By on November 27, 2013

07 - 1986 Nissan 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 240SX version of the Nissan Silvia has become something of a cult car among drifter types in the United States, but the earlier (1984-88) 200SX version seems to have disappeared from both the streets and the public consciousness. Still, I see the occasional 200SX in wrecking yards these days, and I spotted this red ’86 in a Denver yard last week.
03 - 1986 Nissan 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinSo close to 200,000 miles!
02 - 1986 Nissan 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinExcept for the odd checkerboard seat upholstery, Nissan kept the interior of this car fairly restrained by 1980s standards.
18 - 1986 Nissan 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee Martin120 horses from the CA20E engine, which was acceptable power in 1986.
11 - 1986 Nissan 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture Courtesy of Murilee MartinRust-free, straight body, interior pretty good— a Supra of the same vintage and condition would have been worth enough to stay out of The Crusher’s domain.

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22 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1986 Nissan 200SX...”

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Yeah, almost nobody cares about the S12, and the few who do want the turbo or V6. Supply may be low, but demand is lower, so off to the glue factory it goes.

  • avatar

    Needs more Turbo! I think my affection for these tough litte cars is well documented on this site.

    Still as handsome as ever, even in death.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed, for some reason, the turbo logo on the black spoiler is seared into my brain.
      They were new during the time I started driving.

    • 0 avatar

      The back is the best part. It just screams 80s Atari.

      Somewhere growing up, I must have spent time in a similar vintage Nissan. I remember the little square cut-outs on the HVAC levers. I don’t know who it was though, as nobody in my immediately family ever had a Nissan until the mid 90s.

  • avatar

    It wasn’t fast with the basic engine but it was a great improvement over my old 2002. The Door is A Jar, The Door is a Jar.

  • avatar

    These were nice cars, but one of those that really got the shaft in the US. Take a look back at that Wiki you linked to it had only 105HP which even in its day was sort of low. Granted you could step up to the turbo with a whopping 30hp more. Meanwhile the JDM Silvia is running around with a 167hp and 187hp turbo motors. We did get that V6 SE version which was neat. But this car is totally forgotten in the US.

    The next gen 240SX continued the tradition by shafting the US with weak truck motors. The international reputation of the 180SX/Silvia and availability of JDM engines for swapping appears to have kept some of these on the road in the US.

  • avatar

    This car’s not forgotten by me… one of my faves out of the 25+ I’ve owned. It was not fast and fishtailed like crazy in bad weather but otherwise it was a great bulletproof car. I always liked its looks too.

  • avatar

    Nissan started using the 4 x 114.3″ wheel lug pattern on these old SX models, if I’m not mistaken. They still use that pattern on small cars today (my Cube has it), and since the SX cars are so popular with the latter-day “dorifto” set, the custom wheel choices for the more contemporary models is a lot higher than it should be. Which is cool, because the Enkei RPF1’s on my Cube look a lot cooler than the OEM options it would otherwise be limited to.

  • avatar

    “Rust-free, straight body, interior pretty good— a Supra of the same vintage and condition would have been worth enough to stay out of The Crusher’s domain.”

    Replace Supra with AE86 Corolla for extreme disparity effect. Examples in Chicago are driven until you can enter the car through the floor. My friend sold his AE86 for $1500 after it was hit by a semi. The kid bondo’d the A and B pillars back into shape, and to the best of my knowledge, it’s still driving around. Yet nobody cares about the S12, which is funny, because if you squint with the two parked next to each other, you can’t tell them apart.

    I have never seen an AE86 in a junkyard here.

    • 0 avatar

      S12’s didn’t get a manga made after them, Initial D is pretty much the one reason that AE86’s get the spotlight that they do.

      Not their slower AE85 cousins though, I spotted one in the junkyard and considered buying the tailights off it. Shame these don’t get the same popularity since they’re really just AE86’s with a weaker engine, a simple swap away and you can drift just like Tak Fujiwara!

  • avatar

    Max needed a break.

    “What do you mean it won’t pass inspection?!?” Max exclaimed.
    “Well for one, the headlights don’t work. Then the horn, brake light out in the back, tires are balled, the rotors look to be ten years old, and the undercarriage is so rotted there is a small hole right behind the driver’s seat into the cabin, see?” the grizzled mechanic said as he pointed into the car’s interior from the rear window.
    “I haven’t even sent this out for emissions yet.”
    “How could this be? This car was garage kept.” Max replied.
    “The last time this was inspected in PA was 2003. Kid you don’t buy cars from Ohio, bring them here, and expect them to pass. Ohio doesn’t even have inspection” the mechanic said as he tapped the windshield.
    “Dammit and I’ve got $1500 in this thing. My dad’s gonna freak.” Max said as walked around and surveyed the otherwise nice looking Nissan. The mechanic rolled his eyes at the dad comment, since everyone in town knew the drunkard mayor well, and disliked him.
    “How much to fix it?” Max asked.
    “It’s not worth fixing.” The mechanic grumbled.
    “But, but, I need a car. My mom-”
    “Listen, the rot can’t be fixed. I could get a welder in here but its pretty far gone underneath. Other stuff I dunno, I might be able to jury rig the headlights up. At least a couple hundred, not to say anything about emiss-” The mechanic said before being interrupted.
    “Do what you can with it, call me when its done. Don’t worry about inspection.” Max said as he wrote his cell number down.

