The S50-1 series Prince Skyline went into production in November 1963, and went on sale in early 1964. This model represented a change in direction for the Skyline range. The previous Skyline models were more of a mid-sized car. Prince offered the same car as two different models, with the base model and mid-range versions sold as the Skyline, and the luxury version of the car was badged as the Gloria.
A decision was made to replace this car with two completely different vehicles to expand the model range. The new S40-1 Gloria went on sale in 1963 and was substantially bigger then the previous model, whilst this car, the S50-1 Skyline dropped considerably in size and price, and instead became a direct competitor to the similarly sized Datsun Bluebird and Toyota Corona.
Not only was the S50-1 a change in direction in it's overall concept, it also represented a complete change is style as well. The ALSI Skyline before it had the appearence of being something like a Peugeot, but with a rather heavy American influence, it's frontal design and finned rear end had more in common with a mid-1950s Chevrolet BelAir than anything else. The new S50-1 looked nothing like it. If you had to draw a comparison with anything you would probably say it looked more Italian, something akin to a Fiat 1300. The Italian influence comes as no surprise, in 1962 Prince used the Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti to design their BLRA-3 Skyline Sport couple. Whilst there is no suggestion anywhere that Michelotti had any input into the S50-1 design, it is obvious the Prince designers has a long hard look at the way he worked. What the Prince designers came up with was a very pretty, and thoroughly modern little car.
The Skyline sedan was available in two versions, the S50S-1 standard model, and the S50D-1 Deluxe model. The Deluxe had a cast alloy grille, which featured 5 wide vertical bars with a series of narrow vertical bars inbetween them. It had stainless steel side strips that ran the full lenght of the car, and had badges mounted at the back under the strip that said "Skyline 1500 Deluxe". The standard version had a pressed steel grille that featured 8 horizontal bars, though rather confusingly the S50E-1 standard model for export was fitted with the Deluxe grille in many non-Asian markets. The standard model had stainless steel side strips that went from the back of the car through to halfway along the front doors. It's badges were mounted to the front doors and said "Skyline 1500". Deluxe cars has robber capped over riders on the bumpers, while the standard did not. Both cars featured large round stop lights, a design hallmark that would be used on most Prince, Datsun and Nissan Skyline models right through to today's R35 GT-R. Both models have a "PRINCE" badge on the bootlid.
The previous Skyline had used an 1862cc engine, but in line with the S50-1's move into a less expensive catagory it reverted back to using a 1484cc engine, the same size as the original Skyline. This engine was pretty much the same as the one first used in the ALSI-2 Skyline, which was the FG4A-40, which was also cryptically called the GA4, but even more cryptically in the S50-1 it was refered to as the G-1. It continued to produce 70hp. This was mated to a 3 speed column change gearbox, though in 1965 a 4 speed floor change model was introduced as well.
A wagon version went into production at the end of 1964. The wagon was called the W50A-1. It had pretty much the same equipment level as the Deluxe sedan. Like the Deluxe sedan, it had side strips that ran the full length of the car. It's badges, mounted on the front guards, said "Skyline 1500 Estate". Export versions of this vehicle were called the W50ADE-1. There was also a van version of the wagon called the V51-1, which was marketed as a commercial vehicle. This was the same 5 door body as the W50A-1 Estate, but it had a trim and equipment level similar to the standard sedan. It had the side strips that went from the rear of the vehicle through to halfway along the front doors. The badges are located on the front doors. It also had bars inside the side rear windows to protect the glass from being damaged by cargo being moved in the back. This commercial vehicle version was badged as the Prince Skyway. An export version of this vehicle was available without the cargo bars in the back, and this was the W50AE-1. This export only model was badged as a Skyline and not a Skyway.
The badges are located on the front doors. It also had bars inside the side rear windows to protect the glass from being damaged by cargo being moved in the back. This commercial vehicle version was badged as the Prince Skyway. An export version of this vehicle was available without the cargo bars in the back, and this was the W50AE-1. This export only model was badged as a Skyline and not a Skyway.
The S50S-1 was the enrty-level base model car. Mechanically it was identical to the other models, but it had slightly more basic trim.
Stainless steel side strips go from the rear of the car to half way along the front doors. Side badges say Skyline 1500, and are mounted on the front door. Grille is chrome plated pressed steel design with 8 horizontal bars. Some export S50E-1 (export version of the S50S-1) were fitted with the deLuxe grille.
The deLuxe version of the S50-1 series. Stainless steel side strips run the whole length of the car. Side badges say Skyline 1500 Deluxe, and are mounted near the rear of the car.
The W50-1 was the station wagon version of the S50-1 series. Trim and equipment were basically the same as the Deluxe sedan. Side badges say Skyline 1500 Estate, and are mounted on the front guards. Export models we known as the W50ADE-1.
The V51-1 was the Van version of the W50-1 Skyline Estate. Similar to what Nissan were doing with their Cedric Wagon models, the base model wagon was set up to be used for commercial purposes as well, and the rear side windows had chrome bars to protect them from damage if cargo in the back moved around. The trim and equipment were similar to that of the S50S-1 base model sedan. It carried over the Skyway name from the previous model, and side badges say Skyway 1500, and are mounted on the front doors.
An export model was available called the W50AE-1 and in most countries were sold as a Skyline 1500 wagon. Export W50AE-1s did not have the cargo bars in the back.
The Skyline Gt was a lengthened version of the S50-1 that was fitted with the S41-1 Prince Gloria 6 cylinder engine. More information about this vehicle can be found in the Prince Performance section.
Length - 3990mm
Width - 1495mm
Height - 1435mm
Wheelbase - 2390mm
Weight - 935kg
Top speed - 135kph
Transmission - 3 speed column change
OHV 4 Cylinder
Model - G-1
Capacity - 1484cc
Bore & Stroke 75x84mm
Power - 73hp@4800rpm
Torque - 87ft/lb@3600rpm
Compression - 8.3 : 1
Final drive - 4.444:1
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