In its home market, today’s Nice Price or No Dice M30 sold under the Nissan badge as the Leopard. Let’s see if this fairly rare convertible can make a name for itself in our vote.
We all know that the certainties in life include death, taxes, and the fact that the Ford Mustang usually offers the best bang for your buck that money can buy. It’s also well known that a fool and his money are soon parted, and lots of foolish folks spend their hard-earned money on Mustangs only to do foolish things in them that typically result in the car ending up a tree or over a curb.
Maybe cars like the 2017 Ford Mustang GT we looked at yesterday should come with some sort of warning label just like vape pens or those insidiously tempting dry-cleaning bags that are supposed to be a suffocation hazard. That’s a really serious thought considering that yesterday’s Mustang offered 435 horsepower and a $21,000 asking price. That puts those ponies squarely within reach of the teeming masses. Warning label or not, the majority of you ignored the obvious threat posed by the Mustang, and gave the car a sizable 75 percent Nice Price win. Let’s be safe out there, folks.
One way to be safe is to drive this 1991 Infiniti M30 convertible. That’s because there’s safety in numbers and while the Infiniti’s styling may be fairly innocuous, it’s likely to still draw crowds wherever it goes since everyone is going to want to know, “isn’t that the car they were arguing about in the movie Three Kings?”
For the two of you who are unfamiliar, there’s a bit in the Iraq war heist caper movie Three Kings where the character played by Ice Cube argues with Mark Wahlberg’s character about the latter wanting to buy a Lexus convertible,with Ice chastising him that what he’s really thinking of is an Infiniti like this.
Alas, we’ve gone down another rabbit hole. Sorry about that.
Nissan launched Infiniti in the U.S. as its upscale brand at about the same time that Toyota was making the same move with Lexus (hence Marky Mark’s confusion). At launch, the brand was all about two models, the Q45 which was a rebadged and gussied-up version of the Nissan President, and the M30 which was a warmed-over Nissan Leopard. To say that Infiniti didn’t have the same success as Lexus is an understatement. Both brands are still around these days, but fancy Toyotas carry much more cachet in the eyes of American car buyers than do fancy Nissans—if they even remember the brand exists at all.
Infiniti made an attempt to curry favor with buyers by contracting with American Specialty Company (ASC) in California to lop the tops off of some of the company’s M30 models. This created convertibles like the one you see here and gave Infiniti something Lexus didn’t have at the time. In total, somewhere around 2,800 were converted.
Everything else about the car, from its 162 horsepower VG30E 3.0-liter V6 to its four-speed automatic and all-around independent suspension remained the same. However, the extra stiffening meant all those parts had to work a little harder since the convertible weighs a few pounds more than does the coupe.
This one comes with a clean title and just 72,000 miles under its belt. The ad lists the car’s condition as “excellent,” although there are a few caveats to that declaration. Those include some wear on the very ‘90s cream-colored leather upholstery, a warning in the ad of an impending need for new tie rods, and, most egregiously, a top that has both a nasty rear window and a reluctance to move unassisted.
None of those issues seem to be deal killers and the ad notes that a new sheet of plastic for the window has been ordered, and will come with the car. Other aspects look decent, with good paint and factory alloys that seem free of curb rash. Per the seller, the car passed a recent state inspection, comes with new brakes all around, and has no rust. According to the ad copy, it presently “Runs and drives awesome.”
What might such condition and automotive anonymity be worth? The seller lists the car at $5,600 and says they have recently lowered the price to that amount after not getting any bites at a higher number.
What do you think? Is it worth that much as presented in the ad? Or, does that price make this an Infiniti that you’d move beyond?
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