    Max left the shop and turned around to look a its gray facade as he dialed a number on his Iphone to cousin Jim at the Buick dealer.

    “Jim, its Max” Max asked into the touchphone.
    “Yeah” Jim replied.
    “Jim can you do me a huge favor?”
    “Depends” Jim said.
    “Can you get one of the “1”s for the inspection stickers?”
    “Sh*t man no, I could lose my job” Jim replied hastefully.
    “Dude, who covered for you with your mom about the weed?”
    Jim sighed into the phone.
    “Thanks, bring them by my mom’s house after work”

    Max leaned over the windshield and pointed the hair dryer inside onto the recent Ohio and aged PA inspection stickers. The Ohio sticker came off nicely but the all important PA sticker would not peel off as cleanly. Max cursed it as he slowly pulled it back and held about 80% of it on his finger. He layered the “1” Jim delivered over the zero in “03” and suddenly in a crude and roundabout way a 2003 sticker becomes a 2013. Sure Max realized the sticker color would be wrong but he thought not much of it, he beat the system and that’s all that mattered.

    Max turned the key and took the smooth looking Nissan out on the town for the big Friday night. He drove the car down slowly down Route 88 and hoped to make it to the VIP before nine, a typical high school destination. Most of his classmates were driving newer cars and a few gearheads had done up their much older Fox body Mustangs very well, but finally Max had something he was proud to be seen in. He revved up the engine as he went around Brady’s bend but suddenly something went wrong. The dashboard lit up and the car shook, the left headlight fell into the hood with the shaking and white smoke began pouring up on his windshield and into the cabin. On the entrance side of the bend he quickly pulled the car over, turned it off, and popped the hood. A plume of white smoke met with his face and flashlight as he in vain and darkness attempted to determine what happened to the car. After a few moments of fiddling under the hood, he noticed blue and red flashes out of the corner of his eye. The officer left his Panther and shone his flashlight onto the red car.

    “Officer I seem to have a problem” Max said as the officer approached him.
    “Sir, I think you’re going to require a tow”. The officer’s formal stance changed when he pointed his flashlight onto Max’s face.
    “Max…” he said as he rolled his eyes.
    “Officer Tim I’m not sure what happened” Max said innocently. Officer Tim could smell the burning oil, as he looked over the car.
    “What the hell is this car… wait…” he said as he noticed the sticker. Evidently when Max reapplied the sticker the “1” turned a bit crooked.
    “Max I’ll call a wrecker but I’m going to have to tell your dad about all this” he said tapping the windshield.
    “My dad’s gonna kill me” Max replied.

  • avatar

    Well from the pics that can be seen,It seems like its in good shape. As long as the frames not rotted out,It could be fixed up and still used. Seems a shame to let it get crushed since it does’nt seem to have been in an accident. I never owned a 200sx But i knew a few who did. I never heard bad things about them!! These vehicles come from a time when nissan made good cars.Most likely because they were actually made in japan.

  • avatar

    Sigh….. I hate seeing these get wasted.

    I would love to get one and put on the period correct Silvia (or even Gazelle!) badges and drop in a FJ20ET, same motor as the awesome DR30 Skyline Turbo RS models, the S12 Silvia/Gazelle also offered that engine.

  • avatar

    I remember these neat little cars fondly ~ the 8 spark plug NAPS-Z engine made decent power for such a tiny , smog choked thing .

    Even in Sunny So. Cal. they’re few & far between these days .


  • avatar

    In 1995 I was a teenager working in a movie theatre, and one of the other ushers had one of these, in black. He was from a Nissan family and had been given it by his mother when she got a 1st gen Altima. I thought it was so cool with it’s pop up headlights and RWD. I’m pretty sure it also had a HUD for the speedometer. I was driving a 1990 Taurus; reliable but boring. At the same theatre, my manager was driving a ’77 Corolla Sedan and one of the concessionists (a several times over MILF in her early 20’s with a serious drinking problem) had 1980 Celica with louvers on the back glass. All those seem like they would be collectible cars today, but not so much back then.

  • avatar

    These were nice little cars back in the day, also liked the Mitsubishi Starion turbo and the VW Scirocco.

  • avatar

    interesting the hideous nissan orange lettering on the switchgear.. i did not realize the recently used hideous orange instrument lighting was a carryover trait from this era.. i suspect this is a reflection of some folks back at hq who think this characteristic is somehow key to the brand identity… it is not.. and i am certain buyers have been repulsed by the color.. i have..

  • avatar
    Shut up Ike

    My first new(er) car was a black ’84 notchback. With a 5-speed and a red interior it was a sharp ride! And yes – it had the nanny option (Fuel level…is low/Door is…ajar). She went to the digital graveyard after my stereo got yanked buy some dickweed. The only car I liked more was the car I traded it in on…a brand-new 1990 Integra GS coupe. I wish I had either of them today! Well…those and my ’70 Challenger. Or my ’68 Chevelle. Or my ’67 Coronet. Dammit.

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