30 years ago, Nissan created its motorsports and high-performance division, Nismo. That was back in 1984. Now, it’s 2014, and Nismo is still alive and healthy as can be. Over the years, it’s been largely responsible for a lot of Nissan’s success in racing, so it’s only fitting that Nissan has released a commemorative video to celebrate Nismo’s 30th anniversary.
As with all trips down memory lane will show you, the video showcases Nismo’s history, beginning with its establishment in Omori, Tokyo, before running through all of its motor racing accomplishments. If you weren’t old enough to remember those years, Nismo was a formidable presence in a lot of racing series all over the world. It competed in Asia, and Europe, spread across numerous racing disciplines, including the 1986 Le Mans 24-Hour Race where Nismo first competed using the Nissan R85V.
High-level racing success for Nismo continued well into the 90’s and in the 2000’s. Along the way, Nismo also began expanding its reach by beginning aftermarket work on a handful of Nissan models, none more prominent than on the Skyline GT-R and its eventual successor, the Nissan GT-R.
Congratulations on 30 years of success and innovation, Nismo! We’d buy you a round of sake on us if we could, but since we can’t, we’ll just raise our metaphorical glasses and toast to more years of success, both on and off the race track.
We cover a lot of automotive-related material here at TopSpeed. From the latest and greatest vehicles with promises of fast quarter-mile times, insane 0-to-60 sprints, and the occasional gravel-shredding off-roader, it’s all about the newest and fastest.
But sometimes, you just have to slow down and enjoy the drive — to bask in every last mile of a pure driving experience in a pure sports car. That’s exactly what one man set out to do.
Scott Fisher and his beloved 1967 Datsun Fairlady Roadster are on a meandering mission to travel the United States in a clockwise fashion, while soaking in the experience on the timeless journey. No schedules needed.
Fisher started his epic journey last spring from his home in Las Vegas after selling his manufacturing business that he ran for 16 long years. It has since taken him over 30,000 miles through the American heartland, rolling over local highways and byways, while avoiding major routes and interstates “like the plague.” And it was all done in his beautiful ’67 Fairlady.
“I knew I needed to kinda’ get out, and unwind, and get my mojo back,” the 45-year-old man says. His journey has taken him north through the Pacific Northwest and over through the flyover states. Fisher’s goal was to stay up north during the summer months to avoid the extreme heat and sun exposure. “[It’s] allowed me to keep the top down, maybe 80 percent of the time.”
Click past the jump to keep reading about Scott’s amazing travels
Long before the Nissan GT-R wreaked havoc on the roads and earned its nickname, Godzilla, its predecessor was considered one of the most important cars in Nissan’s history. It was one that paved the way for a generation of drivers to, in their own words, "chooses the path of racing.”
Ever since the Skyline and the GT-R names were split, which led to the complete disappearance of the former in favor of the latter, not a lot of people have given the Nissan Skyline its due credit as one of the fiercest cars in the 1960’s.
In this video, we take a stroll down memory lane to reacquaint ourselves with how the legend of the Skyline was born all the way back to the 1964 Suzuka Grand Prix. This is where the earliest models of the Skyline, then a relative unknown model built by Prince Motor Company, took the fight to the most supreme machine of them all, the Porsche 904 Carrera GTS.
No, the Skyline didn’t win that particular race, but what it did was serve notice to just about everyone that this was a car that meant serious business.
We’re not gonna spoil you any more info from the mini-documentary because no amount of words will do justice to seeing the video for yourself.
About two weeks ago, rumors arose that Nissan would be offering just one generation for the GT-R, with no plans for a new model. However, today, the company has revealed a video that proves the contrary.
When talking about the race version of the GT-R, Chief GT-R engineer Kazutoshi Mizuno stated: "After the debut in 2007, this vehicle has been evolving year after year. By changing it to a racing specification to be implemented in the future, no matter what kind of super high performance feature or a new version is developed in the next five years, the durability and reliability in varying conditions can be verified in this race. I would like to make a promise that all this will be reflected in future GT-R."
That just proves that the newest rumors about the Nissan GTR aren’t something to toss out like yesterday’s garbage. Check out the video to see for yourself. Of course, in the process, you will also get a ton of information surrounding history of the GTR since its launch in 2007.
Not many Japanese automakers quite have the storied history of Datsun and Nissan. Even the now dominant Honda lineup is little more than a teenager in comparison to Nissan’s worldwide presence. With all of this history comes a lot of heritage, and it is obvious that Nissan and Datsun took and still do take this heritage very seriously, as they have over 400 various Datsun and Nissan vehicles dating back to the 1933 Datsun 12.
