The Iconic Series: HR31

The Iconic Series: HR31

The first few days of March are quite special for Skyline enthusiasts. Globally, March 2nd (3/2) through March 4th (3/4) are days in which owners of R32s, R33s, and R34s tend to associate with their cars. In the next coming days, we’ll release posts highlighting the more well-known generations of the Skyline, and today, we’ll start the celebration of those generations with an additional honorable mention- the HR31. 

While the HR31 had presence in multiple countries, most notable to enthusiasts is it’s presence on the circuits in Australia in the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC). Replacing the DR30 which had a successful run in the series, the HR31 was Nissan’s second generation of Skyline aimed at dominating the Group A spec racing class. Featuring for the first time a turbo straight-six DOHC powerplant, the RB20DET-R pushed a ballpark of 400bhp through the rear wheels. Featuring revised suspension design and aerodynamic front and rear spoilers, the car showed major potential. 

The debut of the HR31’s campaign by Gibson Motorsport in 1988 did not go as planned. Reliability issues, often with the gearbox, constantly stripped the chassis of good results. The best result for the car in it’s debut season was a third place finish at the Amaroo round for George Fury. In 1989 the team experienced a driver roster change and further developments for the engine which set up the chassis for better success. In 1990, the HR31 finally proved triumphant with two wins, and two-third placings by Jim Richards before he switched to the R32 GTR for the last two races of the season. His win in the final round, cemented Nissan’s first ATCC Championship after 10 years of trying.


Although the HR31 body style raced was a coupe, sedan and wagon iterations were also offered to consumers. The car fulfilled the Group A rules of race cars resembling the road cars, and the HR31 won over the fan-ship of diehard Nissan enthusiasts. It wasn’t the chassis that gave the Skyline the nickname of Godzilla, but it developed the momentum for the engineers at Nissan to create something that would soon dominate the racing world. 


We hope you enjoy this series of posts. Tomorrow, we highlight how the world met Godzilla…

Words: @jaygiatien