First Ford Tried to Ruin the Mach 1 Name, Now It Wants to Ruin the Skyline Name - story fullscreen Fullscreen

First Ford Tried to Ruin the Mach 1 Name, Now It Wants to Ruin the Skyline Name

Skyline is supposed to bring fond memories of certain Nissan cars, but soon that could change

One could easily argue that the Skyline name belongs to Nissan. It brings back memories of cars like the 1957 Nissan Prince Skyline and, more importantly, cars like the R32, R33, and R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R – the godfather of Godzilla itself, the current Nissan GT-R. The name has been kept alive in certain markets as a sports sedan – the same car we call the Infiniti Q50 here in the States, and now it seems a new Skyline could be coming the U.S. market. The catch? If it happens, It’s not going to wear a Nissan badge but a Ford or Lincoln badge instead.

A Ford Skyline….A Lincoln Skyline

First Ford Tried to Ruin the Mach 1 Name, Now It Wants to Ruin the Skyline Name
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And old Nissan Sedans

Okay, so, Ford has used the name “Skyliner” before in relation to certain models of the old Fairlane 500 Skyliner and the Fairlane Crown Victoria back in the late-1950s. And, it’s been used on a weird Ford Transit Skyliner – basically a big van that Ford marketed as a “private jet on wheels.”

But, Ford has never used the “Skyline” name, and that could change if the current trademark application with the U.S. patent office is actually granted.

I’m sure I’ll see some of you saying in the comments that “Ford can’t do that” or “Skyline is owned by Nissan” and the latter would be right, to an extent. But, Nissan never trademarked that Skyline name in the U.S. and it could be, in theory, up for grabs. An oversight on Nissan’s part? Yeah, I’d say so. But, what does Ford intend to do with the Skyline name?

First Ford Tried to Ruin the Mach 1 Name, Now It Wants to Ruin the Skyline Name
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Yes, the same name that has been associated with Nissan for decades

If Ford really does get rights to the Skyline name, this specific trademark will only be valid in the United States, so a “Ford Skyline” probably won’t land outside of our homeland. As the application reads, Ford wants to use the name on “Motor land vehicles, namely, SUVS, trucks, and automobiles. So, the name could be used as a trim level on any Ford or Lincoln model, or it could be an entirely new model – even an SUV or, more likely, an EV, that is eventually produced by Ford or Lincoln.

First Ford Tried to Ruin the Mach 1 Name, Now It Wants to Ruin the Skyline Name
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Whether or not the trademark application will be approved, or if Ford\Lincoln will use it on a production model is still a big mystery. If we had to bet, we’d say it’s probably going to land on an electric Lincoln SUV. Since Skyline name outside of the U.S. is currently associated with a luxury vehicle of sorts, it would only make sense for Ford to slap it on a Lincoln. And, since Ford has pretty much said it’s done with anything but SUVs, don’t expect to see a new Ford car wearing the badge. Well, unless Ford wants to use the name for a small, mass-produced and mid-engined competitor to the C8 Corvette. I suppose the Skyline name might be a little better than “Ford Baby GT” or some other variation of the GT name. But, as far as I’m concerned Skyline should always harken back to Nissan, so let’s hope that Ford doesn’t slaughter this name like it tried to slaughter the Mach 1 name.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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