It’s a 30-year-old sporty coupe that shares an engine with a pickup truck. It’s a vintage Nissan that’s not a Skyline or Z. It’s an In-N-Out spec Nissan 240SX, and this one just went for $32,750. I think I can explain why.
As I sit and ponder this, I don’t know if it is more or less ridiculous than a few other absurd-price barometers. The six-figure BMW E30 M3s. The seven-figure Hemi Cudas. The 240SX wasn’t even a sports car so much as a Prelude competitor that happened to be rear-wheel drive.
But that’s what the car was in the States. Once drifting became popular, the 240SX became just an engine swap away from classic. A SR20 made it into a Silvia (or close enough) and an LS made it into a Corvette for a generation that never aspired to owning a Corvette.
What’s funny is that this push for 240s made the cars so expensive that they didn’t really make all that much sense financially. The Corvette of this generation went right on back to being the Corvette. That’s how hard the “drift tax” hit the S-Chassis world.
In a way, I get why this particular 240SX sold for as much as it did. It’s a time capsule for before the drift tax “ruined” these cars in a deeper way than any set of slammed coilovers. Look at that absolutely perfect interior. This car has 74,000 miles on it and barely looks like it’s left the dealership lot. Ride in one and you’re living in a world before Tokyo Drift, a world in which you might cross shop this car against a MkIII GTI. A simpler time.
Well, I think it’s mostly that the car got listed on Bring A Trailer, where just about any nostalgia-age Japanese car that doesn’t have holes in the clear coat goes for big money. Also it’s a pignose car, and those are my favorite or our American S13s.
And honestly, it’s a steal compared to “Midnight” the ‘97 240SX with 676 miles on the clock. That owner asked for $100k.