Nissan’s Zama Heritage Collection Is a Paradise of Skylines, Oddballs and Race Cars (And It’s Free)

A Car Nerd’s Guide To JapanAn insider demeanour during automobile enlightenment in Japan.  

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a nation is to check out a internal automobile museums. It’s a good denote of what forms of cars are appreciated there, how a internal automobile attention has shabby life around it and how a internal enlightenment has shabby a cars as well. Unlike in Italy, where a lot of a museums are located in some-more or reduction a same area, a Japanese museums are most some-more widespread out. One in Japan that’s always eluded me was a Nissan Zama Heritage Collection—until recently, during least.

The Honda Collection Hall is during Motegi, about dual hours north of Tokyo, while a a Toyota Automobile Museum is in Nagoya, a two-hour bullet sight float south of a capital.

There are a integrate other museums and collections widespread via a nation too. But until really recently, maybe 4 or 5 years ago, Nissan’s collection was untouched to a public.

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It was a box of meaningful a right people to get an invitation inside. But now, a singular array of people are authorised in to a collection any day. It’s turn a place where enthusiasts can revisit and see a story of one of Japan’s biggest and obvious automakers. You usually have to apply online and afterwards entrance is free.

Now, a reservation routine is all in Japanese and a guided debate is also Japanese, so it’ll assistance to move someone to interpret for you. The staff during a Heritage Collection highlight this isn’t a museum yet some-more a storage garage.

Since opening a doors to a public, a Heritage Collection has had over 15,000 visitors by a doors.

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The cars inside are a reduction of cars owned by Nissan and ones donated by private people and members of a Nissan Owner’s Club. There were about over 300 cars there, trimming from a really initial Datsun 12 Phaeton to Le Mans racers, Super GT legends, and flattering most each iteration of a GT-R ever.

Seventy percent of cars are kept in drivable condition. A lot of a cars get brought out to events or displayed several showrooms and museums.

There are dual tours each day: one in a morning and one in a afternoon. The debate is apart into 3 sections, starting with an introduction video to a story of Nissan. Amazingly, a video was in English with Japanese subtitles.

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Part dual is a guided debate around a cars with a beam explaining a stress of some of a equipment in a collection. Finally, there’s a 45 notation giveaway time to travel around a collection yourself to take photos and videos.

As shortly as a doors opened, my jaw dropped. If a NISMO Festival during Fuji Speedway is like examination Gran Turismo racing in genuine life, afterwards a Heritage Collection is like stepping into a ultimate Gran Turismo Nissan showroom, as if all a cars in those games were collected in one place in genuine life.

And we do meant all of them. From Pennzoil to Calsonic, they’re all here.

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Luckily for me we was means to skip a guided debate bit and usually went true to giveaway time. The staff were intensely accessible and holding a whole garage was breathtaking. It wasn’t a fact that I’m a biggest Nissan fanboy in a universe and observant a 1935 Datsun 12 Phaeton or an strange Infiniti Q45 creates me salivate, yet it was some-more a impact of observant all these cars in their well-kept condition lined adult ideally in sequential order.

It’s a large facility, a Heritage Collection is located in a tiny dilemma of what stays of Nissan’s Zama Operations facility. According to a staff there, during Carlos Ghosn’s shakeup adult of Nissan in a early aughts, he sole off some of a land here.

What stays of a strange Zama bureau is now used for Nissan’s growth of EV tech. Originally built in a 1960s, this was a bureau where cars that released a people were built such as a Sunny, Cherry, and Datsun trucks. Unsurprisingly, there’s a satisfactory few of these cars on arrangement during a collection today.

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It was also a good sign of some of a some-more engaging cars from Nissan’s past that have been lost today, such as a Pulsar GTi-R, a homologation special prohibited induce with 227 horsepower and AWD. The reasonably named “Hypermini” was Nissan’s initial incursion during an EV. With a operation of usually 71 miles, it wasn’t going to change a universe anytime soon, yet laid a foundations for what would turn a Leaf. Nissan usually done around 300 of these.

Then there’s a Bluebird SSS, fro a time when Nissan used to make sparkling tiny sedans.

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While we was admiring some of a racing cars, quite a usually road-legal GT-R LM, one of a caretakers took me aside. He asked me to follow him to a start of a collection. It incited out he saw me admiring a R33 LM and wanted to give me a one-on-one debate of a story of a Skyline.

Since this year outlines a 50th anniversary of a GT-R name, it would’ve been simply bold to decline.

It all started with a Prince Skyline. When Nissan acquired Japanese oppulance automaker Prince, it wanted to contest in motorsports with a Skyline, that creatively had a four-cylinder engine. Nissan motionless to put a six-cylinder engine from a incomparable Gloria into a Prince Skyline.

The strange Skyline was referred to as a “short-nose” due to it usually carrying a four-cylinder; to accommodate a Gloria’s six-cylinder engine a carp had to be stretched. This was a initial time a Skyline GT badge was put on a side of a Nissan car.

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Learning from their motorsports foe of a Prince Skyline, a Nissan Skyline GT-R was innate in 1969. The first-generation Skyline GT-R took Japan’s small, light, and race-bred sedans and coupes to a new level. It kickstarted a prolonged line of opening monsters.

The second-generation ‘Kenmeri’ Skyline was an expansion of a Hakosuka, yet most most rarer. Fewer than 200 of these were done yet no one knows a accurate number. My guide’s theory is around 197.

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After a nearby 20-year hiatus, a Skyline GT-R was brought behind in 1989 with a R32 Skyline. Proving to be a success in motorsports, it developed into a R33. This era coincided with a 40th Anniversary of a Skyline and brought behind a four-door GT-R as good as a one-off LM. Made to concede Nissan to attend in a GT1 competition array during Le Mans, a singular highway automobile was built and purebred in a UK.

Finally, a R34 was a finish of a line for a Skyline GT-R. This is a automobile that needs no introduction. Today, a GT-R is famous though a Skyline moniker, and it’s been on a marketplace a while yet is still during a tip of a game.

We finished a brief private debate in front of a Prince R380, behind it a complicated R35 Super GT racer. 40 years apart these dual cars yet that’s where it all began for a GT-R. My beam epitomised it good by observant Prince is fundamentally a prototype of NISMO.

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While Nissan adamantly calls this a storage facility, a Heritage Collection was though a doubt a best museum-but-not-a-museum I’ve been to. From a condition of a cars inside to a trickery itself, a perfect distance and cleanliness of it was phenomenal. Even if you’re not a large Nissan fan, usually to see all a story underneath one roof is a special thing to see. Not to discuss a impossibly accessible staff and entrance out during a finish carrying learnt a small bit some-more about a association that gave us a GT-R.

Here’s a small reward for you. On Sept. 23, for a special GT-R themed accommodate during a Daikanyama T-Site, a Nissan Heritage Collection brought out a one-off 1973 Skyline 2000GT-R uncover automobile displayed during a 1972 Tokyo Motor Show and R33 GT-R LM to element a Japan entrance of a ItalDesign GT-R50. It fit in good with a aged hits.

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