Last week the poll decided the Tomica Skyline KDR30 as a winner in the sudden death between this car and the Impul Silvia Turbo S12. Therefore I feature a Popular Bosozoku Cars special this week: the Tomica Skyline RS Turbo KDR30! 🙂
The Super Silhouette Formula was fully according to the rules of the FIA Group 5. In 1979 the rules were changed to Generation 4 in which the FIA allowed the so called “Special Production Cars” in which the FIA allowed cars falling in Group 1 to 4 can be modified extensively but restricted the width, the height (roofline) and the shape of the car to remain original (hence the silhouette name). The loophole was that is only accounted for the body of the car and not for the fenders and therefore cars were still standard width but featured the ridiculously wide fenders. Maybe you can best compare the Super Silhouette formula cars to the current modern DTM racers with their big winged silhouette cars.
In Japan these series were new and were used as a warm up of the Fuji Grand Champion of the year. After 1982 the FIA changed the rules of the Group 5 in favor of Group B, however it continued in Japan as opening races for the JSPC during 1983 and only two races were held in 1984.
After years of absence in production car racing Nissan intended to fully dominate the new group 5 series and returned with a set of Fairladies in 1979 and lost. In 1980 and 1981 private teams used a Nissan Violet 710 and a Silvia S110 and Nissan supplied them with parts like the LZ20B engine. The S110 only had two wins during those early years In 1982 they teamed up with Nissan and had a line up of the Skyline KDR30, Silvia S12 and the Bluebird 910.
And it worked: the Tomica Nissan Skyline KDR30, driven by Hasemi Masahiro (a former KPGC10 driver), dominated along with the Impul Silvia Turbo S110 in 1982 and the S12 in 1983, driven by Hoshino Kazuyoshi, the Super Silhouette formula series in 1982 and 1983 while being backed up by the Bluebird KY910. The Skyline KDR30 had a total of 7 victories: 2 in 1982 and 5 in 1983!
Based upon the shape of the Nissan Skyline RS R30 the Tomica Skyline KDR30 was one of the most powerful cars in the Super Silhouette formula. Note that the Skyline RS Turbo only was for sale after the Tomica Skyline KDR30 raced for over a year! Also the RS-X Turbo Tekamen (???), as known as the Iron Mask, was launched in august 1983 which is almost at the end of Super Silhouette Formula era. The car never got facelifted to match up with the RS-X new front end.
Huge spoilers were needed to keep the car on the ground and even the rear end was lengthened to create even more downforce on the rear wheels. To keep the weight down (1005kg!) the car featured a tubular chassis with only partly a monocoque design of aluminum. All exterior was made from fibreglass and of course they needed a 2 liter racing spec engine to power this beast.
The car featured the LZ20B engine. The LZ engine was back then the racing spec engine by Nissan and was based upon the L engine (many flavors) featuring a different head with a 16 valve twin cam. So the LZ20 was basically an overbored L20 engine (2082 cc instead of 1952 cc) with a special twin cam 16 valve head on it. The LZ20 engine was first used in a Nissan Violet A10 doing a safari rally and later on in a Violet KP710 SSS and featured in many formula race cars later on.
The LZ20B used in the Skyline KDR30 was improved a lot over the years and featured electronic fuel injection and turbo charging through a T05B turbo. It was able to output 570ps (563bhp) at 7600 rpm and delivered 539 nm at 6400 rpm. The competing Silvia Turbo S12 and Bluebird 910 did also have the same LZ20B engine but both were entirely different tuned: some sources say the Silvia was only capable of 500ps and it did that at 8000 rpm. For the Silvia it didn’t really matter because it was much more streamlined than the Skyline and Bluebird.
To keep the car on the track SSR provided the front rims of 15 inch and the rear rims of 19 inch in diameter. Note that the turbine lookalike rims only featured during the 1983 and 1984 season: in 1982 it featured Rays mesh type rims as seen in the picture above. The Dunlop tires were 270mm wide and at the rear 350mm, that is almost as wide as the current Formula one spec! Also the car was slowed down by four Lockheed disk brakes with four pistons per caliper!
In this old video you can see a highlight on the Skyline KDR30:
You can really see the LZ20R, the intercooler and the big lockheed disk brakes well in this vid
And in part 2 you can see it perform during a race:
Also this car gets confused with the Group C Nissan Skyline RS Turbo C which also featured the number 11 in some occasions. It looks quite similar but is not the same car. This car was ordered by a Nissan dealer in South Africa to feature in the Kyalami 9 hour endurance race in 1982 and had to meet the Group C specifications. It is lower than the Super Silhouette Formula counterpart (different height regulations) and has a different front and rear. The car was used in a few other Group C races as well but was never really successful.
Nowadays the car is still regarded as an incredible piece of history. It marked the return of the Skyline to the racing circuits which was very important for the Japanese audience. It even resulted in the hope the GT-R designation would return on the Skyline but Nissan waited with that till 1989 with the debut of the R32. You can still buy lots of merchandise around the Tomica Skyline KDR30 Super Silhouette formula: diecast models, model kits, posters and it even featured in Gran Tourismo 2 as a price car in the 80’s Sports Car Cup. 😀 The Tomica Skyline available as diecast model from Ebbro The funny thing is that I was unable to find a Tomica diecast of the Tomica Skyline KDR30 Super Silhouette so far… So if anyone found one: let me know! 😉
I really understand why the looks of this car got copied in so many ways: it looks like an unleashed beast when driving on the circuit! It was an incredible and outragious car at the same time! And eventhough it only shared its front and tail lights with the original Skyline RS it is still an icon for the whole Skyline R30 generation.
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).
Nissan Silvia and Gazelle engines
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.
My take on the Nissan Silvia and Gazelle
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! 🙂
This week we have another unpopular Bosozoku styled car: I initially planned to do a popular bosozoky styled car with the Celica XX but then I realized I already did the Corona RT40 last week, so the Celica XX feature will have to wait a few weeks I guess.
You could consider this FC a bit of a mix between racing style and Kyusha style, but the huge lip and oil cooler in front makes it Bosozoku styled!
Bosozoku styled Mazda RX7 FC
I have no idea why the RX7 FC would be an unpopular Bosozoku car: it is Mazda, it is rotary and it looks like a Porsche 928/944… Maybe it is too modern?
Factory stock Mazda RX7 FC
Back in 1986 the FC replaced the SA/FB and was produced till 1992 when it was replaced by the FD. The SA/FB was a more popular than the FC: the FC only sold half of the SA/FB in numbers.
But the FC was actually a better car than the SA/FC: it was very modern, had a better engine, featured ABS, adjustable suspension and even featured a convertible!
Factory stock Mazda RX7 FC
The FC only featured the 13B engine which was available naturally aspired and turbocharged. The power ranged from 146hp to 200hp.
Ryosuke Takahashi and his white FC
Lately the FC became very popular after Initial D featured a white FC driven by Ryosuke Takahashi. He is one of the most charismatic persons in that series and his FC is styled very subtile so it is actually the opposite of the Bosozoku styled FC at the top of this article. 😉
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.