Posted Jul 22nd 2012 1:57PM
At Autoblog Canada we always get a chance to see, touch and drive the latest hardware but we always make time to appreciate the classics. The Nissan Skyline was a performance staple in its native Japan for nearly 20 years before the company finally unveiled the GT-R to the world in 2008. For most North Americans, the R35 is all they know and have never had the opportunity to experience some of the legacy models like the: R32, R33 and highly advanced R34. However, the annual Skymeet event held at importer Right Drive draws in record numbers of them from across the country.
Here in Canada, our vehicle importation laws allow any vehicle 15 years old (or older) to be easily brought in. And when late 2004 came around, the 1989 Nissan Skyline GT-R was eligible and ships carrying them started flowing into western ports. As the most winning GT race car of all time, the R32 was the dream of those fascinated with its 29 consecutive race wins, spanning four straight seasons of Japan touring car series. With a 280 hp 2.6L twin turbo inline-6, all-wheel steering and intelligent all-wheel drive, the featherweight chassis was lightyears ahead of other street cars and totally dominated in race trim.
Enthusiasts also imported other Skylines including the RWD, single turbo GTS-T and the 4-door GTS-4 but often swap in the more potent RB26DETT mill to push them. More recently, the R33 GT-R has become available which first hit the market in 1995. We can recall seeing an R33 V-Spec over in the U.K. back in the mid 1990's and being awestruck by its power and presence. The holy grail of the lineup is the R34, which will be eligible for import in 2014 and we can guarantee that many current owners will be flipping their prized Skylines for one of those or perhaps just adding another to the collection.
Skymeet 2012 drew out many Skylines from different provinces for a day of sun, food and awards. Check out our gallery just to see some of these nearly quarter century classics still on the road and running strong.
Image Credit: Copyright 2012 Dave Pankew / AOL