By on September 20, 2013

11 - 1982 Datsun Maxima Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinI find lots of Malaise Era Cressidas for this series, but what about the Cressida’s main competitor, the second-generation Datsun/Nissan 810/Maxima? As you can see by the confusing names for this car, Nissan was going through some marque- and model-name gyrations during the early 1980s, which makes today’s Junkyard Find a car of some historical significance.
12 - 1982 Datsun Maxima Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 810 became the Datsun 810 Maxima in 1981, then the Datsun Maxima in 1982, then the Datsun Maxima By Nissan in 1983, and finally just the Nissan Maxima in 1984.


A series of TV ads during this period tried to reduce the level of confusion for American car shoppers: “From now on… the name is Nissan.”
09 - 1982 Datsun Maxima Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinJust as the Cressida boasted much Supra genetic material, so did the Maxima share its ancestry with the Datsun Z Car. Here’s the L24 engine, same displacement as the 240Z’s engine but with a more modern fuel-delivery system.
02 - 1982 Datsun Maxima Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAll sorts of whiz-bang, futuristic electronics graced the Maxima’s cockpit; this stuff was pretty much required by law in early-to-mid-80s Japanese luxury sedans.
DatsunTalkbox-GroovesBest of all, of course, was the Maxima’s Mars Base-grade “Voice Annunciator” system. A few years ago, I became obsessed with this system’s hardware, because I discovered that it is based on an under-dash box with a tiny phonograph record.

Supposedly, this system originated in Japanese-market large appliances and was then licensed by Nissan. 280ZXs also got the Voice Annunciator.
05 - 1982 Datsun Maxima Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe Voice Annunciator was so cool that Nissan just had to add a snazzy console switch, to remind drivers that they were driving in The Future.
03 - 1982 Datsun Maxima Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinIn spite of all the built-in Extreme Science™, this Maxima didn’t even make it to 100,000 miles. The interior is filthy but not too thrashed, the body is rust-free, and there’s a good chance the engine is still good.
16 - 1982 Datsun Maxima Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinOh yeah, about that Voice Annunciator? I bought it. 15 bucks well spent.
17 - 1982 Datsun Maxima Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinActually, it was 30 bucks well spent, because I found another Maxima at the same California yard and pulled the talk-box from that car as well. My collection of four Voice Annunciator boxes goes well with my collection of 1980s Japanese digital dashes.


“This is the first car that speaks to you!”

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64 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1982 Datsun Maxima...”


  • avatar
    paullubbock

    A friend of mine used to own an 80′s era 280Z with “the voice”. We always made fun of him because the car always told him the door was a jar. For which we would promptly reply, it’s not a jar, its a door!? We were kids.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      Stoned?

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      I laughed. It’s still a good joke…even if corny

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      In the mid 1980s I was a college kid EE major and interned over the summers in a lab that designed power supplies for electronics. We had a guy working on a voice system for cars but the prototype chip he was working with only knew one phrase: “The washer fluid is low”. We would hear that semi authoritative male voice repeat “The washer fluid is low” all day every day for weeks. It started off being amusing but quickly grew to suck.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      Weren’t there GM cars that did this too, in the late eighties?

      (As a side note, I’ve traced the “bong” chime that is played through the head units of modern GM cars all the way back to a 1986 Buick a Riviera, and it probably goes back further than that. It’s time for a change, GM.)

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    The “voice” soon became the brunt of a multitude of jokes my favorite being the “New York voice” version option, “Hey, dummy, turn off your frickin’ lights” or “You’re almost outta gas, ye moron”

  • avatar
    crtfour

    My dad had an ’84 and I thought the voice was the coolest thing ever. As a kid I would go sit inside the car and open the door, turn the lights on and off just to hear the voice.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Never experienced the Nissan voice, but I’m all too familiar with the Chrysler talking dash. DON’T FORGET YOR KEYS!

  • avatar
    TheAnswerIsPolara

    Love that you got the module to “talk”. I remember the breathless voice on the 1981 Chrysler Laser. Wanted the car just because of it. Thankfully, I couldn’t make a deal and got a ’81 Capri Black Magic instead. But, I still remember that voice!

