2020/01/10 FRI



1972 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R KPGC10

1972 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R KPGC10

  • ◎Extremely rare KPGC10 race car
  • ◎Originally sold by Nissan Prince Sports Corner
  • ◎Installed with numerous very rare originally racing parts
  • ◎Part of the GT-R Legend, Shigeru Watanabe’s private collection
  • ◎Updated and modified by Watanabe himself
  • ◎In race ready condition

In August of 1968, Nissan Motor announced a new model for the first time since the merger with Prince Motor. It was the third generation Skyline (type C10). That October, at the Tokyo Motor Show, “Skyline GT Racing-type” was released as a reference exhibit. This car is equipped with a 2-liter straight-six DOHC “S20” which is a detuned GR8-type engine for the race-machine R380. In February, 1969, the commercial version Skyline GT-R (PGC10) was released. At the JAF Grand Prix held in May, the four works machine built at the Nissan Murayama Factory made their debut.

The C10 won this race due to the disqualification of the Toyota 1600GT. The car showed unmatched power in the races that followed, beating the rivals by a wide margin and winning consecutive races. When the 2-door hard top was added to the Skyline in 1970, the GT-R also added a 2-door KPGC10. Compared to the 4-door type, the wheel base was shorter by 70mm and lighter by 20kg. This improved its dynamic performance.

At the same time, the race models also showed improvements. Equipped with a Lucas fuel injection, it realized the dry sump of the 1989cc straight-six DOHC unit. It is said to have reached 264ps/8400rpm, 21.0kg-m/6800rpm. On January, 1972 at the Fuji 300km Speed Race Super Touring Race, Kunimitsu Takahashi won his 50th GT-R race. When his career was finally over, he had won 57 races domestically and was responsible of “the Legend of GT-R” that is still alive today.

But as Mazda introduced the compact yet powerful Mazda Savanna, the GTR started to struggle due to its large body-size with a massive frontal projected area, the engine itself weighing 200kg, and a total weight of 1020kg. Still at the latter half of 1972, minor modifications such as changes from front solid disc & rear drum to front ventilated disc & rear solid disc were applied to try to change its fate only to see the factory-backed team dismantled after the Fuji Masters 250km Super Touring Champion Race.

The private teams that succeeded the factory-back predecessor also disappeared from the big races by the end of 1973 season. The car put up for auction, was created by Nissan Prince Sports Corner which used to exist in Omori, Tokyo. The Nissan owned company assembled this KPGC10 racing model in 1972. The owner, who later on opened GTR Service Watanabe in Imari City, Saga Prefecture, is Shigeru Watanabe who is revered as the “God of GT-R”. Because he was so much in love with the GT-R, he quit his day job and for some time worked on his mechanical skills at Sports Corner. Originally white, Mr. Watanabe replicated the racing color of that time.
This KPGC10 has raced in a few races. No major races could be identified but in May, 1975 it finished 12th at the Chugoku Kyushu District Atsu Grand 200 Race, August the same year, it finished 10th in the Mastery Silver Cup Race, and in November, 1976, teaming up with Seiji Nambu it finished 7th in the 1976 West Japan 500km Race.
One fact that stands out is that this KPGC10 is a one-owner-car; It has been with Mr. Watanabe the whole time. Naturally, being a race car, the car has gone through modifications by Mr. Watanabe’s own hands. Considering that not many cars remain from that era that were delivered with a race car specifications, it is unbelievable that a car that kept this much of its original flavor and it is still in a race ready condition. For this reason also, this KPGC10 has a special place in Japanese Racing History and Skyline History.