When someone mentions the name Nissan Skyline, chances are, you’d be thinking of the holy trinity of Nissan Royalty, the R32, R33 and R34 GTRs. Or, if perhaps you’re into Kyushas, the first one that comes to mind might be the OG Hakosuka. But since we’ve already taken a look at the Hakosuka previously, I thought it’d be a good idea to bring out its successor, the Kenmeri (also by Ignition Models), for a quick look.
First up, a quick history lesson. Though the Kenmeri is currently one of (if not the) most sought after of all Japanese Nostalgic Cars, it was actually the least successful model on both road and track. Although through no fault of its own as it was launched right as the oil crisis of the 70s hit and as a result, sales of the flagship Skyline were dismal, with only 197 units sold.
At the same time, Nissan also decided to pull out of Motorsports, which sealed the fate for this generation of GT-R as it no longer had any purpose. With sporty cars no longer selling, Nissan pulled the plug on its production less than a year after its unveiling.
But as we all know, time makes fools of us all and what was once an unwanted failure of a car has now, thanks to its extremely short production run, become the rarest and most sought after variant of GT-Rs ever produced with prices to match, if they ever do come up for sale of course, as rumours have it that current Japanese owners of such cars prefer selling them to locals, wanting their cars to stay on JDM soil than be exported out.
I’m sure there’s no need for me to go into the details of this generation of Skyline being blessed with the nickname Kenmeri, since it’s a well known tale that’s been told countless times. I’ll just leave these TVCs here for you to enjoy. Yes life seemed much simpler back then. If you are really keen to learn more about the Ken & Mary story, click here. It’s a super good read and well worth your time.
They don’t make automotive adverts like these anymore. One last tid-bit of history for all you car buffs. Since we all should by now know the story and background of the Kenmeri nickname, let’s get into the chassis code. KPGC110. What do those jumble of letters and numbers enthusiasts keep referring to actually mean? It’s all pretty simple really (ish).
“K” means it is a 2-door coupe. “P” is used for cars with “Prince” engines, either the Inline-4 G15 or G18 engines or the big-daddy Inline-6 GT-R S20. “G” means the car has a longer front nose *wink wink, G-nose S30 Fairlady Z* to fit a 6-cylinder power plant (4 potters had a slightly shorter bonnet), and “C110” denotes the model generation.
Put them all together and in this instance, KPGC110 means a C110 generation Coupe running a 6-cylinder Prince engine, which can only mean, this is a GT-R Coupe. Not too difficult right? There is also one more alphabet that is rarely seen, a “V”, for the very rare van/wagon variants.
This is also why many GT-R clones usually come with the code KGC110 because while they might have the same C110 Coupe body style with a 6-cylinder engine and long nose, from the chassis code, we can ascertain that even though they have Inline-6s, they are not the much coveted Prince S20 engines.
Back to our car, this is once again a 1:18 scale resin model from Ignition Model which means high details, high quality and a correspondingly high price tag. Is it worth it though? Well, that’s all subjective of course. Being an Ignition Model, it also means a representation of a tuned car. In this instance, although no names are mentioned, it does look like something that could have easily rolled out of Japanese Kyusha tuning royalty Rocky Auto.
Slammed down to the ground, our red car sports a set of staggered black Watanabe wheels on stretched Bridgestone rubber fitted under a set of black overfenders. All these represented accurately in 1:18 scale down to the tyre markings and overfender rivets.
Overall paint and finish is as per usual Ignition Model standards (very good), and even though I’ve had this model on display for over a year, the red is still as striking and glossy as when it was brand new. One thing that cannot be shown in pictures is the heft of this model and it does carry with it substantial weight, giving a pretty solid feel.
In terms of visual quality and aesthetic details, there is absolutely nothing to fault on this model as every line, surface and surf line is miniaturised almost perfectly. Even the chrome bits are well represented and have so far, shown no signs of wear. Lights are also all very well designed with no mounting pegs in sight. A larger set of tailpipes would be lovely but those currently on the car now are still fine.
One area where they didn’t need to put in much effort on a sealed model would be the interior but cutting corners is apparently not in Ignition Models’ language and they have once again done an excellent job decking out the interior. Even if the only way for us to enjoy the details is by straining our eyes through thin plastic windows.
So, back to our original question. Is it worth the money? These resin sealed cars are not exactly cheap but when you take into account their obsession to detail and their very unique subject matter, then yes, definitely. The only problem though, would be trying to hunt down one of these models in the first place as just like the real car, Ignition Models makes a very limited run of each car and also just like the real car, are very much sought after in the 1:18 Automotive World.