Happy 50th Birthday GTR


Following its release to dealerships around Japan on January 4th 1969, then in May 3rd 1969 it hit the First GTR, the Skyline GTR PGC10 hit the racetracks in the JAF Grand Prix dominating every race it entered until it retired after 1972.

As we all know the GTR story started with Nissan (following the merger with Prince Motor company) putting the Prince race engine from the R380 race car into the Skyline GT, giving it its 'R' credentials.

The following year of 1970 saw the release of the KPGC10 Skyline GTR coupe, further extending the GTRs winning streak.


 1973 saw the release of the KPGC110, affectionately know and the Kenmeri Skyline GTR. Using the same S20 inline 6 engine. The rarest GTR of them all thanks to the 1970s oil crisis, which also meant the car never saw racing.

This was also the first model to introduce the iconic GTR round afterburner tail lamps.


After a 16 year hiatus. The GTR returned with a bang with the all famous BNR32 Skyline GTR. A Group A homologation racer. Based on the Nissan Skyline R32 it introduced a bespoke drivetrain and engine.

The venerable RB26DETT cast iron block 2.6 litre twin turbo inline 6 race engine.

In addition the ATTESA E-TS rear wheel drive based all wheel drive system coupled with technologies such as 4 wheel steering (HICAS) made this car a monster on track and on the road to this day. With a planned max horsepower rating of 600ps Nissan engineers worked out to effectly put this power down the power would have to be split between all four wheels so 150hp per wheel.

It was a venerable platform even in it's restricted 280HP production spec and took the then production car record laptime at the Nurburgring Nordschleife of 8 Minutes 22 Seconds https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_N%C3%BCrburgring_Nordschleife_lap_times.

This is Nissan's own car, restored using the Nismo Heritage Parts catalogue.


Following the debut of the R33 Skyline in 1993, 1995 saw the debut of the second Skyline GTR to have the RB26 motor and ATTESA AWD system. The BCNR33 GTR saw the introduction of the ATTESA E-TS Pro system in the Vspec model. In addition to a revised ECU and AWD control unit the VSpec model in the BCNR33 lineup added a electronic rear differential with real torque vectoring.

While the Skyline R32 was designed as a compact sports sedan and the later BNR32 GTR was designed for Group A racing. The following Skyline R33 was designed as "Japan's grand touring car" and the later BCNR33 GTR was designed for Endurance racing. Endurance racing as you can imagine requires longer seat time and stablility at sustained high speeds. A roomy cabin, long body and wheelbase are design features which can be still seen today in Le Mans racers.

Since the BNR32, Nissan conducted extensive testing at the Nurburgring Nordschleife with the standard BCNR33 Shaving 21 seconds off the previous BNR32's time and posting a time of 8 minutes 1 second. However the GTR development team was not happy with this and returned with the Vspec BNR33 and posted a new production record at the time of 7 minutes 59 seconds driven by Dirk Schoysman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_N%C3%BCrburgring_Nordschleife_lap_times.


The final RB26 engined and final Skyline to wear the GTR name came in 1998 with the BNR34 GTR. A major revision was placed on body rigidity from the R33 for both the Skyline and GTR models in the R34.  Not to mention the iconic Multifunction Display of MFD. This along with a carbon fiber diffuser and bonnet were a first in a mass production road car.

The RB26 and R34 production ended in 2002 with new emission regulations and to a smaller extent Nissan's pre-Gohsn financial woes.


After a 5 year hiatus the GTR returned in 2007. For the first time in its history as it's own model in the form of the R35. (The above pictured silver car is car number 1 to roll off the production line which Nissan keeps in it's heritage fleet.)

Building off Nissan's "Premium Mid-ship Package" first seen in the 350Z the New GTR introduced VR38DETT V6 twin turbo 3.8 litre engine which used technology gained from Nissan's R390 GT1 Le Mans racer.

This new engine was only once piece of the new GTR's weaponry. The engine was rather a part of a larger whole which was the transaxle evolution of the GTR's ATESSA E-TS. This setup uses the mass of the engine to give traction to the front wheels.

The newly developed GR6 transaxle (the first of it's kind) dual-clutch gearbox developed with Borgwarner to provide traction to for the rear wheels. Making for blistering performance and predictability.

This year marks the 50th birthday of the GTR, a marque steeped in a rich and long history. Happy Birthday GTR and here's to another 50 years full of excitement and amazing technical innovations made accessible to a wide audience.