Welcome to Found Around The District, where we highlight fascinating cars we find around a city where people are too busy fighting through traffic and hunting for parking to drive anything interesting: Washington, D.C.
Die-hard fans of Found Around The District (Are there any? No? I didn't think so, never mind) may have noticed that there was no such feature last weekend. That's because I was generally up to my eyeballs with work after the Daytona crash. You have my sincerest apologies for that, but Found Around The District is back with a vengeance today.
I ran across this bad boy on Friday evening when I was walking the dog around Eighth Street. I immediately recognized the car from across the street, but couldn't place its name right away. I knew as soon as I would read the badge I would go, "Oh yeah. THAT." And this is exactly what happened.
THAT would be a Nissan Pulsar NX Sportbak, a hatchback with a very unusual roof that was made from 1986 to 1990. Known as the Nissan EXA in Japan, it's basically a two-seat version of the Sentra from that era that came as a coupe or this version with the crazy back end.
That big, squared off rear canopy? It either swings up to give you access to the rear cargo area or it can be taken off entirely for some sexy sort-of convertible action. It also has removable roof panels too, so if you're willing to put in a decent amount of work, you can enjoy some sunshine in your drive around D.C.
The one I found is in less-then-stellar shape, unfortunately. The paint is bad all over, the bumpers have been damaged, and the pop-up headlamps seem to be stuck in that sad permanent up position, a fate that befell many 80s cars. Clearly, this is someone's beater, but that's alright - beaters need love too.
But it's a striking car to see on the street; it's wide and low to the ground in a way that cars really aren't anymore. Am I crazy for thinking it has a profile similar to the DeLorean at certain angles? Maybe I've been thinking about Back to the Future too much lately.
If any of you have great Sportbak stories, feel free to share them with us in the comments.