The First Nissan Skyline GT-R Was a Four-Door Sleeper

Nissan beat BMW to the super sports-sedan game by nearly 20 years.

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YouTubeJay Leno's Garage

The Nissan Skyline GT-R is thought of as a two-door, but this legend actually started as a humble four-door sedan back in 1969. It wasn't until 1971 that the more familiar coupe arrived, and Nissan stopped building four-door GT-Rs altogether. With a little over 800 built, that makes this four-door GT-R one of the rarest, and coolest, ever built.

You could even think of this as Japan's take on a muscle car—a practical family car with a (relatively) big engine. No, the GT-R didn't have a V8, but it did have a masterpiece of a straight-six—a 2.0-liter that made around 160 horsepower when new. And unlike most muscle cars, the original GT-R handled, proving its worth on the race tracks of Japan with countless victories.

Perhaps we should instead think of the original GT-R as a precursor to the BMW M5—a subtle sports sedan, with sports-car beating performance. The original GT-R was a car nearly 20 years ahead of its time.

However you want to classify it, though, the original GT-R is great. Jay Leno finds that out for himself behind the wheel of at Original Rare in Orange County. The engine is especially impressive, with great top-end performance and a raspy sound to die for.

These early cars are among the most desirable of all GT-Rs, and it's easy to see why. Unfortunately, only 831 were built and far fewer survive. So if one like this comes up for sale, you know what to do.

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