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Autotrader Find: 1986 Nissan Skyline GT-S R31

Most car enthusiasts know about the “R32” Nissan Skyline, followed by the R33, the R34 and the R35, which is the current Nissan GT-R you can buy in the United States. Many car enthusiasts don’t realize there were many Skyline models before that — and, in fact, that the “R32” wasn’t the original Skyline, but rather the seventh generation of a vehicle that came out back in the 1950s.

Pictured here is a sixth-generation Skyline, called the “R31” by Nissan. It’s currently listed for sale on Autotrader by a private seller in Charlotte, who’s asking $12,000 for it. It’s covered around 123,000 miles from new, and it’s finished in blue with a two-tone dark and light gray interior, boasting the square shapes and right angles you’d expect from the 1980s.

The primary reason most enthusiasts don’t know about the R31 is also the primary reason why it’s relatively cheap compared to most R32 models listed for sale: Nissan never made a high-performance “GT-R” version of the R31. Instead, this was one of the top-of-the-line models — the sporty GTS-T, whose 180-horsepower turbocharged 6-cylinder was peppy back in the 1980s, but hardly the giant that the R32 GT-R’s 276-hp “RB26” engine was.

Still, this GTS-T is a very cool car, and it hardly deserves to be forgotten by enthusiasts — particularly this example, which seems like it’s in unusually nice condition given its age and mileage.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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  1. FYI

    R31, not R32, is considered THE 7th Generation Skyline – at least in Japan! I should know – I have 2 – a 1988 GTS-T (RB25DET) and a 1986 Skyline Passage.

    These cars were WAY AHEAD of their time. Classic lines, auto A/C climate control, folding mirrors, reclining seats, Auto up/down driver’s window, the Passage from 1986 has automatic headlights – yes, auto headlights AND auto wipers that adjust with rain frequency!!! Those features have only come to the US in recent years!!
    So, it’s no wonder why THIS SKYLINE – the R31 – was the reason that Mercedes lobbied the US gov’t (in the mid ’80’s)and successfully had the 25 year import rule in the US.  Prior to that time, there was no 25-year wait period…

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Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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