By on March 2, 2015

22 - 1981 Datsun 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 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.
09 - 1981 Datsun 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinA mere 158,000 miles on the clock.
14 - 1981 Datsun 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThis 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.
03 - 1981 Datsun 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinNo CONELRAD stations indicated on this AM/FM radio, but it does have an analog signal-strength meter and an exquisitely early-1980s equalizer.
25 - 1981 Datsun 200SX Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinYou 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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28 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1981 Datsun 200SX Coupe...”


  • avatar
    CaptainObvious

    I always thought these were nice looking. Both the coupe and the hatchback. At least for the time period.

    • 0 avatar
      camaro6969sss

      I own this car it’s an 81 Datsun 200sx brown and I always wondered what is this car worth it runs real well but I never seen any others?

    • 0 avatar
      burley

      I still own 2 of these. 1980 & 1983 – still driving them.
      Best cars I have ever owned – most likely the only ones left that are still being used in California or maybe in the USA.

  • avatar
    DeeDub

    Eddie Murphy did a stand-up bit about this car back in the day:

    http://www.madmusic.com/song_details.aspx?SongID=20217

  • avatar
    Times58

    That looks like an ’82 or ’83 to me! The headlamps and tail lamps were revised for the 1982 model year. I remember driving a fastback model years ago, and was surprised how quick and responsive the car was. I remember the “multi warning system” with countdown lights that flashed “OK” when all was well!

    • 0 avatar
      Firestorm 500

      My wife drove a 1984 200SX Turbo hatchback that we bought brand new. Fun car. Sporty for the time.

      After we had our daughter in 1985, it got a little tight getting her strapped in to her car seat, in the back seat. We ended up trading it in for a 1988 Aerostar Eddie Bauer minivan in the fall of 1987.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I have never seen one of these in my life. Though one may have passed by and I didn’t take notice, on account of how boring it is. From the back it resembles an LTD even.

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    Giselle was a 200sx.

    Giselle sat in her oily puddle in the driveway, and watched Bear and Dennis work on the Harley XL1000 inside the open garage. The harley was being festooned with it’s refinished gas tank, that reflected the same attention to detail as the Datsun’s “primer job”. The tank was coated in a thick layer of Rustoleum flat black, and a Pep Boys skull sticker had been used as a makeshift stencil for some crude airbrush work. Bear put the finishing touches on his masterpiece by hand painting some blue lightning bolts. “It looks like Mickey Mouse. Dumba$s.”, thought Giselle as she spit out oil onto the gravel. The ripped up seat was placed back on the bike. It’s duct tape, filth, and exposed foam clashed with the fresh laquer of the tank. “There, now we just need an oil filter.”, said Bear through his hanging cig. Those words felt like a sharp object on Giselle’s phonograph. The two men approached the Datsun outside. “P-P-Please…K-K-Kill me.”, she said to herself.

    The men climbed into the smurf blue interior like a couple of greased pigs. “Do the headlight thing again.”, laughed Dennis. “Please don’t.”, thought Giselle, before her weary spirit was summoned. The grease in the electric motor powering her tiny soul had become hardened, causing the miniature record to spin at half speed. “Boooooop…Plllleaaase turn offff theee lighhttts.”, Giselle groaned.
    Dennis writhed in laughter in the passenger seat. “This bit#h is a f^ckin’ BUTCH.”, said Bear before silencing her with the off switch and twisting the key. “107.7 The Bone, We’re guilty…of something.”, crackled the front speakers before blasting Van Halen. A tear of oil ran down her oil sender.

    Bear jammed his spent cigarette into the ashtray, and coughed through his thick grey mustache. Giselle cringed. She was positively filthy from stem to stern. The used bandaid was still mashed into the carpet in a sadistic fashion. It was just more of the same from a bevy of scum that bartered her off for peanuts. “This is owner number…nine?”, she wondered, wincing off the spark of pain from her poorly lubricated camshaft. She couldn’t even remember her glory days anymore, aside from the kid in the striped shirt who cried out jubilantly, “It talks!?” It didn’t matter. The end would certainly come soon. The bits of paper pulp traveled through her arteries, clogging bearing feeds like cholesterol. She could feel the orange part on the side of her engine block poisoning her internals like an infected cyst.