    BTW, did you ever get your digital cluster working with the arduino? Sounds like a cool project.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    A decade after dropping Datsun, Nissan was still having trouble with model names. The first generation Altima was called a Stanza/Altima, and if you looked up the specs, it would be called the Bluebird, apparently the name for it in Japan. That first Altima was a compact, and the Stanza was smaller. Now the Altima is midsize, while the Stanza is the same length/wheelbase as the original Altima, but with a smaller, gutless engine.

  • avatar
    Jonathan H.

    My dad was a Nissan service manager for 30 years which included the cars of this era. As a kid he’d take me to work on Saturday mornings and I had access to the service area. I have “Your Door Is Ajar” seared into my brain since the mechanics always had the keys in the ignition and the driver’s door open as the performed their repairs. It was maddening.

  • avatar
    zaxxon25

    My father still daily drives his ’82 Maxima with over 250K on the clock now. Though it’s in less than pristine condition the thing still soldiers on without complaint. When he first purchased it the “your headlights are ON” voice annoyed him greatly so he disabled it. So our girl has not spoken in a very long time (though I can still hear the relay click if something is upsetting her).

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    Fast forward to 9:30:

  • avatar
    Garak

    It works with a primitive record player? That is both stunningly anachronistic and awesome. We had computers with speech synthesizers at that time already.

    I remember seeing a talking Talbot Solara in the mid-1980s – it had a speech synthesizer, and it spoke horribly garbled Finnish. Thankfully that was the only time I’ve ever had to suffer from one of those.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      That’s likely why they used the record. It was an actual human voice rather than a synthetic approximation of a human voice.

      Sort of like Max Headroom. The CGI technology of the 1980′s was very limited so the “computer animated” Max Headroom was portrayed by a human actor wearing prostetics and and a fiberglass jacket.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Can’t believe the beautiful cars Talbot used to make compared to the 80s and 90s ones they ended up making, lol.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Am I the only one who wanted the computer voice from the Enterprise in my car?

  • avatar
    sirwired

    That voice annunciator is the height of totally pointless awesomeness.

    On another note, did all engines of the era look like somebody’s brother-in-law owned a tubing factory with excess stock that needed to go somewhere?

  • avatar
    lon888

    Murilee – For many years, the urban legend was that on the flipside of the little record was the Nissan company song. Any truth to that?

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Betty was a Datsun with a problem on her hands.

    “BOOP Key is in the ignition.”, she exclaimed apprehensively. She dreaded every moment it was inserted in her lock cylinder. She dreaded what might come next. Her suspension took some time to settle down after Charles hopped into the driver’s seat. He was veritable swine. Ugly, portly, and always filthy from the usual construction sites. The back of his sweaty white t-shirt, frosted with drywall dust, dragged across the soft velour. A shiver ran through her core, manifesting itself in a stumble of electrons to the door chime. Instead of “Ding-dong”, it emitted a “Tik-tik”

    “Hey Charles, we’re all going to Half-Times. You comin’?”, asked a co-worker. Charles swung his outstretched leg into the Maxima, and shut the door to silence the chime. “Naw man, I got shit to do.” The co-worker gave him a hand gesture of “Get out of here”, and wondered just what the hell was so important for a construction worker to put off a Friday happy hour. Betty’s L24 was started. Her malfunctioning temp sensor worked it’s magic, unenthusiastically letting the mixture ratio go lean, killing the engine. Charlie answered back by jamming a foot in her gas pedal and trying again. Betty’s power steering belt squealed in pain from Charlie blipping the shit out of her. “Okay, OKAY! That’s enough!” She relented, and allowed her inline six to come to a steady idle.

    “We’re going straight home, right?” , she wondered to herself fearfully. Charlie’s finger reached out like the grim reaper to the weathered “2″ preset button on the radio. Panic surged through Betty’s phonographic soul “NO.” She had no choice but to play the ’80′s classic station as requested. She had snapped her antenna mast retract cable in protest months prior. The music was what made Charlie “go dark”. This only infuriated the monster. He was into the song, and he was struggling with the poor reception.

