When F31club started, we were all M30 guys. Being new to F31s, there wasn’t much information going around (hence why f31club was started). This appears to be a general consensus around the world at the time. When a leopard popped up in the UK or in Oceania (Australia) people would say it looks close to the R31 skylines, in which these countries had access to (unlike the US at the time).
People started to relate the 31s and do small comparisons.
That being said, I think since the R31 was/is the popular and well known model, they simply dismissed the F31. This couldn’t be further from the truth. I believe this lead to the misconception of the F31 leopard was based of the R31 skyline.
While it was thought that the F31 looks close to the R31 skyline, Fergy of Velocity is Faster (website/team) gave us info. He owned an R31 skyline in Japan for many years. Qualitatively, he said it looks exactly like an R31 skyline, just slightly different. When he left Japan and stayed in Hawaii, he said he picked up an M30 and all his skyline parts fit.
Update: I was at R31house and was able to look at R31s up close. Qualitatively, I feel the cars are the same. I used to believe the R31 was slightly wider based on the spoiler on an M30 and what Jason said about the R31 kit when he put it on his M30. After looking closely at it in person, I realize they are VERY close, if not exactly the same dimensions.
Car manufactures are known to have “sister or brother cars”. While they share similarities, sometimes these cars are aesthetically different and sometimes they are totally different.
Nissan A31 Cefiro and C33 Laurel – different looks, but internally the same (motor)
Toyota Estima Emina and Estima Lucida – different looks, but internally the same.
Nissan F31 Leopard and R31 Skyline – different looks, different motors, share the same dimensions (based on qualitative statements mentioned above). Parts like doors and upper panels are non-interchangeable.
This rumor might have also be flamed by people not being fully versed in F31s. The Infiniti M30 is a Kouki Nissan Leopard with a reversed R31 Dash. If people who didn’t know what the Infiniti M30 was and came upon it and looked at the dash, they could assume R31 parts were given to the F31… again making it “inferior” as the F31 did not have it’s own identity.
This did happen when guys in Australia would search for f31 leopard and see pictures on an M30. Since they know the dash is the same (just reversed), they assumed the F31 and M30 were based of the R31 Skyline. Again, the R31 Skyline is the more popular model.
The R31 Skyline also came in 4 door sedan and wagon, as the F31 leopard did not. Also closely related to these is the C32 Laurel, which never came in coupe and offered in both 4 door sedan and 4 door hard top. The C32 laurel was also powered by both VG and RB depending on trim.
UPDATE: To add to the confusion. The Kouki F31 Leopard isn’t the same as the Infiniti M30. Aesthetically they look the same, but there are tons of subtle differences that really seem weird. Corner lamps are different in form (amber part sticks out), but even in mounting and that goes with having a Leopard fender vs and M30 fender.
This topic has been discussed on many forums:
Someone was saying that the M30 was the same as the R31 skyline. The error was that the person was talking about the Tommy Kaira M30. Which was a R31 Skyline with the RB30DE motor.
The 80sHero blog did a great write up on the Tommy Kaira M30 Check them out!
Here is Freshalloy user JonCarson explaining:
There are other threads out there that discussed the same topic. We did not have an R31 to compare, other places that did have R31 skylines and someone had an F31 leopard could make the comparisons.