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1971 Nissan Skyline - The ONE - Back In The Day

The Old School Car We've All Been Chasing

Charles Trieu
Mar 4, 2010
Photographer: Sean Klingelhoefer

In 1957, the first Skyline was introduced by the manufacturer Prince. Prince went on to make a second generation and start on a third but before finishing the third generation, the company was purchased by Nissan Motor Company. Much like how Nissan bought Datsun (Datson at the time) decades before. The Nissan badged Skyline was first released in 1968 with the G15 SOHC 1.5L 4-cylinder engine. Now under the Nissan name, the Skyline would soon become an icon for Nissan's racing heritage. In 1970 a GT-X version was released powered by the L20 SOHC 2.0L 6-cylinder engine. Pushing the Skyline further. Nissan released another version with the S20 DOHC 2.0L 6-cylinder rated at 160hp. This version of the Skyline was the first to bare the GT-R emblem, the rest is history.

With a boxy looking shape the DPGC10 Skyline was nicknamed 'Hakosuka', Japanese for 'Box Skyline'. This is the first GT-R and i is the car every old schooler, here and in Japan, wants. Paul Bischoff is no exception. But this is no ordinary Joe Blow who just wants a cool old Japanese car for JCCS. Paul's relationship with the Skyline dates back before some of you were even born.
"I have wanted one of these cars since the first time i saw one, in Okinawa, in 1984 while stationed at Kadena AFB. While watcing the late night drifting there, I would see these Box Skylines and Kenmeris roll up and down the hill and everybody would cheer and point at them. The Skylines get so much respect in Japan. I just knew i had to have one."

Since then Paul has owned all types of Nissans: a '71 4-door Skyline, a '73 'Kenmeri' Skyline, a R32 Skyline, a Datsun 510, S13 and S14, not to mention various other makes. It wasn't until 2006 that Paul got the chance to own a 2-door Hakosuka. It took him two years of negotiating with the previous owner, but he ended up getting it into his hands. It was far from what you see now though. Basically he purchased a shell, it had no motor, transmission, suspension and the front end and interior was incomplete.

This is a GT-X and not a real GT-R. Most if not all the Hakosukas here are Gt-X models, which means they're not GT-Rs also. A real GT-R typically goes for $50K while the other models go for half as much. Having the original S20 engine is the ideal setup, but the motor alone could cost more than it's weight in gold. An S20 longblock alone can go for anywhere between $10,000 to $15,000. Not having a real GT-R meant that Paul was not compelled to find a S20 and it made his descision easier to go with an RB powerplant.

"Since it didn't have any drivetrain when i got it, it made it easy to go with the RB25DE engine. I wanted something symbolic to the factory GT-R S20 engine without the maintenance of owning an actual S20. And everbody here has the L-series engine in theirs, which is cool, but i wanted things done my way."

After years of playing with old L-series engines from his other cars, Paul wanted something more powerful, reliable and newer. An RB swap from a newer Skyline was the perfect choice. Still inline-six, and DOHC like the S20, but made with decades of newer technology. There are a few Hakosukas in Japan that have done the RB swap, but no one has completely finished the swap here in the US, just a few attempts. Instead of doing a turbo version of the RB, to give it an old school sound and look, Paul decided to use the individual throttle-bodies from a RB26DETT on his RB25DE. After three prototype manifolds, he was finally happy enough to use what you currently see. Some of the many other custom fabricated parts included the throttle linkage, radiator, motor brackets, transmission bracket and oil pan. Not willing to bang the transmission tunnel or modify the chassis for the swap, he found out that the RB20 transmission was small enough to fit perfectly in the Hakosuka. The beefier RB25 transmission would have required him to cut or pound out the transmission tunnel for clearance. Although not as good as a RB25 transmission, the RB20 transmission was perfectly suited for the power of his naturally-aspirated RB.

After several long nights and days, everything was done just in time for the JCCS event of 2008. Paul was even up until 2 a.m. the night before the show, getting it started up for the first time. At the show i immediately noticed that that this Skyline was done right with the classic look, a set of Watanabe's rims, flares and silver. A perfect example of how a Hakosuka is supposed to be built, if you can't find the real thing.

When you talk about old school Japanese cars, there's one car that tops them all. The Hakosuka Skyline GT-R grandfathered some of the most amazing cars from Japan. It's pretty common for older cars to have newer engine swaps. But an old school Skyline with the heart of a new school Skyline is just plain perfect. Paul tells us the next phase of this car will include a high compression RB30 engine and a brake upgrade. Continue to check out his BITD section to see what other projects Paul is cooking up.

Tuning Menu
1971 Nissan Skyline
Owner Paul Bischoff
Hometown Victorville, CA
Occupation Ford Technician and Part Owner of Speed Shop OSR Dyno Tuning

Sstp_1003_21_o+1971_nissan_skyline+front Photo 11/18   |   1971 Nissan Skyline - The ONE - Back In The Day

Engine R33 Skyline RB25 engine; GReddy timing belt, air separator tank and radiator cap; custom engine brackets using RB26DETT mounts; ported head; R32 GT-R valve springs; custom 7-quart aluminum oil pan; polished R32 GT-R RB26DETT individual throttle-bodies; modified and polished R33 GT-R RB25DE intake manifold; custom throttle linkage; modified fuel lines and AN fittings; SX fuel regulator; JDM stainless header; custom-built exhaust piping; Tanabe muffler; Optima battery; custom cross flow radiator; Samco radiator hoses; NISMO thermostat; MSD RPM Window Switch for cam control; Sapporo beer can overflow can; powdercoated valve cover, pulleys and velocity stacks; anodized cam gears; polished alternator and cam sensor

Drivetrain RB20DET 5-speed transmission; R200 LSD finned differential; custom driveshaft; 280SX axles; custom transmission mount

Sstp_1003_14_o+1971_nissan_skyline+wood_center_console Photo 12/18   |   1971 Nissan Skyline - The ONE - Back In The Day

Engine Management Microtech LT-12S standalone ECU and dash display; custom-tucked harness

Footwork & Chassis KYB AGX struts; Eibach front springs; Skyline sway bars; Grand Slam rear springs and endlinks; Victory 50 strut tower bar and complete bushing set; Cusco camber plates; bumpsteer spacer

Wheels & Tires Watanabe R Type rims 15x8.5" -6(front), 15x10.5" -25 (rear); Dunlop 205/50R15 (front), 225/50R15 (rear); Watanabe lug nuts

Exterior Factory Skyline silver paint; front and rear flares; NISMO front and rear spoiler

Interior Cobra bucket seat; Nardi steering wheel

Thanks you I would like to thank my partner at Speed Shop OSR Reggie Youmans, my dad, my buddy Dave Harris, my wife Lori and son Kyle for putting up with my obsession with this car; Eric, Pat and Mikey, thanks guys!

www napsusa.com
cobraseats.com
dunloptires.com
eibach.com
grandslam.ne.jp
greddy.com
kyb.com
microtech-efi.com
msdignition.com
nardi-personal.com
optimabatteries.com
(OSR Speed Shop) myspace.com/osrspeed
samcosport.com
sx-performance.com
tanabe-usa.com
victory50.com
walbro.com
watanabewheel.com

By Charles Trieu
161 Articles

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