PCH, Rear-Drive Japanese Sedan Hoonage Edition: Cressida or Maxima?

Amazingly, a Chevy (well, Chevy/Buick) managed to beat an obscure, 40-year-old German microcar in a heads-up Project Car Hell competition, with a 57-43 split in yesterday's voting. Today we're going back to the common-theme idea; inspired by all the love for the DOTS Cressida, we decided we ought to do a Project Car Hell matchup featuring a pair of Late Malaise boxy Japanese midsize sedans, complete with luxury features, independent rear suspensions, and big inline-six engines. Japanese stuff isn't normally hellish enough, however, due to their boring reliability and tediously good build quality. In order make things more interesting, these projects are going to require massive horsepower upgrades. Boost, engine swaps, whatever it takes!


These days, the demand for the "four-door Supra" is so high that it's tough trying to find one cheap enough to serve as the basis for a project that's going to involve a lot of cutting and pasting. That doesn't mean it can't be done, of course- for example, check out this '83 Toyota Cressida, which has most of its parts and is priced at an amazing 350 bucks. The seller included "motor runs" in the "pros" section of the ad, but then we get the line "it's not getting any fuel to the injectors" in the "cons" section. Contradiction? Hey, it's a $350 Cressida! It's got some dents, it has no papers, and it's an automatic... but you'll fix all those things with a quick application of some 1JZGTE power. When you're done with that, you can install a manual transmission (and have fun getting the clutch pedal assembly for a LHD car), and when you're done with that you can work on the luxury features that "do not operate."


The Datsun 810/Nissan Maxima was quite a car, with specs quite similar to the Cressida but more of that funky Nissan flavor we loved so much back in the day. It's pretty much the "four-door 280Z," but that appeal means that most of the usable early-80s examples have been drifted or otherwise hooned into oblivion by now. We couldn't find one quite as cheap as that super-steal Cressida, but this '82 Nissan Maxima can be yours for only $1,200... or less ("any reasonable offer will be concidered"). Don't worry about the photos showing snow on the car, since we're sure it looks just as good now as it did when the photos were taken. The car has "Lots of new parts to include," which we assume means that they're sitting in boxes in the trunk (and possibly they're not so much new as new to this car), and "all in all this car wont stop running." You'll be all "no problemo, dude" about the rust, mostly because you'll be so busy installing this SR20DET/5-speed combo that you won't have time to think about anything other than your eternally bleeding knuckles and ever-shrinking bank account!

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