    She’ll only come out at nights
    The lean and hungry type
    Nothing is new
    I’ve seen her here before
    Watching and waiting
    Ooh, she’s sittin’ with you
    But her eyes are on the door

    A horn blared as Charlie cut off a Honda. He aggressively ducked into the parking lot of a King Sooper. “God dammit!”, he yelled while getting out. The door was flung open before Betty came to a stop, allowing her to attempt to calm the man with a gentle “BOOP Left door is open.” He threw the seat belt over his shoulder with violence. Then, he walked to the back and manually pulled up on the antenna. Charles slightly bent the telescoping segments with the skill of a craftsman, jamming the assembly in it’s extended state. Hall and Oates were now clear as a bell.

    Betty looked up at the dot matrix sign above the highway in hopeful anticipation. “Oh, please God.” The marquee cycled to the next message. “AMBER ALERT: BRWN 1982 TOYOTA SEDAN NO LIC INFO” Charlie’s slightly concerned facial expression developed into a devilish smile. “No.”, Betty thought to herself in despair. Charlie twisted the volume knob higher. Tears of ATF fell onto the roadway.

    Charlie pulled off the expressway. Betty’s rubber buggy bumper came to a stop at the intersection. He was vetting. She had to do something. She used her mixture ratio feedback system, and faulty temp sensor to erroneously select plot 215 in her ECU. As the Maxima pulled away on the right-hander, the engine coughed and stumbled under part throttle. The monster behind the wheel was unaffected. He simply pushed the gas pedal down more to get through the dead zone. Power steering fluid began to weep from the rack seals.

    It was nice upper middle class neighborhood. Prime hunting grounds, punctuated by glowing green fertilized lawns. The Datsun droned, cruising slowly.

    Every breath you take
    Every move you make
    Every bond you break
    Every step you take
    I’ll be watching you.

    Charlie found what he was looking for. Kids played in a front yard. The Datsun slowly drove past. Charlie’s eyes focused on the stick figure family on the back window of the parked Caravan. He smiled, as the figures were labeled for his convenience. He said aloud to himself in the cabin, pulling away, “Melissa”. Now, all he had to do was watch and wait.

    Charlie sat in the silenced Maxima, parked a block away. Sadness dripped from the chassis. The monster watched, picking at the steering wheel cover with wantonness. The kids wandered far, past the park. It was time. Betty was prodded and restarted with a dissenting belt squeal. Betty and the devil himself crept up at a 5mph pace. Charlie mentally rehearsed how he would calmly say “Hey, Melissa, your parents are looking for you. Get in.”

    “This is it.”, Betty realized. She became so enraged that she shorted a door switch.
    “BOOP”
    Charlie’s focus was snapped in an instant. “What the hell?”, he said, noticing that the red lights on the door panels had illuminated.
    “Right door is open.”
    “No it’s not.”, said Charlie, dumbfounded.
    He stopped the car, and cycled the passenger door. The red lights and dome lamp would not go away.
    “Fu&K!!! No!!!”, screamed the monster, alerting nearby kids and adults alike to his presence. He turned off the dome lamp, and drove away. As soon as he reached 5mph, Betty piped up again. “BOOP Right door is open.”, she exclaimed in defiance to herself, “…you bastard.” Charlie pushed the off switch to silence her. The brittle plastic internals shattered, and the switch rocked limp back and forth. “Hahahaha.”

    The man was lit conspicuously in a red glow as he drove back to his secluded lair. Charlie noticed that the sight caught the eye of a policeman briefly before the officer continued on with his business.
    Betty nagged him incessantly the whole way.

    “Look. Now it has a hairstyle.”, said the junkyard patron in Spanish. A shredded wire harness was jammed into the valve cover where an oil cap once was, awakening Betty from her slumber. The loader toted a Tercel, past her. The Toyota screamed in terror. “No! I’m still efficient! I’m still good! I can be made right again! Please!!!”

    Betty looked up at the sky.
    “I’m ready.”

  • avatar

    When I was in the car business, I took a mid-80′s 200SX on trade. I drove it two weeks before sending it to the auction, just because I liked the novelty of the voice annunciator.

