Prince R380 in Meet and Greet


Infiniti will show the iconic Prince R380 race car at this year’s Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

After breaking several land speed records in 1965, four R380s went on to beat a trio of Porsche 906s to claim the 1966 Japanese Grand Prix.

The car that will be shown at “The Amelia” off the coast of Florida is the actual grand prix-winning car, believed to be the only surviving R380 in existence.

The sleek R380 is a forerunner of today’s Nissan Skyline GT-R.

Built upon a Brabham BT8 mid-engine chassis, it used unique mechanics and aerodynamic bodywork.

Head of engineering, Shinichiro Sakurai, developed a new engine loosely based on the Skyline GT engine originally developed for the Gloria sedan.

Known as the GR-8, the 1996cc, inline six with triple Webers produced 200 horsepower (150kW) and was mated to a 5-speed racing gearbox.

Because there was no Japanese Grand Prix in 1965 Prince did not have a chance to campaign the four R380s they built.

Prince R380

The company did however conduct aerodynamic testing and the R380 set several global land speed records as a result.

The Prince Motor Company was born out of the Tachikawa Aircraft Company, founded in the early 1920s.

It manufactured armed forces and civilian transport planes for several decades.

After the 1966 grand prix win the company merged with the Nissan Motor Company and former Prince-branded models were integrated into the Nissan lineup.

“The Prince R380 was one of the first Japanese competition cars ever developed,” said Bill Warner, founder and chairman of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

“The R380 told where the future was going for Japanese automotive companies, as Prince understood that racing was an important ingredient for establishing a brand.

“To have the Prince, which was one of the earliest successful race cars, here for the first time in the Americas and at ‘The Amelia,’ truly is a thrill for me.”