Welcome again to another DLM cars from 1/64 and smaller and sometimes larger. Continuing the history of the Skyline in celebration of their 60th anniversary this year, we have now reached the 4th generation Skyline known as the C110. Here is my 79th post of the long delayed Skyline series.
Again I would like to give credit to some websites like JapaneseNostalgiccar.com, wikipedia, etc for some of these information.
The C110 generation was produced from 1972 through 1977. The body styles were, once again, four-door sedan, two-door hardtop coupé, and five-door station wagon.
The Nissan Skyline GT-R hardtop arrived in September 1972 but only lasted until March 1973, when Nissan ceased its production due to probably the oil crisis which saw many people preferring economy cars. Only 197 KPGC110 GT-Rs were ever sold in Japan.
So who is Kenmeri?
And how is that name related to this Skyline? Like the previous generation Skyline where it was known as Hakosuka by fans, the 4th generation got it’s nickname from would you believe a series of TV commercials?
Nissan wanted an American feel for the all-new Skyline, both in the car and in the advertising so it would stand to reason that the people in the ads should also be American with American names—or in this case, not so very obviously Japanese. Ni-Ten, the production company was hired to do the ads.
Enter Ken and Mary
The series of ads show Ken and Mary, 2 Americans who were supposed to be very much in love, out in this fancy sports car enjoying the outdoors and having a wonderful life.
Since the 2 characters are seen talking but have no audible dialog, how would people know their names? Easy. Superimpose their names on the corner of the commercial. But here’s another dilemma. Since their names are written in English and not all Japanese know how to read English, I always wondered if they knew about it due to the narrator (speaking in Japanese) mentioning their names in that commercial or just word of mouth.
Fans in Japan then started calling it ケンメリ (Kenmeri)
Did you know that the name Kenmeri was a pun of sorts: Flip the order of the names and you get Mary Ken... American.
Also both actors were actually too young to drive at that time.
Who played Ken and Mary?
Most of you may know about the Kenmeri ads but how about the backstory behind the actors that were hired to do the commercials?
Diane Krey, daughter of an American pilot residing in Japan at that time was hired to play Mary. She recalled that her first exposure to advertising was playing one of the American teens admiring a bike in a motorcycle advertisement.
Jimmy Zinnai who plays the other American was actually half Japanese, half Russian. Diane recalled that he was an actor on a Japanese soap opera at the time and knew about three words of English, one of them is words like ‘crazy.’
So what became of the actors?
Diane came back to the states and is now married and a high-school science teacher in Sacramento.
Jimmy however died in a motorcycle accident at an early age.
This is the Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R made by Mattel for the Hot Wheels Car Culture Japan Historics series. While most of my 1/64 Skyline models that I presented previously were made by Tomica, this happens to be the only Skyline model that I don’t have in a Tomica brand.
I love the artwork done by Hot Wheels and the model has metal chassis, realistic wheels and rubber tires. My complain was the lack of tampo on the front and rear lights. Also I just recently notice that there were quality control issues on the rear windshield. This set (which includes 5 different cars) is the first and only time (as of now) that I had pre-ordered and liked all the models included.
Would you believe I got my inspiration for writing this series due to my ignorance about the Kenmeri and Hakosuka nicknames at that time? I hope you had fun and gotten some good info about the Skyline. If you want to read my previous Skyline blogs please click below: