CC In Scale: Nissan Skyline — Part 3b (R33 and 34)


R32: 1995-98

One day I was in town for an appointment and noticed this beautiful but unfamiliar coupe parked next to me. I couldn’t place it; that was annoying. I walked around, looking for some clue. Ah! A new Skyline. Somehow I hadn’t known there was a new generation out. I’ve still no idea what a current-model Skyline coupe (which I don’t think was a GT-R) was doing on the streets of Geelong in the late nineties. Evaluation, perhaps?

Naturally, I went looking for a kit. One led to another. Interestingly there don’t seem to be any kits of this generation available at the moment. Plenty of ‘32s and ‘34s in a variety of forms, but nary an R33;

The R33 followed the same basic layout as the giant-killing R32, but was larger; another 100mm in wheelbase (2720), 130mm in length (4675), 25mm in width (1780). Some feel this was too large; perhaps the 110kg added weight dulled the performance some. In the years since I’ve seen quite a few of these on the road. As with many Nissans of this era, there’s a certain rightness about the style;

I used to prefer these to the R32, but having seen more of both on the road, my preference is tending the other way;


R34 1998-2002

This one I read about before seeing. While it certainly looked muscular, to me it lost the elegance of the previous generation in favour of a more brutish look;

The R34 was the last of the ‘traditional’ Skylines, before the sedans and coupes went onto the FM platform and the GTR was spun off as, I feel, a bona fide supercar. The R34 only had a four-year production run, but really gained fame outside Japan as one of the star cars in the early Fast and the Furious movies. I remember taking my then-teenage son to see the first one…

But they weren’t all GTRs of course. Here’s a regular 25 GT turbo sedan. I keep hoping to grab a pic of the R34 in my town; I think it’s one of these…

The R34 lost some size and weight. Once again, these were only sold in Japan, so I guess this downsizing was in response to Japanese demand. It virtually split the difference in size between the R32 and R33, but wound up some 20kg heavier.

There was a bewildering variety of versions. Here’s the NISMO;

The Nur – guess what that’s short for, anyone?

And the Z-tune. Nissan actually bought back used GTRs and rebuilt them to this ultimate specification. Wild!

The Japanese aftermarket responded with delight. Advan;

C West;

Top Secret;

Had enough of modified Skylines? Okay. Here’s a palate-cleanser;

So much for the sedan and the coupe. In one of those inscrutable product moves the Japanese seem so adept at making, what had been a Skyline wagon had disappeared for a time, to be replaced by the Stagea, a wagon with no sedan equivalent. Same platform, different body – sheetmetal, glass, the works. It was available with most of the good stuff underneath – AWD, turbo six, etc. Nissan fans found the Skyline front panels could be fitted to these. Nissan’s tuning arm Autech did a 260RS version, with its own bodykit. One day I’ll do one of those, meanwhile here’s my standard one;


The name continued, but…

The V35 generation came along in 2002, but it was a totally different car on Nissan’s FM platform, with a V6. Infiniti G35 in the US, I believe. Nice that they export them. Worthy cars no doubt, but they just don’t do anything for me. Or other modelers it seems; few seem to have built them and there are few kits. This one’s a NISMO version. In a rare moment of conformity, I’ve painted it Blah Silver.

So that’s it for Skylines. This series has come to a close. Back to more random unpredictableness next time. See you then!