This is huge. NISMO announced this week that its is launching a program to recreate discontinued parts for certain Nissan cars. Called the Heritage Parts program, its purpose is to “provide support for Nissan performance models.” First up is the R32 Nissan Skyline GT-R, which achieved classic status three years ago.
The program comes as part of a reshuffle of Nissan’s corporate structure. A newly established NISMO Cars division, part of Nissan’s Autech subsidiary, will focus on road cars and operate distinct from the motorsports side of the business.
Beyond the convenience of being able to buy parts for your R32 fresh from Nissan again, the program is a testament how seriously the Skyline GT-R is treated as a classic. Nissan clearly believes that serving enthusiasts and keeping the cars on the road will be good for the company’s brand image.
Other manufacturers, especially German ones, have established their own restoration programs over the years. Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW all have similar plans for owners of their classic models. Honda has maintained one for the NSX as well, albeit in Japan.
Of course, it’s not the first time Nissan has tried something like this. In the 90s, Nissan USA started a campaign to buy back, restore, and resell from the dealership Datsun 240Zs. The Vintage Z program was axed after about 40 cars were restored due to cost.
The Heritage Parts program will differ slightly, focusing on parts rather than whole cars. Furthermore, “If things go well… if possible,” Autech president Takao Katagiri said during the press conference, “We want to expand the models that we cover through this program.”
Shinichiro Sakurai, the Prince engineer known as the Father of the Skyline, was the first president of Autech when it was established in 1986. If he were alive today, we think he’d be proud. The Heritage Parts Program will begin sales in fall of 2017.