Junkyard Find: 1981 Datsun 200SX Coupe

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
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.

Join the conversation
5 of 28 comments
  • Zaxxon25 Zaxxon25 on Mar 05, 2015

    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.

    • See 2 previous
    • JimC2 JimC2 on Mar 05, 2015

      @NoGoYo Kung Fu Joe's Celica convertible also had a "The door is ajar" voice alert, but then it goes on to say some other interesting things... (Spambot got me, just cut-and-paste 9cCJzrs7PAQ into YouTube for the punchline, folks.)

  • Ninjacommuter Ninjacommuter on Mar 09, 2015

    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.

  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.