Recently, Nissan and Renault CEO, Carlos Ghosn, got to pay this warehouse turned pseudo museum a visit. He didn’t just waltz in and take a quick look at cars, as most of us do when we go to car shows. Nope, he hopped into a nearly 75-year-old, mint condition Datsun 17 Phaeton and went for a spin around the entire facility.
Seeing this warehouse full of classic cars that we rarely get to see is amazing in itself. The fact that Nissan takes special care to make sure these cars remain in impeccable shape truly shows how much Nissan respects its past. We all know that manufacturers hold back special models and keep them in good condition to show them off at later dates, but to see it on this scale and not dealing only with special models is impressive.
Nissan actually houses a staff full former staff and volunteers to keep about 70 percent of these classic imports operating. The warehouse also houses several classic Nissan rally cars and a wide array of Nissan-produced police cars.
The coolest thing about this whole visit is that Nissan filmed it and posted it online for all to see (the video is above). This is extremely unique, given the fact that the general public does not have access to this extravagant collection.
This lack of access may soon change, as former Nissan SVP, Kenichi Sasaki, stated that he hopes to see a Nissan Museum built so the public can enjoy these classic models. Our collective hats go off to Nissan for keeping these cars in this great of condition and allowing us a sneak peek into this restricted warehouse.
Back in the 1990s, Nissan was knees deep in sports cars. These sports cars began with the Sentra SE-R, then moved to the mid-range 240SX, and at the top end was the 300ZX. Even after the Sentra SE-R was eliminated in 1995, the 200SX SE-R, which was little more than a restyled Sentra, came into existence.
In the late 1990s, this all went away, as the 300ZX disappeared after 1996, and the 200SX and 240SX vanished in 1999. The Z-car was resurrected with the 350Z, then the 370Z, but the SX lineup has since remained dormant. Now with Subaru and Toyota teaming up to bring a new mid-level sports car to the marketplace, Nissan has again begun talks of releasing its own mid-level sports car.
According to Australian newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald, Nissan’s head of design said "It is the time to look at that [smaller engines]. With 370Z, we still don’t know next generation will have a larger or smaller engine." The chances of a Z-car with a lower engine size are rather doubtful, given that it has always increased in size throughout its entire lifespan. Plus you have to add in that the Z-car crowd is a tight-knit group that will likely not take change too well.
Those points all lead to Nissan possibly creating an all-new mid-level sports car, maybe even bearing the “SX” nameplate. A good possibility could be a 250SX bearing the same – or maybe better version of – the 200-horsepower, 2.5-liter engine found in the 2012 Sentra SE-R. This could also spawn a base level 200SX that has the 140-horsepower engine that you can find in the base 2012 Sentra, maybe with a few upgrades to punch up the power a bit.
Given the fact that the Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT 86 are not speed demons, Nissan would need to worry more about it looking and handling well, as opposed to making it a screamer. As of now, this is purely speculation, but it damn sure would be a cool thing to see!
Image is of the 2011 Nissan Esflow Concept which is said to preview the future sports car.
Nissan will continue celebrating the Z’s 40th anniversary with a display of six historic Z racers at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion on August 12th–15th at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif.
The list of vehicles on display will include: a Brock Racing Enterprises Datsun 240Z, a Bob Sharp Racing Datsun 240Z Chassis #00006, a Bob Sharp Racing Datsun 240Z IMSA GTU, a Nissan Motorsports 300ZX, a Nissan 370Z BRE Tribute Coupe, and a 2010 Nissan 370Z 40th Anniversary Edition, a model limited to only 1000 units.
The vehicles appearing at this event are no slouches either. A number of them have had an active racing history including appearances at SCCA National Championships, IMSA Manufacturers’, and Drivers’ Championship and victories at LeMans, Daytona, and Sebring. Not only will classic and newer Z models be on display during this automotive weekend, but a number of vintage Nissan race cars will also be on hand to partake in the racing events: John Morton will drive the #46 1970 Datsun 510 in the "1966 – 1972 Trans Am under 2 Liter Cars" class and a pair of 1985 Nissan GTPs (#83 and #84) owned by Toluca Lake Classic Motorsports will compete in the "1981 - 1989 FIA Mfg Championship & IMSA GTP" class.
Press release after the jump.