the R35 GT-R arrived with its own stock of jaw-dropping feats performed on that snaking piece of tarmac through the Eifel mountains.
Let's hope that this doesn't mean that existing models are parked in garages and never driven, because driving is exactly what Nissan intended this GT-R to do. The V-Spec II (the V” stands for victory,” by the way) comes with all of the goodies that the original V-Spec had, but it's even harder-edged thanks to increased stiffness and lighter weight (primarily due to a special carbon fiber hood, spotted at a distance by the small NACA duct).
This was followed by 554 NISMO GT-R's in 1990 and were all Gunmetal Grey in colour. The rear highlights the car's wide track with taut, muscular flares around the wheels, while the shoulder line tapers around the base of the rear window and draws toward the centre of the boot lid.
A 6-speed dual-clutch transmission shuttles power to all four wheels, providing the GT-R with astounding grip. Back in 1996, the company proudly trumpeted the fact that the Skyline R33 GT-R had claimed the production car record around Germany's fabled Nurburgring Nordschleife.
Nissan's chassis engineers have succeeded where Mitsubishi's conspicuously failed in making a large car with a high level of techno-involvement fun Nissan Skyline GT-R to drive. The refreshed 2017 model features 20 additional horsepower and four more lb-ft. And you can pretty much thank its third generation - the turbocharged and all-wheel-drive and R32, R33 and R34 series released between 1989 and 2002 - for all of the kudos.
Alongside there are old Pininfarina-designed Bluebird saloons, and every iteration of the Fairlady Roadster lined up — the models that preceded the Z cars — including a rare 1500 with a single transverse rear seat. The Skylines up to that point were all highly-tuned machines, but the new car dispensed with the Skyline name and featured custom designed chassis and engine.
I spoke to The Smoking Tire's Matt Farah about the relatively stock 1990 GT-R he purchased recently, and he said he had success at Fontana Nissan in Eastern Los Angeles, who has two Skyline-specialist techs on staff and the ability to perform standard repair and maintenance.