We all know that Monday, February 16th was Presidents’ Day and that means that many of us got a day off from work or school. But do you know the history of Presidents’ Day or what it was originally intended to celebrate?
The first official Presidents’ Day was established in 1885. Back then, it was always on February 22nd and was in recognition of President George Washington’s birthday. It was also simply known as Washington’s Birthday.
It wasn’t until 1971 with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act that the holiday started to transition towards being called “Presidents’ Day.” The Monday Holiday Act was intended to give our nation’s workers more three-day weekends and also included the holidays of Columbus Day, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day.
With the transition, many people started to recognize the holiday as a day to celebrate all presidents, but it still mainly focused on Washington and Lincoln, whose birthday falls on February 12th.
By the mid-1980s, most people recognized the third Monday in February as Presidents’ Day as opposed to Washington’s Birthday. This was in large part due to many marketing campaigns that advertised “Presidents’ Day” sales over the long weekend. Just think about how many mattress commercials you’ve seen with this exact advertising.
What did you do to celebrate this Presidents’ Day?
One of the most sought after vehicles in the Nissan lineup is the Nissan Skyline, also known in the United States at the Nissan GT-R, but this car is one of the few Nissan supercars and for a long time was only available outside of America. Car enthusiasts everywhere searched for these vehicles on the chance that there may be one on U.S. soil because to ship one here from Japan could cost upwards of $250,000. Well here we will delve into the origins of this niche loved car and run through the history of how the now Nissan GT-R supercar came to be.
The Nissan Skyline was originally produced by a company called the Prince Motor Company beginning in 1955 and was marketed as a coupe luxury car; though it also was available as a four-door sedan and a five-door station wagon. The ALSID-1 as it was called featured a 1.5 L engine capable of producing 60 HP and had a max speed of 87 mph. From here the “Prince” Skyline was altered and added a quad headlight front end and was given a slight power boost. Shortly after the first sport version was built this time carrying a 1.9 L engine producing 96 HP.
In 1961 Prince launched the S50 series which again came in sedan and wagon styles but this time they redesign allowed for the car to become one of the most desirable vehicles in Japan at the time. Now powered by a 70 HP engine, or option of 91 HP engine the car had made strides in transmission technology allowing for a 3-speed of 3 speed transmission to be mated to either engine. The appearance of this vehicle was similar to that of the 1960 Ford Galaxie.
Well even though we have barely grazed the history of the Nissan Skyline, we end it here today. But join us next time as we delve further into the history of the Nissan Skyline, the supercar.
Last time we left off talking about the late 1980’s Nissan 300ZX, by this time the Nissan Z series had gained a tremendous amount of popularity in the field of car enthusiasts and sports car fans alike. And the fourth generation Z car was nothing different.
In 1990 Nissan released a new version of the 300ZX, this time a complete overhaul with the exception of the 3.0-liter V6 engine that was cranking out 222 HP. The big news for Z car lovers was the turbo variant, now upgraded to have twin Garrett turbochargers and dual intercoolers, now pushing out a daring 300 HP. Upon its release the 300ZX was a fan favorite, as well as critic favorite. It won Motor Trends “Import Car of the Year” in 1990, as well as “Top Ten Performance Cars of the Year”. Automobile Magazine honored the 300ZX as the “Design of the Year” and is apart of their “All-Star” list. The 300ZX was produced for seven years in America, and in the 1990 year the z car reached one million sales, making it the all-time best selling sports car.
In 1993, a convertible version of the 300ZX was released, marking the first convertible of the Nissan Z car series. This was a variant of the standard T-top that was available until then.
In 1996, as the fate of many Japanese sports cars of the time, the 300ZX began to slow production as a result of the rising Yen to Dollar ratio as well as the trend toward SUV sales. But the true killer of the 300ZX was its inflating price. It started at $30,000 and at the end of the 6 year run it was up to almost $50,000. This sent the overwhelmingly popular Z car into a 5 year hiatus.
In the next post we get into some of the thing that Nissan did to keep interest in the Z car while it was no longer in production, as well as the car that brought the Z back to life.