On its July 1986 launch, the first locally built Nissan Skyline was a breath of fresh air. Compared to its local six cylinder rivals, Ford’s reshelled 1966 Falcon and Holden’s re-engineered 1977 Cortina rival from Opel, it was at least new.
It wasn’t the prettiest car on the block nor was it the roomiest. But it was a tough, long-life alternative powered by a six cylinder drivetrain ahead of anything previously offered in an Australian car, even if it was shared with the VL Commodore.
By 1988, the Skyline had the added advantage of being the only compact rear drive 3-litre family sedan still built in Australia for those buyers who needed the six cylinder towing capacity and performance without the bulk. In an unusual reversal of local production car racing history, the Skyline was built locally after the race teams firmed up plans to replace their racing Bluebirds with the Skyline.
Three enthusiasts within Nissan, the late Howard Marsden, former Holden designer Paul Beranger and Walter Roso then convinced local Nissan management to do the same for all Australians!
The Skyline-VL Commodore Relationship