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Me and My Car: Eric Bauer and his Nissan Skyline

Fri, 15 Jun 2012

Here at Car Design News we're big fans of Depth of Speed: the combination of great cinematography, beautiful cars and interesting people makes for compelling viewing. Its latest video, ‘Taking the Plunge', features Eric Bauer, a digital modeler, Art Center instructor and CDN contributor and his glorious 1970 Nissan Skyline.

Eric has been a professional digital modeler for over 10 years, having worked for BMW DesignWorks USA, GM (CA & MI), KIA, Porsche AG, Volvo Concept & Monitoring Center, and VW/Audi Design Center California.

As well as being a contracted modeler Eric has also been the Advanced Alias and Visualization instructor at Art Center College of Design for the last six and a half years. Suffice to say, the man knows what he's talking about.

There's no qustioning the man's taste either – the video (see left) features Eric's Skyline on the Angeles Crest Highway and on location at Art Center, while he explains how he came to love what he declares as one of his dream cars. He bought his car through JDM Legends in Salt Lake City, which has been importing and restoring classic Japanese cars for several years.

"There's a growing number of businesses which will source and ship these cars to prospective buyers so it was really important for me to find someone whom I felt I could trust 100 percent to help me get one of my dream cars into my reality," he says.

Josh Clason, creator of Depth of Speed, decided to feature Bauer after discovering Eric's occupation during the shoot of his previous video, ‘TrackDay', which featured the red Skyline at Miller Motorsports Park.

"I was apparently the first JDML customer to come from the car design industry and that peaked his interest. When he made it out to California last month we spent a day talking about all of this and from this he created the Taking The Plunge video," explains Eric.

While the sedan equivalent of this bodystyle – called "hakosuka" (boxy Skyline) – premiered first in late 1968 as a 1969 model, the coupe was introduced in 1970. 

"I've wanted one of these for over a dozen years after I first saw a similarly modified one arrive at the weekly car show in Daikoku parking lot at the foot of Yokohama Bay Bridge, just south of Tokyo. My car is a GT model with manual crank windows and limited interior options. The previous Japanese owner is responsible for the top of the line 'GT-R look' – grille, front chin and rear trunk spoilers, overfenders, factory option Watanabe rims – as well as the heavily modified engine and running gear.

"Most of the period modified ones have been upgraded to bored / stroked three lither straight sixes fed by triple carburetors," says Eric. "My red car is no exception to that trend and this accounts for why it simply sounds so glorious."

Design-wise, the door section is just one feature Eric highlights as thoroughly modern when looking at current sheetmetal on some BMW Mercedes-Benz models: "I tend to think that there's a lot of similarity between the previous generation (E60) BMW 5 Series and this car when it comes to that door section.

"I feel like it's aged quite well given that it's now 42 years old. It's not always apparent in photographs, but there's quite a bit of surface detail along the longitudinal edges of the roof where a crease in the panel serves as a natural rain gutter. To me it's just a tidy well-put together small car with a ton of heritage and performance to match."

Thanks to Josh and Eric for their help with this feature. Visit the Depth of Speed website for more visual stimulation.

By Rufus Thompson