  • avatar
    Marko

    I have no experience with the ’81-’84 Maxima – I don’t think I’ve ever seen one on the road – but my grandfather had an ’85 Maxima SE (?) with the voice. It also had the fancy audio system (probably BOSE) with the equalizer. I’ve heard the voice was even included on early “4DSC” generation Maximas, though my parents’ lower-trim ’90 didn’t have it.

    I also wonder if the later versions of Betty became synthesized.

    Murilee, look for an early 4DSC with the heads-up display and BOSE options and tell us if Betty is there!

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Betty was a Datsun with a problem on her hands.

    “BOOP Key is in the ignition.”, she exclaimed apprehensively. She dreaded every moment it was inserted in her lock cylinder. She dreaded what might come next. Her suspension took some time to settle down after Charles hopped into the driver’s seat. He was veritable swine. Ugly, portly, and always filthy from the usual construction sites. The back of his sweaty white t-shirt, frosted with drywall dust, dragged across the soft velour. A shiver ran through her core, manifesting itself in a stumble of electrons to the door chime. Instead of “Ding-dong”, it emitted a “Tik-tik”

    “Hey Charles, we’re all going to Half-Times. You comin’?”, asked a co-worker. Charles swung his outstretched leg into the Maxima, and shut the door to silence the chime. “Naw man, I got shit to do.” The co-worker gave him a hand gesture of “Get out of here”, and wondered just what the hell was so important for a construction worker to put off a Friday happy hour. Betty’s L24 was started. Her malfunctioning temp sensor worked it’s magic, unenthusiastically letting the mixture ratio go lean, killing the engine. Charlie answered back by jamming a foot in her gas pedal and trying again. Betty’s power steering belt squealed in pain from Charlie blipping her. “Okay, OKAY! That’s enough!” She relented, and allowed her inline six to come to a steady idle.

    “We’re going straight home, right?” , she wondered to herself fearfully. Charlie’s finger reached out like the grim reaper to the weathered “2″ preset button on the radio. Panic surged through Betty’s phonographic soul “NO.” She had no choice but to play the ’80′s classic station as requested. She had snapped her antenna mast retract cable in protest months prior. The music was what made Charlie “go dark”. This only infuriated the monster. He was into the song, and he was struggling with the poor reception.

    She’ll only come out at nights
    The lean and hungry type
    Nothing is new
    I’ve seen her here before
    Watching and waiting
    Ooh, she’s sittin’ with you
    But her eyes are on the door

    A horn blared as Charlie cut off a Honda. He aggressively ducked into the parking lot of a King Sooper. “Gadammit!”, he yelled while getting out. The door was flung open before Betty came to a stop, allowing her to attempt to calm the man with a gentle “BOOP Left door is open.” He threw the seat belt over his shoulder with violence. Then, he walked to the back and manually pulled up on the antenna. Charles slightly bent the telescoping segments with the skill of a craftsman, jamming the assembly in it’s extended state. Hall and Oates were now clear as a bell.

    Betty looked up at the dot matrix sign above the highway in hopeful anticipation. “Oh, please God.” The marquee cycled to the next message. “AMBER ALERT: BRWN 1982 TOYOTA SEDAN NO LIC INFO” Charlie’s slightly concerned facial expression developed into a devilish smile. “No.”, Betty thought to herself in despair. Charlie twisted the volume knob higher. Tears of ATF fell onto the roadway.

    Charlie pulled off the expressway. Betty’s rubber buggy bumper came to a stop at the intersection. He was vetting. She had to do something. She used her mixture ratio feedback system, and faulty temp sensor to erroneously select plot 215 in her ECU. As the Maxima pulled away on the right-hander, the engine coughed and stumbled under part throttle. The monster behind the wheel was unaffected. He simply pushed the gas pedal down more to get through the dead zone. Power steering fluid began to weep from the rack seals.

    It was nice upper middle class neighborhood. Prime hunting grounds, punctuated by glowing green fertilized lawns. The Datsun droned, cruising slowly.

    Every breath you take
    Every move you make
    Every bond you break
    Every step you take
    I’ll be watching you.

    Charlie found what he was looking for. Kids played in a front yard. The Datsun slowly drove past. Charlie’s eyes focused on the stick figure family on the back window of the parked Caravan. He smiled, as the figures were labeled for his convenience. He said aloud to himself in the cabin, pulling away, “Melissa”. Now, all he had to do was watch and wait.

