Let’s test your knowledge of Japan’s Godzilla. No, not the fire-breathing monster that menaced Tokyo so many times through the 1950s and ’60s on film. We mean the mighty Nissan GT-R pedigree that was given the “Godzilla” nickname in 1989 when the Skyline GT-R (R-32) was unleashed. While that car was never actually exported, its sheer pace, handling prowess, and racing triumphs put it firmly on the international map and secured it a place in sports car folklore.
But Godzilla had a father. The GT-R was born some 20 years earlier, as the Skyline 2000 GT-R. First launched in 1969, the “Hakosuka” GT-R (“hako” meaning boxy, “suka” coming from the Japanese pronunciation of Skyline) was a rare sight. Nissan only built 1945 of them. And today, estimates put the number of original GT-Rs remaining on Japan’s streets at about 500.
Today we take a look and appreciate one of just a handful of these beautiful Hakosuka Skyline GT-R’s currently hiding out here in the states, an immaculately restored and modified 1971 currently residing…somewhere in southern California.