Skyline

1972-1975 240K (C110) 1979-1981 240K (C210)

The Skyline name carries a strong well regarded reputation, having been initially developed by PMC motors (Prince) as a sporting saloon in 1955. The two companies merged in 1966, and Nissan realising the strength and reputation of the Skyline lineage, took over the entire PMC design and development team and allowed the model to evolve. With Nissans expertise in export and distribution, the Skyline has since become one of Nissans most recognised models. Exports of the Skyline model were immediate after the merger, but UK sales didn’t start until the 1973 C110 models, albeit in very limited numbers.

 c110_gtrJDM C110 Skyline GT-R

Brought into the UK as a sporting saloon and later as a 2 door coupe, the skyline maintained the connection between the stylish and regarded Z to the rest of the range. The first UK bound 240K GT (C110) allowed the public to essentially drive a 240Z but with 4 doors – the engine was identical but slightly de-tuned. At the time the Skyline name had been well established in motorsports in its native country and created a respectable reputation, however this wasn’t as widely marketed in the UK although there was some awareness in the motoring press. This meant that the Skyline had not been allowed to develop a presence in the UK to help develop its sporting pedigree, due to the inconstant import flow and factors from the world wide fuel crisis. The C110 skyline had lost that competitive edge but still retained the illustrious image in Japan. The Skyline was initially brought into the UK in just one format initially to bridge a small gap in the range, the 4 door 2.4 saloon – the C130 Laurel catered for the 2 litre market while the bigger 240C’s headed the very top of the Datsun saloon range.

c210Full scale clay mock for the C210

The model was discontinued after just 2 years of imports and replaced (not immediately in the UK) by its successor, with the same engine and uprated mechanics but sold just as a 2 door coupe. Japanese markets offered saloons and estate versions (just the same as the previous C110 generation) but Datsun UK couldn’t justify importing further body shapes. Again sales would have measured in the hundreds throughout its life, but provided Datsun with a luxurious cruising car to liven up an fairly mundane range of cars. When the Skyline was discontinued after a mild facelift in 1981, the name wouldn’t return to the UK as an official Nissan UK import for 17 years.