Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Car Pr0n #52

Man, I hit a stumbling block today. I stared at the computer for, well, several seconds before thinking of a really cool car to post...

3rd generation Nissan Skyline GT-R. While all the iterations had their strong points, the third gen had a twin-turbo inline 6 cylinder that put out 276 horsepower. In the late 1980s. Remember, this is the time period that saw the Ford 5.0L V8 only putting out 225 horsepower and the Chevrolet big-block 454 CI V8 putting out 210 HP. 276 HP in a small, light RWD car was an autocross dream, and the GT-R had the sneakers to pull it off.

Japanese cars have always been either Godzilla (yes, that is intentional, and Skyline fans ought to get it right off the bat) or ridiculously underpowered toys, like the original Honda Civic (which, for those that remember, was actually the CVCC, after the engine's designation). It was a 1300CC, 55 HP econobox in an age of American land yachts with engine displacements quadruple that size.

Man, give me a twisty track and a GT-R and a full tank of gas and that's one helluva fun afternoon...

That is all.


Evyl Robot Michael said...

CVCC - Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion.

Each cylinder had a weird, undersized, secondary intake valve plumbed to a third barrel on the carburetor. It was intended to cause a specific swirling of the air/fuel mix so it could safely burn leaner. That's why they got such fantastic fuel mileage and still had enough oomph to get you on the interstate, even if you weren't going to take any pink slips with one. They also burned clean enough that they didn't need a cat.

The original Civic did not in fact ship with a CVCC engine, but a ~1200 (first 1,169cc, later 1,237cc) I4 with a more conventional valve/carb setup. It wasn't until a couple years later that they introduced the CVCC 1,335cc and 1,487cc engines.

Although the 1.3L CVCC could never quite match the power levels of its 1.2L predecessor, in 1983, at the end of the second generation, they managed to massage a whopping 75 ponies out of the 1.5L in the Wagon variant, so your point about 80s Japanese horsepower stands well.

I would love to build something in the flavor of a T-bucket powered with something more exotic like GT-R R34 running gear or a turbocharged mulit-rotor Wankel either pulled from a Cosmo or homebrewed from Renesis parts. Could you imagine people's heads exploding at seeing such an abomination?

Laura said...

you know, Jay, you live near at least one GT-R owner...i've seen'em down there. dude has a second and a third gen...he managed to sneak'em in before the government really locked down on'em.

i say find the guy (he hangs out in Manassas A LOT), become friends with him, and talk him into letting you drive it. :D

Will said...

Had a co-worker in the '80-'86 era that had a Datsun 810 2dr Sedan. He had done a bit of suspension work, but it was stock under the hood. IIRC, it came with the I-6 from the 240z, with the fuel injection from the 260z.
Power was decent, but the handling was astounding. Closest thing on the street I've driven would be the '93-'96 RX-7. He was pondering adding a turbo, or swapping a v8, but ended up buying a new Nissan 4x4 pickup, and sold the car to his cousin.
Very rare model here in the US, as most all of them were station wagons, it seemed. I looked for one for a few years, but never found a sedan.

We were coming back into CA after watching the Reno Air Races, running down I-80, when he decided to slow down a bit. A few minutes later, a CHP 302v8 4spd Mustang stopped us. Told us he had been trying to keep us in sight for twenty minutes, but couldn't gain an inch until we backed off the throttle. My buddy wasn't even pushing it, just cruising along about 90mph. Same speed corners and straights. Cop was running 120mph in the straights to make up for his slower corners. They had bought a bunch of those Mustangs to catch speeders, and crashed a LOT of them. No smog equipment, so they couldn't sell them like normal.

Will said...

BD Micro in San Jose, in the late 70's, were putting a turbo Honda Civic engine in the Bede BD-5 pusher prop, single seat, all aluminum, kit airplane. It was rated @150 hp. The tiny little jet that James Bond flew in one of the movies was the jet version of this plane. The Coors Light Silver Bullet was the same type of jet.

Even with the prop, it was still fast. The development pilot at BDM told me that he had to start letting down 40 miles away from the airfield, with major throttle reduction, to keep from overrunning airliners heading the same way.

Brad_in_MA said...

Evyl Robot Michael,

Mad props to you sir for knowing CVCC. As a young man I owned a Civic and an Accord, both equipped with the CVCC engine. The engine wasn't evil -- the carb was truly evil. I had a tweaky one and got VERY GOOD at tearing down, cleaning, and rebuilding that foul thing. Could remove, rebuild, and install the carb in under an hour. Mostly I appreciated Honda's outside the box thinking with the system. IIRC, it wasn't until 1979 or 1980 that Hondas needed cats to comply with emission rules.

- Brad

Evyl Robot Michael said...


Thank you sir, but useless information is largely useless. :D I had a few second gen Civics that I played around with in my teens and twenties. The culmination was a stripped '82 hatch with a '79 Accord motor and tranny, Weber carb, cowl induction, and straight pipe dumped right behind the driver's side front tire. That little car would breath fire out the pipe and roast the tires from 65mph, much to the shock of fellow commuters. A friend at church once said to me, "your car just isn't natural." LOL! The funniest thing about that little Civic was that the general feel of it was not so far off from that of an early 60's Vette or Cobra. If you could imagine such a thing with half an engine driving the front wheels instead of the back. The twelve year old girl next door could lift the back wheels off the ground. She was unruly yet predictable in the curves, and deceptively ferocious in the straight aways (the Honda, not the neighbor girl). I miss that car. :( Maybe I'll build another one day.