For $7,999, Does This 1978 Datsun 200SX Have SX Appeal?

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

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 200SX is a sort of car you really never see any more. This one might just be worth a look, that is, if you’re not blinded by the price.

Hasta la vista… Bambi. While it may not be sporting to take the Terminator out hunting, the same thing couldn’t be said about yesterday’s 1989 Suzuki Sidekick cammo truck. Rocking Carlos Santana She’s Not There paint and a claim that it runs and drives, even it’s $2,500 proved a deal to 63 percent of you, wand it was anointed with a Nice Price win.


The joke with yesterday’s truck was that you couldn’t see it owing to all that cammo paint. Now I’d like you to think about some cars that you really don’t see any more, simply because, for the most part, they are gone from our roads.

Now, I don’t mean cars like Ferrari Lussos, built in tiny numbers and today worth more than the GDP of Alabama. You don’t see those simply because you can’t afford to. No, I mean cars that we have lost over the years owing to attrition, possibly due to the fact that it never was worth the effort to keep them around.

Consider the last time you saw a Chevy Monza on the road. How about a first generation VW GTI? Renault R17s are all long gone, as are all the Daewoo-built Pontiac Le Mans. These were all originally cheap cars to buy, and which were sold in reasonable numbers. Today, they’re almost as rare as cats that give a damn.


One such model that’s long gone the way of Elvis is the Datsun 200SX. Now, we all love the model’s descendants—the S13 through 15 SX’s—owed to their extreme hoonability, but when was the last time you saw one of the first gen?


Here we have a 1978 200SX that surprises not just by its mere appearance, but also by its seemingly decent condition. Featuring a black topcoat and amazingly ‘70s-eque half vinyl roof, this S10 200SX isn’t just a blast from the past, it’s probably one of the last ones left in the country.

The 200SX was sold in its home market as the Silvia, and no, the car was not named for Silvia Plath. Why do people keep thinking that?


Here in the States it went up against the Toyota Celica and other small ponies, although its awkward styling didn’t do it any favors. Time has perhaps mellowed our view of late 70’s Datsun styling tropes, and this car’s wrap around rear lights, AMC Matador-like greenhouse, and external A-pillar-mounted radio aerial all serve to intrigue. You simply don’t see stuff like that much any more.


That bodywork looks to be in fine shape. Of course, why wouldn’t it seeing as the car only has 32,000 miles on the clock? The ad notes that it was stored for most of its life, and thank goodness the interior held up during that long winter’s nap. The seats feature a pattern that I think psychologists use to see how crazy you are, while the dash mirrors the exterior in its swoops, curves and corners. It’s all like retro modern art.


The mechanicals are much more mundane: a 97 horsepower SOHC L20B four and five-speed stick, with a leaf-sprung live axle in back. The ad doesn’t make mention of how all that’s faired over the car’s 25 year incarceration, but then these were simple and well-built so it’s most likely everything is fine.

The same can’t be said for the wheels which are faux wires probably stolen off of some actual pimp’s car. Yuck!


Okay, now that you’ve seen this 200SX—which for some of you is likely the first time ever that you’ve seen one—it’s now time to vote on the car’s $7,999 price. What do you think, does this Datsun’s rarity and condition merit that asking? Or, for that much, would you be happy never seeing it again?

You decide!


Brainerd, MN Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

HT to twowheelsev for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.