SKY­LINE SCHOOL

A BIG DAY OUT

Unique Cars - - CONTENTS - WORDS  ALEX AFFAT PHO­TOS  JASMYNNE GREEN  DY­LAN FLAHERTY

What be­gan as a small group of clas­sic Nis­san/Dat­sun Sk yline own­ers com­ing to­gether for a drive, and sub­se­quently con­nect­ing on Face­book, has be­come, as the pic­tures show, some­thing of a dream-day-out for ever y clas­sic Nis­san ent hu­si­ast (t his mo­tor-noter in­cluded).

A drive-day-goer, Peter Lan­dan, was one of the main or­gan­is­ers. He was one in­div idua l inv ited to t he Face­book col­lec­tive as a lov ing owner of both a C110 ‘Ken­mari’ Sk yline and an early 70s ‘Hako­suka’ C10 Sk yline (as well as a few ot her rare Ja­panese gems).

Lan­dan is a ca­reer car-nut, hav ing raced and ra llied for over 20 years and was for­tu­nate enough to have lived in Ja­pan back in 1971

– the same year the t wo-door ‘Hako’ ar­rived in show­rooms. Around si x years ago, Lan­dan re­tired from rac­ing and de­cided to get into col­lect­ing early 70s Ja­panese stuf f – not ne­c­es­sar­ily Dat­suns or Nis­sans – but he started with a US-sourced t wo-door 510 and well… as you can see things snow­balled from there.

For the day Lan­dan brought out his gor­geous white ‘Ken­mari’ coupe, as well as the mod­ern-day it­er­a­tion of the famed GT-R – the black R35.

The Ken­mari was about 90 per cent re­stored by a Toowoomba-based com­pany called Spray­dat restora­tions, be­fore Lan­dan took on the project and spent six-months giv­ing it the GT-R trib­ute treat­ment.

Con­versely, the hum­ble red Prince Sky­line of the 1960s pro­vided the ear­li­est Sky­line in at­ten­dance – and in be­tween were two more Ken­maris, three Hakos (two two-doors and a four-door) and a com­plete set of N1 R-chas­sis cars – an R32, R33 and R34 – be­long­ing to Terr y Tung-Yep.

When asked if he had al­ways been a Nis­san-guy, Terr y harked back to the time he spent look ing for his ver y f irst car.

“I tracked down an MGB but didn't know how to men­tion it to dad," said Terr y. "I told him I found my f irst car”.

“'What is it? ' he asked.

“An MGB, it's in rea lly beau­tif ul con­di­tion, it's got hardly any k ilome­tres and ever y sur­face is squeak y clea n," I replied.

“You're killing your­self," he re­sponded bluntly, so young Terr y (now aged 69) was left with the choice be­tween a Holden or a Dat­sun 1600. He (rightly!) ended up in the old Datto.

Terr y is one of t he ot her main driv­ers of t he event, and his t hree R-chas­sis Sk ylines rep­re­sent the cream of ab­so­lute Nis­san un­ob­ta­nium.

The N1 op­tion denotes Nis­san's most stripped-back and light­est sport­ing mod­els. Among t he ex­ten­sive list of changes – t he cars have no rear wiper, no ra­dio and no air con­di­tion­ing (though they could be op­tioned back in) – is f urt her chas­sis stif fen­ing in­clud­ing more welds, and even thin­ner paint in the name of weight sav ing.

Mak­ing his cars even more rare, they're all built upon V-spec or V-spec II spec­i­fi­ca­tion, mean­ing more power and bet­ter han­dling. In the case of the most mod­ern R34, it too boasts the N1 op­tion pack, but rep­re­sents just one of 18 cars glob­ally built upon V-spec II spec­i­fi­ca­tion. For those in the know, in terms of pro­duc­tion num­bers at least, that makes the car even rarer than the fa­bled Nismo Z-Tune of which just 19 were sold (we be­lieve there is one re­main­ing in Aus­tralia).

Terry and Peter' scars are no garage queens ei­ther: both have their toys in reg­u­lar ro­ta­tion,

“I AL­WAYS LOOK AT CARS COM­ING UP AT AUC­TION WITH A BIT OF CHA­GRIN WHEN­EVER THE KILO­ME­TRES ARE RE­ALLY LOW... PEO­PLE WON'T WANT TO DRIVE THEM”

gett ing out on t he open road as of ten as t hey ca n.

Terr y says: “I a lways looked at cars com­ing up at auc­tion with a bit of cha­grin when­ever the k ilome­tres are rea lly rea lly low.

“When you see a 34 with 15,000k ms, I sort of think, err… Yeah the prices tend to be higher and a lot of peo­ple won’t want to drive it.

“I drive t hese cars wit h a bit of gusto… not like a grandma, but if I can keep t he cars below 100,000k m over time, I’ll be happy."

So what are t hey like to drive?

Well t here seems to be a def inite pro­gres­sion in terms of driv­abilit y as you progress t hrough the gen­er­a­tions from R32 to R34.

“You get a lot of feel t hrough t he wheel and seat in t he R32, t hough it is prone to un­der­steer," he said.

“The R33 is a lot more chuck­able and the Attessa and Hi­cas (dy­namic four-wheel torque-split and four wheel steer­ing) come on a lot quicker than the 32."

The steer­ing rack gets quicker through the gen­er­a­tions, as does the turbo spool which comes on in the R34 around 2900rpm as op­posed to around 3500rpm in the R32 and R33.

Th­ese pho­tos are a treat for clas­sic Nis­san fans, and we can only sa lute those who ta ke t heir pride and joys out onto t he road reg ularly.

Clas­sic Ja­panese cars are def initely on t he up­swing, with th­ese ex­am­ples be­com­ing in­creas­ingly ra re and sought-af ter.

Whether you’re look­ing for a clas­sic Dat­sun or a newer R-chas­sis hero, rust is an is­sue and due dili­gence is highly rec­om­mended as many of th­ese cars are sourced from Ja­pan where the amount of salt used on win­ter roads can var y be­tween is­lands.

ABOVE From Prince, through Dat­sun, to Nis­san. All eras spo­ken for.

ABOVE Early 70s C10 sedan. It was this gen­er­a­tion that first wore the GT-R badge.

BELOW LEFTTerry's match­ing set of N1 GT-Rs.

BELOW RIGHTEv­ery­one knows of the R30 Sky­line, but what of the RHR30 Sky­line hatch?

ABOVEMoun­tain roads are the nat­u­ral play­ground for GT-Rs

TOP LEFT Peter's 'Ken­mari' coupe com­plete with GT-R vi­su­als

TOP RIGHTKevin-San's gor­geous 'Hako' was pre­vi­ously re­stored in Ja­pan.

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