43k-Mile 1990 Nissan 240SX 5-Speed
Japanese cars of the 80s and 90s don't get much respect on the fancier car blogs, but they are near and dear to Check Out This Car's heart. When American cars of the Reagan Bush era fell short of the grand promises made in the 50s and 60s, the Japanese happily stepped in with their products. They were built better, drove better and looked better than most things Detroit offered at the time. That's the spirit of free enterprise after all, right? Competition. And so the Japanese proceeded to compete.
The 240SX debuted in 1988 and replaced the outgoing S12 200SX. The body was completely new, with smooth flat planes, rounded corners and a larger greenhouse.
Underneath the hood were either 4 or 6 cylinders that directed power to the rear wheels. The aerodynamic shape, low weight, rear wheel bias and zippy engines have made these popular and sought after in the second hand market. These days, the entry ticked to rear wheel drive runs you about $35k at a minimum. The 240SX was $13k new. You just don't find cars that combine thrift with style and sport like the 240SX anymore.
Unfortunately, all of that also means they usually get used and abused and are therefore very difficult to find in good condition. This '90 example however seems to defy the odds.
It's a basic 4-cylinder model but has only accrued a remarkably low 43,984 miles on the clock. The seller is a well known power ebay seller and have obviously acquired the car with the intention to flip it. The upside is that it's possibly been saved from being junked or modded. The downside is an added premium on the price.
That said, it's amazing to see this car in like-new shape. The seller says it's a 1-owner (technically 2 owners, now that they have it) car that's been garaged and never smoked in. The paint looks glossy with plenty of clear coat left. Even all four original factory hubcaps are intact.
The interior is a revelation in today's world of increasingly tech and screen-oriented dashboards. Nissan one ups the Germans with an interior that is just as business-like and no-nonsense but simple, uncluttered and pleasing to the eye and touch. Note the pre-airbag wheel and the cloth-wrapped glove box.
The engine bay looks equally clean. While it's unfortunate it isn't the 6-cylinder (most of those have been wrecked or trashed by now anyways), the smaller engine will spare you gas and still feel responsive thanks to the 5-speed manual.
The asking price is high, but then what are the chances you'll find another one like this? You really have to love this. With simple and proper upkeep it could easily be on the road for another decade or two.
Available here on ebay for $9,950.