Surviving 23 years in the North for 218,000 miles isn’t supposed to look this good. You have to look closely at this squeaky clean B13 SE-R to see its age. It’s all in the interior wear points: worn pedal surfaces, thin driver’s side floor mat, and squished seat bolsters – and that’s nitpicking. Otherwise, the aftermarket steering wheel and head unit are the only two deviations from a circa-1990 catalog. This will not last long. Find this 1991 Nissan Sentra SE-R in Olympia, WA for $2,000 via craigslist.
This was the first SE-R variant of the Sentra to be received by the American market. Its 2.0-liter SR20DE DOHC four-banger made 140 horsepower and 132 ft-lbs of torque through a 5-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential, both unique to the SE-R trim. With a curb weight in the low 2,300-pound range (62% of which is carried over the front wheels), it was an instant hit for cone-dodgers and road warriors alike.
Today, most B13s are covered a potpourri of rust, Plasti Dip, and bondo, so seeing one in the buff (in white paint, no less) reveals its styling restraint. A large, open green-house towering above a squat rear deck and relatively short hood creates proportions unheard of in 2014. The whole package screams “economy car,” which makes its performance credibility even more appealing to those in the know.
A minor heater fan issue and leaky window seal are listed as the only problems with the whole package. It also has new brakes and tires in the front, plus an alternator and battery. At this mileage in its northern climate, you’ll want to check the rocker panels, and run through the gears for pop-out issues. Although with the condition on the rest of the car, it’s likely in perfect shape.
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