As I've learned more about the Skyline legend I've come to appreciate the older cars more though. Meaning the display of five historic GT-Rs – from 1969 'Hakosuka' 2000GT-R to 1999 M-Spec Nür R34 – at the New York International Auto Show I was attending the other week was probably more interesting than the latest tweak to the current R35 taking centre stage.
I had a fascinating chat with Nissan design boss Shiro Nakamura at the show too, his involvement with the current GT-R stretching back to the original concept in 2001 and making him quite the authority on why it looks the way it does. People write the GT-R off as a power and technology crazed Terminator of a car. But I think it's a lot more interesting than that, its styling reflecting a tradition stretching back to the late 60s yet not chained to that, or the more recent and familiar R32, R33 and R34. While the Hakosuka carries the European influence obvious in many 60s Japanese cars the signs of emerging identity and confidence are already there. Indeed, of all the Skylines on display before us Nakamura identified the Hakosuka and R34 – first and last of the Japanese-only Skyline GT-Rs – as the biggest influences on the current one. That reference is in the angle of the C-pillar in case you were wondering.