The ad for today’s Nice Price or No Dice 200SX gives us a twofer — with a 620 pickup on offer as well. We might also want to look at that, but first, we’ll give this S12 its due.
Revered British motor journalist LJK Setright once equated a sporting edition of Jaguar’s XJ-S to the ancient Egyptian cat goddess Bubastis, saying the car, like the cat, was not quite what it should be. Setright considered the Jag XJ-S to be better served as a grand touring car than a rowdy sports car.
Considering that opinion, he probably would have preferred the 1987 Jaguar XJ-SC we looked at yesterday. Few of you liked the Jag’s $15,995 price tag, with quite a few noting that it would have to be far tidier than it appeared to command such a price. Ultimately, that resulted in an insurmountable 70 percent No Dice loss.
As something of a tortured transition, let us remember that Jaguar preceded the XJ-S with the amazing E-Type, and that was a car that Nissan (then Datsun in the U.S.) used as a benchmark for its original Z-Car, the S30 Fairlady Z. The rabid success of the six-cylinder Z car, both with the motor press and with consumers at large, lured Nissan to introduce a series of smaller, lower-powered cars to cash in on the Z’s cachet.
Among those was the 200SX, a four-seat, (mostly) four-cylinder sporty car made available in both coupe and hatchback body styles. These were branded as Silvia in Japan but gained the 200SX nameplate in other markets to align with the larger 280 and later 300ZX sports cars.
This 1986 200SX XE is the hatchback and is all the better for it as the three-door configuration is both better looking and more practical than the booted coupe. Three engines were available in this generation of 200SX, a two-liter four, a 1.8-liter turbo four, and a 3-liter V6 that replaced the turbo engine beginning with the 1987 model year.
This one has the 102 horsepower 2-liter under its hood and is backed up by a four-speed automatic with a console-mounted shifter. That combo powers the rear wheels which are independently sprung.
According to the ad, the seller is this S12's second owner, It now needs to be converted to cash to pay for the owner’s college education. The ad also notes the availability of a 1975 Datsun 620 pickup for $8,500, but we’re just going to focus on the coupe in the vote. You can weigh in on the truck in the comments.
As to the S12, it’s claimed in the very shouty ad as follows:
LUXURY PACKAGE AND PERFORMANCE JAPANESE BUILT DAILY DRIVER GAS SAVER RELIABLE AND ECONOMICAL.
The car comes with a modest 94,000 miles showing on the (broken) odometer and with the belt missing from the A/C compressor. The present owner puzzles why that latter situation is the case, but offers no definitive verdict. Other issues include some paint popping off the front bumper and some dings here and there. The factory radio is only half-working as well.
On the plus side, the engine bay and cabin both appear reasonably clean, although we don’t get any really good shots of the interior in the ad. At least the ad copy notes it to be free of odors and stains. That’s nice. The car also comes with a clean title and a fresh battery.
If you’re into the whole ‘80s/‘90s Radwood thing then this Nissan will be like car-shaped catnip. What we need to ask, though, is whether it’s worth $7,500 to get so hooked.
What’s your take on this 200SX and that $7,500 price tag? Does that seem like a good deal on an old-school Nissan coupe that’s not a Z? Or, does that price just generate ZZZZZzzzzs?
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