Unique JDM

Nissan Hakosuka Skyline GT-R KPGC10 | The Very First GT-R

Unbeknownst to some, the first Nissan GT-R did not begin with the R32 Skyline, in fact, the very first GT-R was already created way back in 1969 with the introduction of the Nissan ‘Hakosuka’ Skyline GT-R model code PGC10, and later remodeled into a faster, slimmer, and lighter model known as the KPGC10. And although KPGC10 is the official name, the more common name for the 1969 GT-R is Hakosuka, meaning ‘Box Skyline’ in Japanese. Hako means ‘box’ and suka stands short for ‘Sukairain’ which basically means Skyline.

The 1969 Hakosuka GT-R was only sold in the domestic market of Japan, thus making it a ‘true’ JDM car. And although in theory, you’ll be able to import one as it is now older than 25 years you’d have a hard time finding one as only a mere 1,945 units of the PGC10 and KPGC10 were ever produced. But if you against all odds do find one you might find that it was all in vain, as these Hakosuka’s fetch a hefty price tag. The KPGC10 has been seen listed and sold for over $200,000 a few times now. However, the closely related generation to come, the 1973 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R (KPGC110) was listed and sold on BHAuction for an incredible 47,300,000 Yen which equals about $430,000.

The engine of the Hakosuka

Nissan knew that their engine had to be special in order for them to beat their competition. Much of the competition was still using heavily revised four-cylinder engines, but the market was changing. In 1967 Toyota released the 2000GT with its brand new 2.0L Inline-Six engine which quickly changed the world’s automotive view of Japan. Nissan capitalized on this proven strategy and pursued a six-cylinder engine themselves.

Prior to 1966, the Prince Motor Company was an independent manufacturer of airplanes, engines, and luxury automobiles. But in 1966 merged together with Nissan Motor Company. And with Prince’s long experience with advanced engines managed to come up with an engine design known as the S20 engine which was derived from Prince’s GR8 engine which was used in racing.

Nissan’s S20 engine featured a water-cooled 2.0L (1,989cc) double overhead camshaft (DOHC), Mikuni-Solex carburetors this allowed for 160 hp (119 kW) 177 Nm (130 lb. ft.) @ 7,000 RPM and was a huge technological advancement from Nissan’s older four-cylinder designs.

The S20 eventually also made its way into the Fairlady Z model.


The Hakosuka offers the classic 60s, and 70s interior look we all find so appealing. Wooden trims, simplicity, and purpose. The interior was more or less constructed to give the driver a great driving experience. The passengers would find no luxuries laying around. Considering this is a small Japanese Coupé the rear seats are even small for Japanese standards, good luck trying to squeeze a fully grown adult in there, they won’t have a pleasant time. But that’s the thing with the Hakosuka, it wasn’t Nissan’s intent to please the passengers, this was a driver’s car.

Taking into account this car was manufactured during the late 60s, the interior of the KPGC10 model wasn’t all that bad. Quality wise it was certainly above-average considering the timeline.

The classic 3-spoke steering wheel and large speedometer and tachometer bring out a certain desire to be had. The 5-speed manual wooden gear shifter might as well be the Mona Lisa of the JDM community, it is just done so simple yet so elegantly.

The Hakosuka was optioned with a few different interior designs. This specific one was optioned with the patterned floor mats and wooden trim. If this came with a wooden steering wheel it would just be the cherry on the ice cream.

While the bucket seats might not look very supportive, they certainly did their duty. While an owner which took the Hakosuka circuit racing would likely exchange them for a pair of aftermarket bucket seats, the original seats were definitely enough for some exciting street driving.


Perhaps an unpopular opinion, but we think the 1969 Skyline GT-R is the best-looking GT-R out of the entire lineup. Arguably, the Hakosuka doesn’t have any bad sides, it has very satisfying proportions and still got some unique features that set it off from the competition. Although considered ‘boxy’ it certainly has got some good lines where it counts such as overfenders which came as standard from the factory.

The 1969 Skyline GT-R has the characteristic rearview mirrors set out on the side of the hood, this was due to a regulation that stated the rearview mirrors should be visible throughout the windscreen. The Hakosuka is also recognized for its unique twin-rectangle taillight design. And perhaps more noteworthy of all, the legendary ducktail spoiler which was available for option.

The Skyline GT-R KPGC10 Was an Unprecedented Racing Machine

Perhaps the greatest Japanese race car of all time, the 1969 Skyline GT-R amassed an incredible 50 victories in less than a 2-year and 10-month period. It became so good that the saying goes that the only real competition the Skyline faced was said to be another Skyline.

The race engine of the Hakosuka featured an 8,400 RPM and 230hp engine which allowed it to get the edge over the competition. The first 1969 GT-R win came on May 3, 1969 in the JAF Grand Prix at Fuji Speedway. Out of the 50 wins the Hakosuka achieved, an incredible 49 of them were consecutive wins, the 50th win came on March 20, 1972 in the Fuji GC Series.

You could almost state that the Hakosuka was a racecar made legal for the road, and not the other way around.

The Hakosuka, the Beginning of a Lifelong Era

As briefly mentioned earlier, the 1969 Skyline GT-R PGC10 and KPGC10 have an unprecedented place in the history of Nissan’s sports cars. More specifically it was the first car to ever embrace the GT-R badging, a name which has over the years grown to become the center of the Japanese sports car market.

It is so fascinating looking back at when the GT-R lineup because every time a new version was released (R32, R33, R34 etc.) they were so far ahead of the competition in terms of agility, technology, and speed. Both the Hakosuka and R32 were unchallenged on the race track, even so, that the latter eventually got banned due to its superiority. Then we have the R35 which was unveiled in 2007, and although technically not a Skyline still carries the GT-R badge. The performance of the R35 GT-R was just incredible to witness at the time. Cars with twice the price tag such as the Ferrari F430 or Lamborghini Gallardo stood no chance against the R35. In a straight line the Porsche Turbo kept pace with the R35, but at more than twice the price.

The R35 brought acceleration to a new level, thanks to its 3.8L twin-turbocharged V6 could accelerate the GT-R from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in less than 3.0 seconds, something only the likes of Porsche could do at the time.

And all of this, thanks to the 1969 Nissan Skyline GT-R PGC10, the very first GT-R.


Engine Name
Nissan S20
Engine type
Spark-ignition 4-stroke
Cylinder Alignment
Fuel System
3x Mikuni-Solex Carburetors
Charge system
1989 cc (2.0L)
160 hp (117.5 kW)
177 Nm (131 ft.lb)
Drivetrain layout
Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Curb Weight
1,120 kg (2,469 lbs)
Top speed
200 km/h (124 mph)
E. Lindgren

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