Junkyard Find: 1981 Datsun 200SX Coupe
The S110 Nissan Silvia, sold in the United States as the Datsun 200SX for the 1979 through 1983 model years, has all but disappeared from American roads by now. We’ve seen a couple of the S110’s successor, the S12, in this series: this ’86 200SX and this ’86 200SX Turbo, and that’s it. Late last week, I spotted this faded but unrusty two-tone ’81 at a Northern California wrecking yard.
A mere 158,000 miles on the clock.
This switch is the tipoff that there’s a phonograph-based Voice Annunciator System box somewhere in the car, but I couldn’t reach it with the screwdrivers-and-a-needlenose toolkit I had on me at the time. Anyway, I’ve got at least four of the things in my hoard at this point.
No CONELRAD stations indicated on this AM/FM radio, but it does have an analog signal-strength meter and an exquisitely early-1980s equalizer.
You could get these cars in beige-and-brown two-tone, though this one is a more subdued blue-on-blue.
The US-market ads for this car were a little boring, but such was not the case in Japan.
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My father has an 84 Maxima with the voice alert feature, though he disabled it early on. When I visited last Christmas I asked him reconnect it so we could listen to it call the door a jar, he declined to do so.
I had an 81 while in high school, college, and for a few years after that. Nice car for what it was, although mine was a stripper. The dual plugs in each cylinder were a nice touch, but the car had some real issues: I never had a car that would fog up inside as fast as this one - I would turn on the AC as a preventative measure every time; the driver's manual window handle broke off under normal and not often usage; the black panel behind the passenger side window lost the black paint on all models (how this one still has it surprises me); the car was quick for the 100 plus HP engine, but it didn't get anywhere near 40 mpg on the highway (I remember more like 30 mpg with reserved driving to save my few dollars); and the brakes barely worked when wet. But we all love our first, and this was mine. However, I haven't bought a Datsun/Nissan since.