1987 Nissan 200SX Notchback

Ah, the Notchback. Nothing says late 20th century auto design than a C pillar that is less steeply raked than the A pillar. This was popularized by 1970s American cars. Then, slowly, as Europe came out with sleeker and sleeker designs that the public wanted, the notchback started disappearing. The last holdouts were the fox bodied Mustangs and a couple Cadillacs. Today, they notchback is virtually extinct in favor of fastbacks that push the rear glass out to the end of the car, sometimes even if it's only a trunk and not even a real hatchback.

And yet, at the tail end of the notchback era, here we have one of Japan's few attempts to join the diminishing crowd. The 200SX was actually the Silvia outside North America. In 1984 it got a new body internally designated as the S12. It was classic entry-level two door Rising Sun of the 80s: hidden headlights, DOT bumpers, swathes of black plastic, and a passion for rectangular shape forms.

There was just one redeeming quality in the eyes of most: rear-wheel drive, aka, drifting baby! This was when the Japanese were still selling the preferred setup for most enthusiasts on some of their models. So instead of just another Civic-mobile, this thing could actually entertain on the road.

Power came from a naturally aspirated,  2.0-liter SOHC 4-cylinder engine. It won't light the streets on fire, but it will get the job done against the car's small size and light weight, and won't be needing to stop for gas every block, either.

The interior was a period affair, awash in beige plastics (even the steering wheel - design flaw) but it's somehow a refreshing break from today's bombastic, overdone dashboards.

These things are getting scarce. Most are modded and lowered to ground before they hit a telephone pole and then head for the scrapyard. This one is mercifully free of serious alterations, and has wear one could possibly describe as 'patina' (nose in the air now). I actually kinda like the balck aftermarket wheels, they match the plastic trim and never show dirt or brake dust so you don't have to clean 'em too often.

The seller says it has no rust, some dings, a rebuilt engine and solid drivetrains and suspension. And, they add, it's drift ready. Just please don't mod it, lower it and hit a telephone pole with it.

Available here on ebay with an auction and $5k Buy It Now.

No comments:

Post a Comment