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Kevin San's 1971 Nissan Skyline Hakosuka GT-R outlaw

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Follow the bloodline of the Nissan GT-R R35 back through the years past the R34 and R33, before even the R32, and you’ll find a beast waiting for you at the end of the trail – the 1969 Skyline GT-R.

Known affectionately to its adoring army of fans as the Hakosuka it is the grandfather of Godzilla, the ground zero of GT-R, where it all began – and we've been lucky enough to steer something pretty close.

Kevin San is one of the Australian JDM scene’s utmost gentlemen and considers his 1971 Hakosuka - which started out as a 2000GT - less a GT-R replica and more ‘outlaw’ style.

“It’s not a GT-R, it’s basically a hot rod, I guess if it was a Porsche you’d call it an outlaw,” Kevin says.

“It’s not really a faithful replica of anything it’s just my interpretation of what a hot street Skyline would have been like in the early ’70s. So it takes a little bit from the race cars and a little bit from the factory models. Hopefully, it’s something most people like.”

The C10 model is legendary but it wasn’t the first Skyline. No, Japan’s Prince Motor Company came out with the first-gen Skyline in 1957, it looked like a mini version of the big American Chevy Bel Air. In ’64 Prince took a Skyline, wedged in a six-cylinder engine and entered it in Japanese Grand Prix to hunt down Porsches.

Word has it that as Prince merged with Nissan in the mid-'60s plans for the C10 were already drawn up for the car which would arrive in 1968. First a four door with a four cylinder Nissan then built more high performance coupe versions – a six cylinder 2000GT and an even more powerful GT-X.

Then there was the king – the GT-R with is 2.0-litre double overhead cam straight six with triple carbs hooked up to a five-speed manual gearbox. At 1100 kilos the GT-R had an impressive power-to-weight ratio. Discs brakes at the front, drums at the back and independent rear suspension the Hakosuka GT-R hugely successful on the race track.
Oh and if you were wondering what Hakosuka means – it’s a Japanese colloquialism taken from 'Hako', meaning box, and 'Suka' is short for Skyline.

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