(Update: turns out this car was misidentified; it’s actually a C210 Skyline, the model that succeeded the “Kenmari” C110 Skyline)
Japanese cars from the 1970s have a huge cult following, thanks to their, um, unique styling, as well as nostalgia for simpler times. Back then, the industry exploded with heady optimism and upscale, performance-oriented cars like the Skyline were readily available to the motoring public. In addition, there was one more significant factor in play: TV ads. Vintage Japanese domestic market (JDM) TV spots have attracted a huge cult following, but one in particular arouses deep personal nostalgia within me. During the late ’70s to mid-’80s I worked at KSCI, a multi-ethnic UHF station in Los Angeles, where I became familiar with Japanese-language programming. So when mcc.pj posted this Skyline/Datsun 240K at the Cohort with a reference to the famous “Ken & Mary” ad campaign, my memories were instantly triggered. Let’s take a look at the car that Ken & Mary (“Kenmari”) made famous, and how they did so.
I’ll let mcc.pj provide his own commentary on the car itself: Hood pins, stripes, and fender-mounted mirrors lend both American and Japanese flavours. The 240K was a strong seller in Australia in its day. It had six-cylinder grunt and sporting, if none too sophisticated, chassis dynamics.
This one comes with the requisite period-Aussie rear window slats. The triangular lateral flare on the rear door and quarter panel was a valiant if not subtle attempt to sleeken the slab-like expanse of the rear fender.
Gotta love those ‘Vette taillights.The swoopy fastback coupe version (as shown in the TV ads) of the C110 was always the best-looking generation of Skyline to my eyes. That body style boasted an up-engined GT-R model, which was the last of its kind until the 1989 R32 revived the GTR name.
So here’s the collection of “Ken & Mary” TV ads, which actually did boost sales of this generation Skyline (called Datsun K240 outside of Japan, but not imported to the US) significantly. Not hard to see why, eh?