Prince claimed that the 1957 Prince Skyline was the first mass-produced car with a DeDion rear axle (Lancia however had made several thousands Aurelia from 1954 with such an axle). It also was the first Japanese car exhibited in Europe (in Paris that year), but would only be imported in its last year from January 1963, to the Benelux, rebranded as a Nippon, as NSU objected using the name of its Prinz model. From 1960, the Prince Skyline was imported into the USA. Michelotti in Italy started building the bodies for the Skyline Sport in 1962, first shown in Turin in 1960.
Prince Skyline (S50)
This generation arrived in November 1963 and actually was a new smaller car line, reverting to a rear rigid axle, and not succeeding on the previous Skyline/Gloria series which was renewed as the Gloria S40 a year before, keeping the DeDion axle. With a width of less than 1.50 meters (similar to its Datsun and Toyota competitors) vs 167.5 cm for its predecessor, the S50 Skyline was rather narrow, especially for the 20 cm extended 6-cylinder GT model. The official export brand was now PMC. To not yield for the Bluebird 510, an ohc four replaced the ohv in the last year.
Nissan Gloria (A30)
This Gloria, originally thought to be a Prince, received a rigid rear axle with a tread, 1.5 cm wider than the Cedric. It featured curved door window glass. A hood ornament with a “P” was planned, but changed into an “N” when production started. It was on the Super Deluxe (and GL) and Super 6 models, and was also spotted on Deluxe export models.
Nissan Skyline (C10)
This one with its surf line above the rear wheel is among the best car designs in history in all three body styles (sedan, hardtop and wagon). With 160 cm, it now was wider than the Bluebird and Corona. Together with the President and A30 Gloria, it was never marketed as a Datsun. The 6-cylinder version now was 15 cm longer, and less out of balance. The even shorter hardtop apparently never made it to leave Japan. At the very end of its run, the Skyline GT became available with a 5-speed transmission by May 1972, following the GT-X. About 4 out of 10 sedans/hardtops were GTs. In Holland, for a period, the Skyline GT based Nissan 2400 was sold next to the Cedric 230 based Datsun 2400.
Japanese Cars 1962-1977