Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

The ad for today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe S13 claims that the car has never-ever strayed from its Southern California home. Let’s see if this local yokel is priced to now see the world.

Do you recall when Forrest Gump, in the movie of the same name, decided “for no particular reason” to go for a run? Running was a constant theme throughout theat film, with both Forrest and his peas and carrots best friend, Jenny ‘running away’ as a means to overcome odious situations.

In Forrest’s case it worked, since he seemingly is his own good luck charm. The farther he runs, the more he overcomes or gains. For Jenny however, running doesn’t doesn’t allow her ultimate escape from her demons, either real nor internal. It’s only when she can’t run any longer that she can realize true peace. That’s kind of eff’d up, don’t you think?

I bring this all up because it’s apropos to the vote on last Friday’s 2001 BMW 325Xi. That little longroof had run and run and run, to the point where now, when offered for sale, it had amassed a remarkable 281,000 miles. The car didn’t look like it had that many under its belt, at least in the flattering pictures presented in the ad, but the lack of detail in its maintenance history left many of us wanting. In the end its $5,200 price proved the car to be more Jenny than Forrest, and it fell in a substantial 78-percent Crack Pipe loss. I guess that cars aren’t like like boxes of chocolates—you really do want to know what you’re going to get.


What we’re going to get right now is a 1990 Nissan 240SX in Hot Red over grey cloth interior. This car is almost the antithesis of Friday’s Bimmer as the seller says it’s a two-owner car with just 115K on the clock, and full service records since it was spankin’ new. We’ll get to the history in just a sec, but first I’d just to invite you to join me in marveling at how stock this S13 appears.

Take a look around you. These days, almost all the 240s have been modded in some way or another. Whether it’s as a wanna be drift car, an actual drift car, or an empty shell proffered as a “great base for a drift car,” these are cars that seemingly just can’t be left alone. Mad props to the seller of this one and to his sister, the car’s original owner, for their stewardship.

The story of that stewardship is kind of sad. The seller says in the ad that his sister bought the car in 1990 from an Orange County Nissan dealer, and then used it to cruise around tony Newport Beach where she worked as a tennis instructor. Let me just stop here and note that you just don’t get more archetypical Southern California than a tennis instructor driving around the beach communities in a sporty red car.


Unfortunately, her enjoyment of that enviable lifestyle was cut short when, at age 44, she suffered a fatal heart attack. That was in 2003, at which time the seller inherited the car.

He seems to have laudably honored his sister’s memory by keeping the car in what he describes as ‘pristine condition.’ Now he says he’s of an age where the car no longer fits into his lifestyle and is keen to sell it to someone who will continue maintaining it in the manner to which it has become accustomed.


That’s seems to be pretty pampered. The car comes with a recent respray in in its factory red. That paint and the OEM teardrop wheels both look to be in excellent shape. I would recommend taking the car back to Discount Tires however, and see if they can balance the wheels without the annoying outside of the rim weights. Other than that, the exterior, including the Sport package’s huge rear wing, gets the job done.

The interior is much the same, with only an ancient aftermarket Sony radio with a bad LCD to detract. You may note covers over both the front and real seats in some of the pictures. Those are there to protect the unspoiled upholstery, not to hide any blemishes. The dash is free of cracks, and there’s a pop-up moonroof to let in all the moons.


Is it all a perfect storm of perfection here? Well, no. The seller says that the car does come with some foibles, or what we might call “personality.” For instance, the rear wiper goes on with the switch, but won’t turn off unless you kill the motor. The speedometer too apparently has a mind of its own, working only now and then as though it had joined a French Labor Union.

Other idiosyncrasies include the need to lower the radio aerial manually before opening or closing the hatch owing to that spoiler, and a propensity to bog when cold, likely an issue with the fast idle circuit on the 2.4-litre SOHC four. According to the seller, the five speed stick could use a fluid change too.


Are any of those deal killers? Likely no, however taken together they may sully the car’s attraction. Of course, well before then, so may its $8,995 price.

Having great admiration for the seller’s appreciation of the car, and his honest presentation of it in his ad, it’s unfortunate that we have to judge him on his pricing acumen, but that’s just what we have to do right now.

What do you think about this tidy 240SX and that $8,995 asking? Does that seem like a deal for so pristine an S13, even with its minor annoyances? Or, is this a local hero with a price that does not make good?


You decide!

Orange County, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to onlytwowheels for the hookup!

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