Morning Qualifying – I think we're turning Japanese edition

The godfather of drifting, Kunimitsu Takahashi, at the wheel of the mighty Nissan Skyline GT-R KPGC10

In 1969, Nissan unleashed the PGC10 Skyline 2000 GT-R on an unsuspecting world.  The new Skyline was a technical tour de force; it’s engine, sourced from the Prince R380, was a 2 liter, 24 valve, twin-cam straight six fed by triple Mikuni carbeurators through a 5 speed gearbox to a limited slip differential.  It had MacPherson struts in the front, and subframe mounted semi trailing arms in the rear, similar to the Datsun Bluebird/510.  In a body weighing under 2200 lbs, the racing version of the S20 engine was good for 240 hp.  The Toyota Coronas, Isuzu Bellets and Mazda Familia’s that were pitted against the GT-R stood no chance.  Between it’s introduction in 1969 and 1972, the PGC10 and it’s successor, the KGPC10, rolled to 49 consecutive touring car victories.

The Mazda RX-3 Savannah at the Nurburgring in 1972

Of all the pretenders to the Skyline’s throne, only Mazda had the power to match the Nissan’s pace.  By 1972, Mazda had conquered whatever reliability issues their early rotaries had and, with the introduction of the new 12A rotary engine, the gap with Nissan had finally closed.  At the Japanese Touring Car Grand Prix, a late suspension failure in Takahashi’s car cost the Skyline it’s 50th consecutive victory.  Yoshimi Katayama at the wheel of his Mazda RX-3 won the day and the Skyline’s streak had been broken.  Nissan took the next round of the Super Touring Championship for the Skyline’s 50th win.  So, when the series returned to Fuji Speedway in October, the battle between Katayama’s RX-3 and Takahashi’s Skyline GT-R was well and truly joined.  So, what happened next, you ask?
Fortunately for you hoons, I found this film, with English narration, of the Japanese Super Touring 250 km at Fuji Speedway.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5iWjPjNxOs&feature=related[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y38bGoZg0sg&feature=related[/youtube]

0 Comments

    1. What's funny is for a long time fender mounted mirrors in Japan were not desirable. They were considered old school and stodgy. They looked at our A-pillar mounted mirrors with lust. I think that attitude has changed, but that is only a recent development.
      Having said that, I at one point thought about putting fender mounted mirrors on the Mustang.

      1. Correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't fender mirrors popular in Japan mainly because their streets were narrow and putting the mirrors on the fenders reduced the overall width of the car?

      2. My Sunbeam still has the holes in the fenders for mirrors mounted right above the front wheels; I've often thought about filling those holes with some repro Lucas mirrors, but I fear that unless I remove the door-mounted mirrors (leaving unsightly scars where the DPO painted around them, rather than taking 5 minutes to remove them before painting) the car will look like a Mod's Vespa.

        1. Which would be perfectly acceptable, so long as your radio plays Ogden's Nut Gone Flake, Rolled Gold and The Who Sell Out in a continuous loop and you dress like David Hemmings in Blow-Up. Gear!

      3. I put fender mirrors on the Killer ZomBee when we first went racing because, um, all the vintage English sports-car pics had them, and I figured it would give us a nice view of the entire car so we didn't hit anyone.
        WRONG.
        We got out on the track and it was TERRIFYING. We couldn't see a damn thing from the tiny field of view, and it was a weird-intermediate-3rd depth of field that was impossible to focus on. By the time your eyes picked out relevant information it was too late and too little.
        They may have inadvertently contributed to our first big wreck (even though we had a large wink mirror up top).
        I now have a set of A-pillar mirrors and it feels100% natural and comfortable again. The A-pillars allow you to keep the same focal point when scanning your surroundings, so you end up with just 2 distances; near for the gauges and far for everything else. Just like a regular car…
        …go figure.

  1. Hmmmm… I don't remember my brother's '74 RX3 looking nearly that good. Probably the lack of fender flares. Or paint. Or solid floor pan.

  2. Jennings R. Scroggs, Jr, I would like a doctor to take your picture, so I could look at you from inside as well.
    In a perfect world, my fantasy garage Imaginary Car-hole would have an RX-3 SP for day to day driving, a wagon for family hauling, and a '70's cosmo for when I needed something luxurious to get the valet to park.

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