This week it's Nissans up the wazoo here on Nice Price or Crack Pipe, and today we're taking it to the Max.
Like a hot girl with an STD, yesterday's turbo 240Z was considered something best to be appreciated from afar. That was despite its guttural exhaust note - reminiscent of Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister's vocal range - that failed to overcome a 67% Crack Pipe vote, most likely due to the fact that it also looked a lot like Lemmy.
Today's Nissan, on the other wart, looks pretty clean. And while its boxy four-door body, sport-oriented drivetrain and alloy wheels say classic BMW, its boudoir-esque interior says just leave the money on the dresser.
Have you seen the current Nissan ad where, faced with impending fatherhood, a dude stretches out his 370Z into a Maxima sport sedan? That transformation was made possible through the magic of CGI, and just happened to be filmed at my sister-in-law's house. Datsun, undertook the same task back in the seventies, borrowing a fuel-injected version of the 240Z's engine, as well as the T5 from the 280ZX, and wrapping them both in a boxy body providing room for five, plus a lot of throw pillows.
This 1984 Maxima hails from the last year of rear-wheel drive for the nameplate in the U.S. (a moment of silence was called for at the time), and sports that rare and desirable T5 gearbox behind its 138-bhp L24E six. The Japanese spent the sixties and seventies honing their product to overcome a reputation for cheesy quality that had been driven by post-war Marshal Plan re-industrialization. If you were to graph the era's respective quality curves of the American auto industry and that of Japan, it would have created an X, the intersection of which being around 1969. That's why, even though this car is 26 years old and has 127,400 miles on the clock, it's still likely a pretty viable daily driver candidate.
And if you were to make it your steed when in need, you'd probably want to make sure you were comfortable inside it. Here, the Maxima lives up to its name. Check out those seats, they're button-tufted brown velour and look like a Dallas-era Joan Collins should be luxuriating sublimely on them while sipping a glass of Dom Perignon. Ooh-la-freakin'-la. In stark contrast, the dashboard is severely angular giving off an almost Renault-like vibe of design and quantity of joints and textures. This generation of Maxima also had a mini phonograph that would nag you as needed, with pithy quips like lights are on or stop grinding my gears, dickwad. Okay, maybe I'm not remembering all of its vocabulary accurately, but having a car that could talk to you would just be icing on the cake.
Icing this Maxima's cake is a body painted either beige or some sort of anemic yellow custard, it's hard to tell exactly from the pictures as the seller parked the car in the shade for most of them. There's surface rust as both the seller describes, and the pictures prove. The massive rubber bumpers, like those on most ‘80s Japanese cars, do not interact well with smog or acid rain, so you might want to lean way over when accessing the trunk lest you rub off enough from the back one that your Dockers chinos become ‘weekend pants.' Or, alternatively, you could start dressing Goth.
Also on the downside, the passenger-side window, like your wife by the time of your first anniversary, won't go down, and the seller says that the paint is only fair. Only fair should also be the price, and now it's up to you to determine if this Trampa FL-located Maxima is worth the $2,500 that the seller is asking. What do you think, is that a price that would provide you with the Maximal investment? Or, is that way over the max you would pay?
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