The thing about the Singaporean vehicle system is that it encourages owners to constantly replace their old cars with newer ones. From a owner’s perspective, spending 70,000 SGD to renew the COE of your 10 year old car or pay the extra and get a new car with less chances of breaking down, the latter almost always comes out on top. This creates a culture where the newest and most expensive things are more appreciated than the old cars. Thankfully, there are still enthusiasts that have dedicated much of their time and money to preserving some vintage culture. Today, we get have the honour of giving you a first peep at Singapore’s only authentic Hakosuka which will soon be road registered under the vintage vehicle scheme.
The KPGC-10 was the first Skyline to bear the GTR badge and was named Hako (Box) Suka (Short form for Skyline) by fans. It was this vehicle that began a long reign in motorsports for Nissan and often regarded as the holy grail of GTRs by many Skyline lovers. Most Hakos show their age in the paint and rust and the ones that are in good condition are seldom put up for sale. Despite this, the rarity of the vehicle means all authentic Hakos command extremely high prices making it slightly out of reach for the average person.
The owner of this immaculate timeless piece of art is Darren, his 1971 KPGC-10 only recently arrived on our shores to join the rest of his Japanese vehicle collection. No stranger to Japanese performance cars and having previously owned a Varis widebody Evo 6 Tommi Makinen Edition, Evo 9 RS amongst many others, he also currently still owns Singapore’s last and only road registered Evo 3. This Hako was a 1 year long project, painstakingly restored by Pit House in Japan. Known for their quality work, Pit house completely stripped the car down and restored every single inch of the body work. Running gear was completely overhauled and the car was fitted with some additional new parts such as power steering, to aid the driver in parallel parking that is often needed in Singapore.
By no means was the Hako a bad find to begin with, it had an extremely low and authentic 18,000ks on the clock. Every single piece of the factory interior was retained, from the original factory Nissan seats to the carpet was completely standard and showed minimal wear given the 44 year age. The freshly overhauled L28 motor also starts up each time on the first crank like a new car, and when you step on the throttle it sings a song like you cannot imagine through the 6 individual throttle bodies sitting in the engine bay.
At the moment the car sits slightly strangely because the front lip was removed and ride height raised for towing convenience. The car is after-all still unregistered and was only taken out for us to photograph it. Unlike our usual car features, the Hako isn’t crazily modified but simply restored to as close to factory condition as possible. The thing is with collectibles like these, having it in factory condition is what you would want to keep it at.
Word’s cannot express how clean this car actually is in person. Some day down the road you might come across it cruising the streets like every other car, where most people might brush it off as “just another vintage car”. Hopefully, more people will realize that not all things new are good, and pieces of automotive history such as this, deserves its place on the roads of Singapore.