The Nissan Skyline (スカイライン in Japanese) is a line of compact cars, sports cars and compact executive cars originally produced by the Prince Motor Company starting in 1955, and then by Nissan after the two companies merged in 1966. After the merger, the Skyline and its larger counterpart, the Nissan Gloria, were sold in Japan at dealership sales channels called Nissan Prince Shop.
The Skyline was largely designed and enginered by Shinichiro Sakurai from inception, and he remained a chief influence of the car until his death in 2011.
Iterations R30 to R34 of the Skyline are still popular tuner cars for Japanese car enthusiasts from the 1980s to today, especially with available features such as straight-six engines, turbochargers, and the high-performance GT-R trim.1 It is currently available in either coupé, or sedan body styles, and are most commonly known by their trademark round brake and tail lights (as of 1972); the station wagon bodystyle was dropped in 1989 with the introduction of the R32 platform. While not distributed in the United States until its importation as the Infiniti G, the Skyline’s prominence in video games, movies and magazines resulted in many such cars being imported there from 1999 to late 2005, after Motorex petitioned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to allow 1990–1999 GT-Rs and GTSs to be imported, at the condition that they were modified to meet United States Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.2234
The 11th-generation Skyline (V35) was another major turning point for the nameplate, as it dropped some of the Skyline’s trademark characteristics such as the straight-6 engine and turbocharging, eventually separated the GT-R into its own line, and moved to V6-engined era, this decision which extended to all later Skylines. Nissan decided to retain the Skyline for the luxury-sport market, while its platform-mate, the 350Z, revived the Z line of pure sports cars.5 The V35 was the first Skyline made for export to North America, being sold under Nissan’s luxury marque Infiniti as the G35. The Skyline (V36/J50) is sold in Europe, North America, South Korea, Taiwan, and the Middle East as the Infiniti G37.
The Guinness World Record for the largest parade of Nissan cars was set on April 11, 2010 at Silverstone Circuit, United Kingdom, when 225 Nissan Skylines were driven around the racetrack at the International Styling and Tuning Show event.