Nissan Skyline

1968 C10 Series

The first all new Skyline model since the Nissan / Prince merger was released in 1968.


In 1966 the Prince Motor Company merged with Nissan. Before this, when Prince was a seperate company, the main Passenger car in their model line-up was the Prince Skyline.
The Skyline name dates back to 1957 when the first Skyline, the ALSI model came out. In 1963 an all new Skyline called the S50 went on sale, and it was sold as a direct competitor to the Datsun Bluebird. In reality the S50 Skyline wasn't really in the same class as the Bluebird, it's finish and appointments were always slightly better, which really put it in a class slightly above that of the Bluebird. Plus it had the larger 1484cc 73hp G-1 engine, which certainly put it in a higher performance class. This was reflected in it's selling price, which was above that of the Bluebird.
After the merger the Prince name was dropped, and for a while the S50 series was sold as a Nissan Skyline. Within Nissan the Prince engineers carried on developing their own cars in development programs that were seperate from the Nissan designers. They certainly shared information, and everyone knew what the others were up to, but they just went about doing their own thing. By late 1966 the Prince designers had started work on the replacement for the S50, which would be known as the Nissan Skyline C10.  

As well as designing the new Skyline the engineers had been working on a new engine, which was a radical departure from the old pushrod G-1 engine. In 1962 Prince had become the first Japanese car manufacturer to put an overhead cam engine into a production car, with the large Prince Gloria sedan being fitted with a Prince designed OHC 2 litre 6 cylinder engine. They had also developed a double overhead cam version of this engine which had powered the Prince R-380 race car which had gone on to break several endurance records. All this experience would be put to use on the new passenger car engine for the C10. There would be two versions of this new engine, the larger 1800 version would be used in the Prince designed Nissan Laurel C30, while a smaller 1500 version would power the Skyline C10. The engine was called the G-15, and it was a 1483cc 94hp 4 cylinder engine. The cylinder head was alloy and was an overhead cam design, but rather than having the intake and exhaust ports on the same side, this engine was a cross flow, with the intake and exhaust ports on oposite sides. This engine flowed beautifully and the 94hp it produced from 1483cc was quite impressive.

The car itself was quite a different beast. The previous S50 was a very pretty and rather effeminate looking design, with soft flowing line and delicate looking trim pieces. The C10 was the opposite. Even it it's base model mode it had an agressive look to it, with lots of sharp edges and creases. Pretty it wasn't, but masculine and purposeful it was. The design team was headed up by a Prince designer called Shinichiro Sakurai. Sakurai had an image in his head about how he wanted the creases on the side of the car to look. He wanted to give the car the impression that something with a sharp edge was pushing outwards from within the car. He was having trouble explaining this to the designers, so the next day he came to work with a blank painter's canvas in a frame, and a wire coat hanger. He bent the wire coat hanger into the shape he required and pressed on the back of the canvas to demonstrate the look he was after. If you look at the side of the car, particularly on the rear guards just above the wheel opening, you can see the look of the wire pressed on the canvas.

The Nissan Skyline C10 went into production in August 1967. Initially there was only the 1500 sedan and a 1500 wagon. With the previous S50 Prince decided they wanted to go racing with the Skyline, and Sakurai hit on the idea of fitting the OHC 6 cylinder engine from the Prince Gloria into the little 1500 Skyline. To do this they had to lengthen the car, and they basically cut the front of the car off at the firewall and added 200mm of extra panelwork to the front to enlarge the engine bay to fit the huge 6 cylinder engine. To qualify for racing the car had to be homologated, and a certain number of these long wheel base Skylines needed to be built and offered for sale. The resulting car was called the S54 Prince Skyline GT. The GT ended up being hugely popular and ended up going into full production. From the begining of the C10 design project it was conceived with a six cylinder in mind, and in October 1968 the six cylinder GC10 Nissan Skyline 2000GT went into production. This car was initially fitted with the old 1988cc 106hp OHC six cylinder G-7 engine from the previous Skyline GT-A, but later in the production run Nissan began to rationalise the model ranges and eliminate some of the duplication that existed within the merged companies. As a result the G-7 was dropped from the GC10 an the Nissan designed L20 six cylinder engine was fitted instead.

The engineers from Prince were always a bit mad, one only has to look at what they did fitting the six cylinder Gloria engine, and triple Weber carburettors, into the little Skyline 1500 to understand this. This slightly mad streak hit them again when it came time to bring out the ultimate specification of the C10 series. The Prince engineers decided that what the performance model needed was a modified version of the GR8 engine that was fitted to the record breaking Prince R-380 race car. The engine would be designated the S20, and it was a four valve per cylinder, double overhead cam 1988cc six cylinder engine fitted with triple Weber DCOE carburettors. This engine produced 160hp, which may not sound that impressive today, but that figure matched the Porsche 911 in it's day. This car was designated the PGC10, and it become the first Skyline GT-R.

In June 1970 a coupe version of the GC10 was introduced to complete the model line, this model was called the KGC10. At the same time a GT-R version of the coupe was introduced called the KPGC10, which would become the ultimate performance model of the range. A four cylinder 1800 coupe was offered at the same time.

 The C10 series was in production until September 1972, when it ws replaced with the new Nissan Skyline C110 series.


Model Variations


C10 - Skyline 1500

The four door four cylinder version of the series. Different trim levels of thes car included the Family deLuxe, the Touring deLuxe and the Sporty deLuxe.  


Nissan Skyline Wagon WC10

The wagon version of the C10 series. This car is a four cylinder, no six cylinder wagon was built.
The shadowing in this photo best shows off the 'coat hanger and canvas' crease feature.


Nissan Skyline 2000GT Coupe KGC10

The coupe version of the GC10 Skyline 2000GT sedan.  

Model Variations


Nissan Skyline 2000GT GC10

The four door six cylinder version of the C10 series.  


Nissan Skyline GT-R PGC10

The first model Skyline GT-R.  


Nissan Skyline GT-R Coupe KPGC10  

The coupe version of the Skyline GT-R sedan.  

1968 Nissan Skyline C10 Specifications  

Length - 4400mm
Width - 1595mm
Height - 1390mm
Wheelbase - 2640mm
Weight - 1095kg
Top speed C10 - 160kph
GC10 - 175kph
KPGC10 - 200kph
Transmission - 4 or 5 speed Floor change

1500 Engine Specifications

Model - G-15
OHC 4 Cylinder
Capacity - 1483cc
Bore & Stroke - 80x70mm
Power - 94hp@5600rpm
Torque - 96ft/lb@3600rpm
Compression - 8.5 : 1
Carburettor - dual throat down draught
Final Drive - 3.7 : 1

2000 Engine Specifications

Model - L20
OHC 6 Cylinder
Capacity - 1998cc
Bore & Stroke - 78x70mm
Power - 120hp@6000rpm
Torque - 170ft/lb@4000rpm
Compression - 9.5 : 1
Carburettor - Hitachi DAF-342-10 dual throat down draught
Final Drive - 3.7 : 1

GT-R Engine Specifications

Model - S20
DOHC 6 Cylinder
Capacity - 1988cc
Bore & Stroke - 82x83mm
Power - 160hp@7000rpm
Torque - 180ft/lb@5600rpm
Compression - 9.5 : 1
Carburettors - Triple Weber 40DCOE dual throat side draught
Final Drive - 3.7 : 1

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