Nissan has big plans for the U.S. launch of the 2017 GT-R NISMO. In addition to plans to launch it at the 2016 Japanese Classic Car Show in Long Beach, California, the company has plans to team up with Matchbox for a very special model depicting the GT-R that started it all.
While the venue itself is an unconventional choice for an important launch like this (which is usually reserved for a major auto show) Nissan claims that the decision was made mainly due to the company’s desire to highlight the historic motorsport heritage they have embraced since the GT-R made its debut back in 1969. That event would foreshadow the gradual evolution that the GT-R underwent over the years before becoming the world-beating supercar that it is today.
At the time, the GT-R was originally a range-topping trim for the Nissan Skyline. It just happens that Matchbox is debuting a die-cast version of that beloved model which will make its appearance on store shelves in 2017. Naturally this presented the perfect opportunity for a dream mashup between the two firms. In addition to the die-cast car sharing the stage with its modern counterpart, both will be accompanied by a privately owned 1971 tribute Skyline that represents the same “Hakosuka” generation of car as the original GT-R. In addition to the aforementioned Skyline, Nissan will be bringing several other iconic models along including a 1969 Patrol SUV, which was sold in the U.S. for a brief period in the 1960s. That particular model will be joined by its modern day successor the 2017 Nissan Armada, and a 1972 BRE Datsun 510 which smoked European rivals in the 1971–1972 Trans-Am 2.5 Challenge. Rounding out the caravan will be a vintage Fairlady Sport roadster, one of only 217 that were built.
The Japanese Classic Car Show will take place on September 24th. This year could mark the start of a partnership between the event and Nissan, with Nissan potentially using the venue to debut other new models over the next few years, in a fashion similar to Volkswagen and its flurry of vehicle unveilings at the annual Worthersee event in Austria.