The year was 2001. The place; a bit outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. My buddy Steve and I pulled a free 1983 Stanza from some guy’s wood pile and got stung by yellow jackets trying to get it out. We got it running on a Carter YF carburetor from my AMC Javelin using a manifold adapter made from a 2×4 block and nails. As you may guess, we started a large field on fire during a drought and hydro-locked the CA18 motor on Mountain Dew trying to extinguish the flames which were dripping from the manifold. Then we rolled it. Find this piece of my adolescence, a 1984 Datsun Stanza, for sale in Seattle, WA for $1,590 via craigslist.
Once a completely disposable car, the first generation Stanza now starts to hold some appeal again due to rarity via attrition. Furthermore, everything new is even more boring. The legendary Japanese build quality and ample area for sleeping or whatever else make this product of the transitional Nissan-Datsun era timeless.
An optimistically placed anti-theft boot adorns the otherwise perfect interior of this Stanza. The velour seats seem to have held up quite well over 130+ thousand miles of use and the ubiquitous 80’s Japanese dash – seemingly shared between all makes – is miraculously un-cracked from the sun and careless passengers’ feet placement.
Folding seats are one way to make an otherwise incredibly mind-numbing vehicle interesting. The possibility of making junkyard runs and perhaps living out of it on an emergency basis add some utility to the otherwise bleak interior.
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