The R30 – The Genesis of the Nissan Skyline Saga

The name Nissan Skyline itself speaks volumes of an epic automobile saga conjured by the Japanese and most car enthusiasts place August 1981 as the date for the genesis of this saga as Nissan launches the R30 Skyline constructed from the less popular C31 Laurel platform.

The R30 was unique in a sense that the four and six cylinder varieties were now sharing a front end and available in a coupe version (two door hardtop), the sedan version (4 door standard) and as well as a five-door hatchback which was only available with the R30 generation. To cater for a much wider market and to get into the automotive trend, Nissan even threw in a 4 door station wagon as part f their offering. And as if that was not sufficient, these four versions came in 26 variations making the R30 Skyline one of the most ‘option flexible’ vehicle ever produced by a manufacturer.

The round tail lights which became the signature design of the Skyline began with the R30 as all the versions that were made available within the R30s generation were fitted with four round tail lights with the exception of the station wagons that had ‘square tail lights’ to suit the ‘boxy’ concept of the station wagons of the time. The station wagons were also void of turbo boosters and no 6 cylinder versions were made available for the station wagons which were basically ‘family cars’ and they generally resembled the Sunny more than they did a Skyline. The car was modest in its beginnings as these ‘mechanical based’ cars came with standard elements such as a digital lock system that was 90 % mechanical in construct, air conditioning, AM/FM radio cassette stereo, a digital clock which was the only digital element of the car, intermittent wipers, five speed manual or optionally a 3 speed automatic.

Full specifications, repair information and service requirements can be viewed using the Factory Service Manual and Workshop Manual by Nissan for the R30 Skyline vehicle range.

Nissan started to customise most of the R30s for their export markets the following year to suit the foreign markets preferences and in doing so they belted out larger engines but underpowered at the same time as although the engines were 2.4 and 2.8 litre inline sixes, they coughed up approximately no more than 88 kW and 102 kW. The stage was set and the rest as they say was history.