What is it that makes a car legendary? The first person who could boil it down to a scientific formula would be revolutionize the automotive industry. Unfortunately, it’s never that simple. Legendary cars have an almost mythical attraction to them. The first time you see one, you’re instantly smitten. It’s love at first sight. You can just glimpse this car and without knowing anything else about it, you know it’s something special that speaks to your soul. As far as Japanese cars go, few are as legendary as the Hakosuka Skyline GT-R. It was made starting in 1969 and was the first car from Nissan to wear the GT-R badge and establish its reputation for racing dominance.
When Fuji Speedway was remodeled to be F1 compliant in 2003, Best Motoring sent out the old track format with a celebration of its contribution to Japanese motorsports. They paired an original 1971 Hakosuka Skyline race car with one of the drivers that helped associate the GT-R with winning, Motoharu “Gan-san” Kurosawa, for one last hot lap around Fuji. The response and the scream of this car’s race engine will be like nothing you’ve ever heard.
The Hakosuka is no longer raced today, but it was the origin of a proud line of cars from Nissan that represented Japan in world-class motorsports. The prestige of the GT-R designation continues to grow with the current Nissan GT-R supercar slayer. The Hakosuka now serves as a rare historic reference to the glory days of vintage Japanese performance cars. It’s draw has captured a new generation of automotive enthusiasts who are thankfully willing to share their experiences on the internet. This first video is of Kevin San in Australia. He says one of my favorite quotes about vintage cars: “I wish everybody could really experience cars like this. Once you drive a car like this, a new car just feels dead. An old car, a classic performance car that really goes hard, it’s like it lives and it breathes. I really wish everyone could have a good one of these.”
This second Hakosuka owner video is of Eric Bauer, a 3D modeling professor at the Art Center College of Design in Southern California. He bought the car simply because it was his dream car. My favorite part about this video is that Eric is visibly giddy when he talks about driving the Hakosuka. You could say that the definition of being a gear head is that a car can make you absolutely happy and giddy. I’d probably be giddy too if that car was in my garage.
Depth of Speed: Taking the Plunge from Josh Clason on Vimeo.
Sources: YouTube users carlmanu, HoonTV and Josh Clason on Vimeo