    Charlie sat in the silenced Maxima, parked a block away. Sadness dripped from the chassis. The monster watched, picking at the steering wheel cover with wantonness. The kids wandered far, past the park. It was time. Betty was prodded and restarted with a dissenting belt squeal. Betty and the devil himself crept up at a 5mph pace. Charlie mentally rehearsed how he would calmly say “Hey, Melissa, your parents are looking for you. Get in.”

    “This is it.”, Betty realized. She became so enraged that she shorted a door switch.
    “BOOP”
    Charlie’s focus was snapped in an instant. “What the hell?”, he said, noticing that the red lights on the door panels had illuminated.
    “Right door is open.”
    “No it’s not.”, said Charlie, dumbfounded.
    He stopped the car, and cycled the passenger door. The red lights and dome lamp would not go away.
    “Fu&K!!! No!!!”, screamed the monster, alerting nearby kids and adults alike to his presence. He turned off the dome lamp, and drove away. As soon as he reached 5mph, Betty piped up again. “BOOP Right door is open.”, she exclaimed in defiance to herself, “…you bastard.” Charlie pushed the off switch to silence her. The brittle plastic internals shattered, and the switch rocked limp back and forth. “Hahahaha.”

    The man was lit conspicuously in a red glow as he drove back to his secluded lair. Charlie noticed that the sight caught the eye of a policeman briefly before the officer continued on with his business.
    Betty nagged him incessantly the whole way.

    “Look. Now it has a hairstyle.”, said the junkyard patron in Spanish. A shredded wire harness was jammed into the valve cover where an oil cap once was, awakening Betty from her slumber. The loader toted a Tercel, past her. The Toyota screamed in terror. “No! I’m still efficient! I’m still good! I can be made right again! Please!!!”

    Betty looked up at the sky.
    “I’m ready.”

    • 0 avatar
      PunksloveTrumpys

      I will forward your story to anybody who tells me it is wrong to have strong emotional feelings for a car.

    • 0 avatar
      daw

      wow. brilliant. seriously.

      My VA psychiatrist asked me if I was hearing Woices. I didn’t know if I should include my car or not. How would I explain? Probably better to just say, no.

      Ron at NISMO said my idea couldn’t be done. They’d already thought of anything that might work. I said I could do it and I did.

      1982 Nissan 910 (Diesel Maxima), LN371B, I think that’s the designation, (3spd JATCO with hydraulicaly actuated lock-up convertor). LD28. I removed the top section of the engine as an assembly (intake and exhaust manifolds intact, unbolted cyl head from block and pulled assy). I had taken to this technique with Datsun L4′s and 6′s.

      I set aside cast iron LD28 head with manifolds attached. I took apart the L28E top section assy (manifolds and head as one unit) that I had pulled intact from a 1976 280Z (S30). The L28E uses 10mm head bolts; the LD28 users 12mm bolts. I made up a jig for a drill press and drilled out the aluminum L28E head holes to 12mm, including those through the cam towers. I calculated bolt lengths/dia./thread pitch that I needed and went to the junkyards with tools and a set of calipers. I used a combination of LD28 and early BMW headbolts to attach the L28E head to the LD28 block. I notched the top of the LD28 bores for clearance/flow at the exhaust valves (the L28E bore is 86mm, whereas the LD28 is 84.5mm bore, so the L28E exhaust valves could crash with the bore edge, but even if it didn’t, the flow would be really poor without an eyebrow at the top bore rim.

      So with the LD28 flat-top 84.5mm pistons in the 84.5 bore x 83 stroke LD28, fitted with the N42 head it is now a 10:1 c.r. engine (now gasoline fueled).

      Good sleeper. Enough low-end torque that with the LD28 stock torque convertor still in place (low stall speed) it would respond instantly to a touch of off-idle throttle. I never took time to sort out the upshift issue (it would shift into 3rd very early and then the convertor would lock up way too soon). But I drove this car on a regular basis, including up into the mountains skiing with my kids. I had a Thule ski box on the roof, 4 kids and our ski/board gear loaded…it climbed right up and over the passes.

