The Emergency Nissan 200SX Repair That Might Have Been Overseen By A Guardian Angel

Illustration for article titled The Emergency Nissan 200SX Repair That Might Have Been Overseen By A Guardian Angel
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In a desolate and empty parking lot, two young men work to revive a dead Nissan 200SX. A stranger comes to their aid, then appears out of nowhere again later, offering words of encouragement—and leading to an inexplicable story that both of them would carry for 20 years.


It sounds unbelievable, but it’s a true car story. And it’s the first of many you will hear on Tempest, the Jalopnik podcast.

In our inaugural episode, Tempest host and Jalopnik contributor David Obuchowski begins with a tale he’s lived with for two decades but has often been afraid to tell. It’s so strange, he says, that he wouldn’t believe it himself if it weren’t for his brother being there too.

Back in 1995 or 1996, a young David went to visit his college-aged brother in Illinois, and their trip in a beloved Nissan 200SX ran into some mechanical problems on the road—problems that were solved with their own hands, some tools, and the encouragement of a mysterious benefactor that both of them have wondered about to this day.

Tempest is available wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, GooglePlay, iHeart Radio and every week here on Jalopnik, too. And hit us up at if you want to learn more.

Let us know what you think.

Tempest is produced by Fusion Media Group Executive Director of Audio Mandana Mofidi with editorial oversight from Patrick George and Kristen Lee.

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.


I had a similar thing happen around 1994. I was living in Miami Springs and having just graduated found myself enjoying the Goth Scene from the Kitchen Club on US1. Coming back one night, in my 1988 Pontiac Fiasco ..err, Fiero GT. The battery light lit after a loud series of clunks. No matter, I kept on driving until the lights got unbearably dim and the engine died.

I wound up stalled out on the side of the road in Liberty City, which at the time had a significant amount of criminal activity, and I was a sheltered white kid with no street smarts dressed Goth.

No cell phones, so I decided I was just going to walk a few miles in my trench coat. I didn’t get but 20 yards and from one of the houses I heard a man yell, “Boy! What in the hell are you doing out here dressed like that at this time of night?!”

I quickly explained the situation to this dude who was no less than four times my size and he proceeded to tell me I needed to get in to his house, and he would take care of my car after we pushed it to his garage.

I met his family, they gave me some of their leftovers which tasted like absolute heaven. They joked with me, we got along great. About two hours later, he had a new alternator belt installed and I was on my way.

I went back the next day to thank him, and he politely let me know there were things going on that night, and people out, that were best avoided. We still talk periodically on facebook, and I’ll forever believe that there are some people out there that are essentially guardian angels.