I live in SoCal, so I need a factory equipped umbrella holder in my car about as much as glovebox full of scorpions…but I am absolutely obsessed with the trick this Pulsar GTI-R has inside the door. What you see is a factory Nissan umbrella that goes in special cavity accessible via the door jam. Sure the car has a SR20DET mated to all-wheel-drive…but that umbrella holder is sick. Would have been better if they put a katana in the door, Yakuza style, but Nissan made some cool cars back in the day. Find this 1991 Nissan Pulsar GTI-R offered for $17,950 in Ferndale, WA via craigslist. Tip from JB1025.
The Nissan Xterra (1999-2015) might not have the off road chops of Chrysler’s Jeep or the turn-key reliability of the Toyota 4Runner but it was truck based body-on-frame (built on the Nissan Frontier) and available with a manual gearbox. What it lacks in off-roading capability and easy maintenance it makes up for being cheap to buy. Really cheap. Find this 2003 Nissan Xterra offered for $3900 in Decatur, GA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
The N12 Nissan Pulsar (1982-1986) was a front-drive little compact that was the predecessor to the wicked Sportbak configurable wagon/convertible/shootingbrake thing. The early Pulsars didn’t have the cool configurable roof design, but they did have one of the coolest grills on a car ever made. Find this 1986 Nissan Pulsar NX offered for $4,000 in Denver, CO via craigslist.
A brand new Nissan Frontier pickup will set you back $30k before taxes and fees (more if you start piling on options)…and it is a nice car, but you can’t get it with a 6-speed manual gearbox because the only transmission that Nissan offers is some 9-speed super flappy birds paddle thing…sounds like a recipe for just putting in auto and following traffic on your daily commute. But if you want to save a few bones and you don’t mind the horrible death-by-plastic interior of early 2000s Nissan…then take the dirt road around traffic and get something like this 2006 Nissan Frontier SE Crew Cab offered for $7900 in Phoenix, AZ via craigslist.
Whenever I’m in a public place and somebody says, “hey, nice hardbody” instantly crane my neck looking for that sweet boxy Nissan pickup…but most of the time it is just some dudes on steroids or ladies who spend too much time at a CrossFit gym (sidebar; why do Crossfit gyms always have names that sound like something you wouldn’t want to get as a prognosis from your doctor: I’m sorry Bill, you’ve got change your eating habits, you’ve got a bad case of beach box. Ohh…is it fatal? No, but if it gets worse, it could become squats and shots). Anyway, back to the Hardbody– it is the name given to the D21 generation Nissan truck sold from 1985 through 1997 and what this next one lacks in bed space is sure makes up in original clean condition. Whooo oooh. Find this 1986 Nissan Hardbody offered for $4,500 in Ft Lauderdale, FL via craigslist.
The Nissan Sentra SE-R isn’t a car for an extrovert. If you want people to know that you’ve made it — this won’t do at all. Most people will not even look twice at what appears to be a 30 year old Nissan econobox…but a few kooks will go out of their way to engage you in conversation; “Is that a real SE-R?” “I raced one of those in SCCA back in the day” “Would you like to see my collection of antenna balls?” The answer, in case you were wondering, to those conversations is an emphatic YES, because you are the guy driving the rarest of all 3rd generation B13 Nissan Sentras and you know a thing or two about being eccentric. The SE-R won’t feel fast compared to modern front-drive sport compact machines, but with only 2500 lbs to toss around and 140 horsepower from a SR20DE inline-4 mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox plus a limited slip differential…it isn’t slow or lame at all. Find this 1992 Nissan Sentra SE-R offered for $6,000 in SF Bay Area, CA via craigslist.
Nissan never exported their retro-styled ’80s/’90s Pike Series cars (Pao, S-Cargo, Figaro, Be-1, K10-Micra) into the USA, but you wouldn’t know that based on the number littering craiglist and eBay. Or maybe I’m just always on the lookout for offbeat cars that put a smile on your face while not running roughshod through your bank accounts. Today’s example is a Figaro that is a little rough around the edges, but maybe cute enough to pickup as a rescue. Find this 1991 Nissan Figaro offered for $6,500 in Port Charlotte, FL via craigslist. Tip from Dascpcu
This next car comes as a tip from Cosimo who writes: I was scrolling Facebook in my area and came across this listing for a 1983 Datsun 280zx Turbo 2+2 in the marketplace. It’s incorrectly listed as a Nissan 240sx, probably because FB doesn’t have the correct model in their dropdown box. Seller says they’re open to offers. Might make an interesting tip for someone in California. It is a little scruffy for my taste…ehh..who am I kidding, I’ll drive anything with wheels! Find this 1983 Datsun 280ZX Turbo offered for $6000 in Monrovia, CA via fakebook wreckingplace.
The Pao was part of Nissan’s Pike (don’t ask me why they were called Pike) car series that included the Pao, S-Cargo, Figaro, Be-1, and K10-Micra. Goofy names aside, the Pike cars were retro-styled econoboxes from the late ’80s and early ’90s that combined simple Nissan mechanical front-drive parts with funky styling and cool interiors. Today’s example is the common Pao and it looks like the perfect car for the alter-ego of a superhero to drive everyday. Find this 1990 Nissan Pao offered for $9,200 in New Hampshire via craigslist. Tip from TeleArrow.
The Sentra name first appeared on a Nissan badged car in 1982 as a replacement for the aging Datsun 210. Nissan decided to ditch their “Datsun” brand for the USA…and while I do appreciate the vintage appeal of a “Datsun” badge on a car, it really didn’t make much sense as a brand management tool in 1982…so the car you see today is a Nissan and a sweet yellow wagon with a manual gearbox. Find this 1982 Nissan Sentra Wagon offered for $3500 in Alameda, CA via craigslist.