Back in the early 80s when the Japanese Super Silhouette series were at its alltime high in popularity Kazuyoshi Hoshino drove his iconic Nissan Silvia S110 silhouette racer to many victories. Kazuyoshi Hoshino was a smart man: apart from founding the Hoshino Racing he also founded the Hoshino Impul company which produced the Impul D-01 wheels as their first product. By mounting these wheels on his silhouette racer he had the best advertising possible and many of these wheels were sold to his (young) followers.
Also this guy fell for them and mounted them on his Nissan Gazelle S110, just like his hero Hoshino. Definitely a keepsake for the family album!
Back in 1982 Kazuyoshi Hoshino was the star of the Grand Championships around Japan: he both competed within the long distance Group C races and also in the more popular Group 5 (aka Super Silhouette) races where he drove his Hoshino Impul Silvia: Two races on the same day: isn’t that a bit too much for a man?
Okay, maybe not 100% true: you can certainly spot a 240RS outside Japan, but probably not on the open roads! Outside Japan normally these cars end up somewhere in the corner of a museum or only be driven on circuits while the Japanese actually are very fond of driving heritage out on the open roads. Only in Japan: spot a Nissan 240RS in the wild Imagine what it would be like to hear a deep growl coming closer and closer, you turn your neck to the direction the sound is coming from and all you can see is this very wide flared 240RS homologation special!
It was inevitable: one of the Silvias had to feature sooner or later! This week we feature the Nissan Silvia S110, the car that became famous through Kazuyoshi Hoshino during the Super Silhouette Formula till the cars appearance changed to the newer Silvia S12 bodyshape. This car inspired many Silvia S110 owners to convert it into a Grancha style lookalike!
The predecessor of the Nissan S110 was the ill fated S10: a “traditional” looking sports coupe with a not too hot engine. It was a big failure in Japan and got easily outsold by the Toyota Celica (and the Carina hardtop coupe) and Mazda RX5/RX3. Nissan decided to make the S110 the best car ever! Nissan saw the immense popularity of the rotary Mazdas and thought a rotary engine would be the solution. They forgot that Mazda already had 15 years of experience in rotary engines and Nissan’s attempt was a big failure: it proved to be very unreliable. Nissan decided to release the car with the new Z engine instead to get the production started.
There are actually two cars with the S110 chassis number: the Gazelle and the Silvia. The Gazelle had a rectangular grille, just as high as the headlights, while the Silvia has a slightly narrowed grille. The Gazelle/Silvia were produced that all Nissan dealerships could carry the S110. The Gazelle was only sold in Japanes and Australia while the Silvia got exported to Europe and the US (as the 200sx).
The Z engine featured a 1.8, 2.0 and 2.2 liter displacement. The S110 really got its excitement after the introduction of the FJ20E with its facelifted RS model: the DOHC 4 valve EFI 2 liter engine produced 150HP. It featured a big port with dual valve springs and a wide angle bucket on shim valvetrain (only found on the Nissan S20 engine before) and was essentially a blueprint for the later RB and CA engines!
The interior was basically an incarnation on the space age designed interior of the Silvia S10. It had a wide console stretching over the transmission tunnel. The material was, like every other late 70s/early 80s car, basic plastic in a two tone scheme.
In march 1983 the Silvia S110 got succeeded by the Nissan S12 in Japan. It wasn’t until 1984 that the S12 was available in other countries.
I understand why the Nissan Silvia/Gazelle S110 is a very popular bosozoku style car: everyone wants to share a bit of that Hoshino spirit! Even though I prefer the later S12 styling more, I think the car itself is a very beautifully styled sports coupe! I would drive one any day!