It was 1991, a huge change was taking place in the Shell Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC), Nissan was competing with the high-tech all-wheel drive twin turbo GT-R for its first full season and a young Mark Skaife was driving his heart out. I became a fan of the Red White and Blue Godzilla almost immediately.
By the time 161 laps of the Great Race at Mt Panorama had been run, Mark Skaife and Jim Richards had claimed Nissan’s first victory at the mountain.
This weekend, Nissan celebrates 25 years since that milestone with a special livery on the Altima Supercar of Michael Caruso.
Frankly, I reckon they should stick with it.
Mark Skaife joined Michael Caruso for a fascinating walk-through of the original 1991 beast in this video:
I remember that car well.
I was 14 years old, and made the trip to the mountain with my best mate Ian – we even met Skaifey at the drivers parade
Skaife went on to become a household name, and won five ATCC’s and Bathurst six times.
“Twenty five years on and some of the best memories of my life,” said Skaife.
“To win my first Bathurst with a legend like Jim Richards in the Nissan GT-R was just fantastic. It was a life changing moment to win the biggest car race in this part of the world.
“The 1991 race was fantastic because we could press on all day. It was the fastest race in history at the time and it was just a faultless day by not only the team, but the way the car ran. It was an amazing experience and a great result for the Nissan Motor Company.
“I think it’s a great connection for Michael to run this livery as a consequence of the GT-R and the way the Nissan Motor Company has been long-term supporters of car racing in Australia. I love the look of it and I’m sure ‘Richo’ will have a tear in his eye also.”
Not many people remember the 1991 Godzilla started the year looking somewhat different. Black wheels – as shown on this model car:
So, I’m not saying they changed it because of me, but I thought it looked horrible. So in 1991, I wrote to Fred Gibson Motorsport, and told Mark Skaife how much I loved watching him race, and that the black wheels looked horrible.
To his credit, I got a reply:
I like to think I played a role in that decision:) So this weekend, it’s Go Caruso at the Mountain for me:)