Cars

The Original Nissan GT-R Is Vintage Driving Nirvana

In the beginning, there was this: Nissan’s first generation of the now legendary GT-R. It is not, by any modern definition, aerodynamic. Unlike its supercar descendent, there’s no all-wheel drive to help you in the wet. If you drive it beyond your natural ability, a fleet of computers won’t intervene, and you’ll find yourself in the grass. Or worse. In many ways, the Skyline H/T 2000 GT-R, known affectionately as “Hakosuka,” represents driving nirvana, and this one is hitting the block at RM’s Monterey Auction.

While the name Skyline can be traced back a few decades prior to a string of family sedans, it was the advent of the GT-R that really won people over with its simplicity and performance. The term Hakosuka roughly translates to English as “SkyBox,” obviously referring to the Skyline’s boxy shape.

Under the hood, a two-liter, straight-six puts out a respectable 160 hp, which when coupled with the car’s light curb weight (under 2,500 pounds), meant straight-line acceleration wasn’t lacking unless you compared it with the most outrageous muscle cars of the day—but they couldn’t turn or stop nearly as well.

Inside, the purity of purpose continues with little more than a trio of pedals, a gearshift, a steering wheel, and some gauges so that you can keep an eye on things while you’re putting the car through its paces.

The modern GT-R namesake is, on every quantifiable level, a vastly superior car, owing to four decades of aerodynamic, mechanical, and electrical engineering evolution. It’s unquestionably a modern masterpiece, but for purists, it will never hold a candle to the original.


Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor. He wants this car so very, very badly.