      I used a header for a 280ZX and the complete EFI/CPU and ignition from the L28E.

      The 810/910 is basically the same chassis as the S31 (280ZX) and I transfered to the Maxima the front and rear swaybars from a 280ZX Turbo car. I fit Infinity G20 alloys (4×4.5″ bolt circle), 6.5×15 ET20 with 205/55VR15.

      I was going to go further with this pursuit (I had driven it for a decade since creating it). The next phase would have been modifying a P90 head as I did the N42 head to fit the LD28 block; and using an entire L28ET top section/ECCE/EFI (manifolds) with intercooler but just a low-pressure stock L28ET turbo. The diesel engine uses a vacuum pump integral to the large alternator (not required by the gas engine now), and that vacuum pump incorporates an oil flow system which drains into the oil pan. I was going to drain the turbo oil into the pan using that drain access.

      Oh, I got T-boned by some dolt in an Expedition who did not see me to his left front, even if he looked. It still drives fine but it’s no fun now.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    I seem to remember my neighbors having a late 80′s Pontiac or Oldsmobile with a similar voice feature. It sounded exactly like the voice from the Speak and Spell toy that was popular back then.

    Was this a fairly common feature during that era?

  • avatar
    maximafan

    these sometimes come with a digital dash- havent found a good pic of one yet, here is a 1983 Nissan Maxima with the digital dash.

    [img]http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/4/216/2561/38038780013_large.jpg[/image]

    [img]http://carphotos.cardomain.com/ride_images/4/216/2561/38038780038_large.jpg[/image]

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    I had a co-worker with a “talking” 280ZX that had accidentally been shipped from the factory with the Japanese voice instead of English. We found it quite amusing to be yelled at in Japanese that the door was ajar…

  • avatar
    Terry

    Easily one of the best cars I’ve owned was a ’82 Maxima GL 5-speed.
    The 2.4 got good gas mileage, had excellent driveabilty, that inline6 sound on accel with torque to spare. A supremely comfortable highway flier.
    It ate rear parking brake cables, and the trunk over the rear differential was too shallow even for grocery bags.
    No matter— sunroof open on a warm summer night, excellent audio cranking out the sounds, cruise control set at 80 MPH, life was GOOD!
    Rust started on the lower rear flanks, and sold it to get my ’84 RX-7 GSL-SE.
    My sons(ages 4 and 7 at the time) still remember the gal saying “Key in in the ignition!”

  • avatar
    davew833

    My dad had two of these– both wagons- back in the mid-’90s. The first one was an ’81, IIRC, and was kind of a burnt orange color. I didn’t care for that one much, but a few years later I helped him find an ’83 or ’84 that was a platinum or champagne color and had been well cared for by the previous owner. It was a beautiful wagon and fully- equipped, but my dad and step-siblings were notoriously hard on cars, so it didn’t last long.

  • avatar

    … had high school friends whose parents were 100% in the target market for this car and had an ’82. They just adored the thing and thought the voice-scolder was just magic. I couldn’t figure it, thinking ‘If you’ve got this much dough, why don’t you just buy a BMW?’ Owning BMWs later taught me why this was not such a hot idea. Anyway – the Dad & main driver of the car (who late put WHITEWALLS on the thing) was a huge fan of Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson, an obsession I share even today. And I have many, many happy memories of shuttling all over the place in supreme Japanese near-luxury car comfort, listening to the sublime Mr. Watson…

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    This must be what inspired Chrysler to install Speak n Spell technology in a few of their “fancier” K-Cars during the era.

    Thats not a joke, they really used Speak n Spell tech while Nissan used an older lady, predicting the types of voices that we would use for our GPS systems.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    This must be what inspired Chrysler to install Speak n Spell technology in a few of their “fancier” K-Cars during the era.

    Thats not a joke, they really used Speak n Spell tech while Nissan used an older lady, predicting the types of voices that we would use for our GPS systems.

