Weekly Treasure: 1990 Nissan Skyline GTS

Car Culture / Comments

The R32 was also a sedan.

Times are tough for Nissan these days. Sales are down in North America and new product is desperately needed. The good news is that the Japanese automaker has a revival plan in the works. We remain hopeful as we hate seeing a legendary automaker experience tough times. So this got us searching around for some lesser-known Nissans from past years, some of which were never sold in the US. The Nissan Skyline GTS was one of them. Yes, this is the R32. And yes, it was sold as both a coupe and a sedan. R32s can now be imported to the US following the end of the 25-year ban on vehicles built solely for overseas markets.

For the most part, Skyline enthusiasts have been buying the coupes, but the sedan version is also quite special. Both variants were launched in 1989 powered by a series of straight-six engines. There was a base inline-four model but it's the inline sixes that are more desirable.

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One of the reasons for the R32's popularity is because it was well ahead of its time when it launched. Perhaps the best example is that it offered four-wheel steering, with the rear wheels hydraulically linked to the front steering. Back in 1989, this was quite something and technology such as this was typically limited to more exotic and expensive vehicles. Now, as an ancestor to today's Nissan GT-R, the R32 was still quite a bit different. One example is the fact that not all versions were all-wheel drive. Rear-wheel-drive was also available, such as on this 1990 Nissan Skyline GTS sedan. It's currently up for sale on Craigslist with a price tag of only $7,500. Total mileage: 59,000.

Power comes from a 2.0-liter inline-six with 153 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual routes that power to the rear wheels. Basically what you're looking at is a RWD, manual-equipped Japanese sports sedan. Oh, it's also right-hand drive.

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The seller, a dealership specializing in imported Japanese vehicles, claims there are no serious mechanical problems, such as leaks. It was only very recently imported from Japan. Looking more closely at the included photos, the Skyline's general condition inside and out looks solid. There are no visible scratches and there's only some minor wear and tear on the inside, which is expected for nearly any vehicle that's three decades old.

It's also worth mentioning the R32 Skyline was classified as a "compact" body style in Japan. Why? Because exterior dimensions determined tax liability. The smaller the vehicle, the less tax owners paid.

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Nissan quit building Skyline sedans following the discontinuation of the R34 generation in 2002. Needless to say, today's GT-R is coupe only. America never truly received an equivalent Skyline sedan, though the Nissan Maxima, in its early days, was dubbed as the "four-door sports car."

If you're in the market for a legendary JDM sedan and are prepared for some minor difficulties when at the drive-thru, this is your bargain find.

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