Tokyo is always a visual extravaganza, with no shortage of eye-catching sights. Cars happen to be one of these for those interested in such whims, although much of the metal plying the roads does tend to appeal to modern tastes. I’m not so much of an anorak in this regard, preferring the older stuff from the catalogue.
This particular resonance was what prompted me to check out the Nissan Crossing showcase in Ginza when I was in the city last month on holiday, simply because I wanted to see if I could get up close with the showcase piece Danny came across there in September. At that point, a rare red example of the fabled C110-based Nissan Skyline GT-R was the window candy draw, rotating about the turntable in the Cylinder storefront.
It turned out that the car was no longer on show, but the Kenmeri theme had been retained, with another example of the type from the Nissan Zama Heritage collection – on show at the former Nissan Gallery was another KPGC110 GT-R, this time in its race car form.
While purpose-built, the unit – which featured as an exhibit at the 1972 Tokyo Motor Show, and thus effectively the blueprint for the series KPGC110 GT-R – was never raced. The exterior features a number of changes from the regular GT-R, these including a heavily revised front end, the incorporation of large wheel arch extensions and a switch to multi-spoke wheels and racing tyres, among other things.
Aside from the ditching of chrome trim across the car, the rear panel’s presentation was also revised on this one, although the light clusters were untouched. The gold-on-green livery is eye-catching without being overly shouty. Under the hood sits a S20 2.0 litre six-cylinder twin-cam mill as seen on the regular GT-R, with 160 PS at 7,000 rpm and 177 Nm of torque at 5,600 rpm for output figures
The C110 Skyline went on sale in September 1972, and the KPGC110 GT-R version of the car was sold between January and March 1973, with only 197 units produced for the Japanese market, its run cut short by the switch in consumer sentiment brought about by the energy crisis looming at that point.
Sharing the space with the 2000GT-R on the Crossing’s ground floor display area was a GT-R50 by Italdesign. Based on the GT-R Nismo and built to celebrate the nameplate’s 50th anniversary, there’s nothing shy about the form, from its lines to striking gold accents. Nice interplay of old and new – wonder what’s next or on show now at the Crossing.
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