Before Driving One, Familiarize Yourself with the First Skyline
Before the 600hp monster that is the Nissan GT-R NISMO, the R32, the Hakosuka, even before Nissan and Prince merged, came the Prince Skyline in 1957. It sported a lowly 1.5L 60hp engine and looked to all the world like a slimmed-down General Motors knock-off. But in spite of its derivative appearance it showcased Japanese manufacturing prowess to the world.
Marketed as an ultra-modern representative of the Japanese market, “est une voiture dont les performance, la tenue de route, la vitesse et la confort ont été spécialement étudiés” (a car developed with a focus on performance, handling, speed, and comfort). And indeed, when it was released it was a large, comfortable car with more of a performance edge than many of its few Japanese contemporaries. Understanding a car’s roots is just as important as knowing your own, personal car and to that end we find this brochure inspiring. Not because the images are cool but rather because, almost in juxtaposition to today’s Japanese ads and brochures, the photos celebrate their native culture and heritage.
Sadly, this tactic may have backfired leading Prince to Westernize their advertising by 1962 (see vertical brochure page). At least today we can look back fondly on the nascence of Japan’s auto industry.