  • avatar
    maximafan

    theres a digital dash for this of the maxima- look up 1983 Nissan/datsun maxima in cardomain for a nice version with leather seats and a sunroof – apologies to the mods if posting a link is in bad taste- I hope this will suffice

  • avatar
    detlump

    We had one of these, an 82 also. It was two-tone grey and silver with a grey interior. We traded our 79 Toronado for it. I thought the voice was awesome at the time. I still remember when we drove it home from Action Nissan on Plymouth Road in Livonia. It was a good car but since it was RWD in the winter it wasn’t the best. Gave us no problems until we traded it on an 84 Audi 4000.

  • avatar
    PunksloveTrumpys

    A friend has one of these, his is badged as an ’81 Bluebird SSS and was imported for the Japanese Embassy here in NZ. It’s a bit different to this one, featuring twin square headlights and 4 door pillar-less body style. There’s a neat wrap-around rear windscreen too but apart from that the interior, seats and general shape is identical to the junked car.

    Incredibly rare car in this side of the world, only seen two others and as far as we know they weren’t sold new here. I suspect most of the few which got imported rusted out long ago. He’s had his one for about 8 years, rescued it from a barn with only 70,000km showing. They really are a nice car to drive, even with the 1800cc twin-spark 4 banger engine (L20 I think it’s called) there’s a good amount of power. Interior plastics are a bit flimsy though, and I have doubts about how one would hold up in a crash as those thin rubber bumpers don’t feel very solid! High level of equipment for the time, power mirrors, door locks, windows, air conditioning, etc, far more than the equivalent British entry-level luxury car.

    It’s an interesting beast and has served him pretty well, despite the usual Perpetual Project Car status any pre-’85 classic car becomes if you drive it daily for any length of time (in my experience anyway). Altogether I quite like these myself, they really highlight the Japanese interpretation of luxury in that era (i.e lots of equipment and future-esque detailing of everything). If only they showed up in our junk yards with more frequency, I might be temped to buy one if I knew more parts were around for them!

    -Jarrod

  • avatar
    mkirk

    My Frontier needs a Datsun hood ornament

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    I so desperately want to drive one of these, but they’re much less common than Cressidas in my area. There’s a wagon that is around here that I see from time to time and I think a sedan or two, but I’ve never seen very many of them.

    On paper, this doesn’t seem nearly as good as the Cressida, but I sure wish my Cressida could talk. I definitely want to do a comparison. I guess there was a C&D comparison in 1983 or so where they took this, a Cressida, and some other cars in the class down to Mexico and the Maxima died down there. I would love to read that article online somewhere.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    84Cressida – That famed story is on C&D’s website: http://www.caranddriver.com/features/escape-from-baja

  • avatar
    RHD

    I had one of these about ten years ago. While looking for a dependable, economical car, I came across an ’82 with 320,000 miles, still on the original engine and transmission. They were amazingly durable, and didn’t rust in California. Eventually I found an ’83, which drove great, but was a little slow and used a bit more gas that I had expected it to. Still, for 800 bucks it was a steal. Eventually it went to a farm worker who, I found out later, never bothered to change the title to his name. Most likely it got resold a couple of times, and hit the crusher with expired plates and my name still in the glove box.

  • avatar
    MRF 95 T-Bird

    Back in the 80′s a manufacturer I worked for had an 84 as one of their leased cars for management. They also had a loaded Cimmaron, but thats another story. From time to time I would use it. I drove and handled nicely though it was a bit tight for my 6’2″ frame, Interior room was not much more than a Sentra. This is where it’s competitor Cressida excelled. The Tron like dash could be a bit much and occasional glare could make it hard to read. Modernism for modernism sake is not always good.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I should find a comparo between the Maxima, Cressida, and 929.

    I’d love to find a RWD 929 model, but haven’t seen one since high school in about 2003 when a girl drove one every day. It was brown.

  • avatar
    Gifford

    I bought an 83′ Maxima 5-speed after I grew tired of the track-in-the-door seatbelt and the automatic of my similar-year Cressida. They were both great cars when I had them as 5 year old cars. The Maxima was purchased with 112,000 miles and I drove it to near 200,000 before I gave it to a friend who was in need and he drove it for years after that. All of the 240Z drivetrain components seemed to fit. I always thought that Nissan missed the model when they referred to the FWD model as a “4 Door Sports Car”. With those parts including an independent rear suspension, THIS was a 4Door 240Z decades before the Panamera.


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