    The men came out of the Napa auto parts, and jumped back in the Datsun. Giselle let the pawl slip on the stripped cog of the driver’s seatback, allowing Bear to fall backward as he positioned himself in the seat. Dennis and Giselle laughed. Bear lifted the seatback up again, and angrily tossed the plastic bag into the back seat. The box labeled “PH6065A” fell out. Giselle let out a gasp of R-12 at the sight. The Harley would most likely be doomed as well. “You sonofa…”, she thought, wincing off another cold start. Her lifters ticked badly this time. Had Datsun had the wherewithal to bestow her voice module with “Oil pressure is low”, she would be bleating it out right now. “Maybe not.”, she thought with a woebegone demeanor.

    Giselle’s occupants looked out nervously into the night. This was a hard part of town. It would be just cause to strand them here, Giselle wondered. Suddenly, her oil pressure rose, and then was cut off completely. Paper jammed into the oil passage for her number 3 con rod bearing. With a red oil light glowing dimly, she screamed to herself, “Here it comes you bast&rd!” Bear was startled slightly by the small drop in power, and compensated with more pressure to his right foot. Connecting rod #3 blasted out of the cast iron wall, and Giselle’s live blood spilled out onto the street through her fragged oil pan. “Ohhhh.”, she gasped as a small fire developed and extinguished itself.

    “Gawwwd damn.”, said Bear, wafting the underhood smoke. The men marveled at the wide trail of lubricant, and Bear plucked an oily fragment of big end from the destruction. He christened the event with another cigarette, and exhaled “Piece of $hit.”, before returning the chunk of aluminum to the earth.

    A maroon Z31 2+2 sobbed relentlessly as it bounced away on the fork loader. There would be no more tears from Giselle however. They were already used up. The wheel loader pulled up to her side like the spectre of death. She was then slid off onto the battered concrete. And excavator grasped her liveless heart, ripped it out, and hurled it onto the ground with a thud. The boom came back for her wiring, the finishing blow. Giselle closed her eyes.
    “Pllleeeeassssseee-“

  • avatar
    shadow mozes

    What a passionate ad!

  • avatar
    cls12vg30

    Such fond memories of the ’82 hatchback that was my fist car. I learned so much nursing that 210k+-mile rustbucket through 1993-94. She taught me the finer points of brake jobs, fuel line patching, electrical diagnosis..not to mention manual shifting and RWD, hand-me-down-snow-tires-Buffalo-winter driving.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      I had an ’81 coupe, really liked it. Great car to drive, liked the styling, really like the dash layout. I recall it needing frequent changes of disc brake pads – some flaw in design.

      The best thing,, though, was that my then-wife found it very difficult to drive, so it wasn’t an issue in the divorce.

      Only had it 3 years, sold it when I got my first company car.

  • avatar
    lon888

    If you have 4 of those phonograph thingies, then is it true the “B-side” plays the Nissan company song? I once heard this urban legend years ago. Just checkin’…

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    666 on the trip odometer.

    You found Christine.

  • avatar

    I hope there is an upcoming junkyard find on that white Pulsar in the background. Even if it doesn’t have the awesome “convert into a wagon” top.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I had the chance to experience that “voice Alert” system in a 300ZX, I quickly grew to loathe it.

    The car itself was a piece of junk, the drivers door handle wouldn’t return to its sport so ol’ “Bitchin Betty” wouldn’t shut up, between that and train-sounding brakes, worn suspension, and an automatic transmission that wouldn’t always go into gear, that 300ZX had to be the worst car I ever drove.

    But at least it looked decent (with an emphasis on looked, looks like trash currently), unlike this 200SX which just looks…meh.

    But then again I’m not really a Nissan guy

  • avatar
    zaxxon25

    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.

    • 0 avatar
      Crabspirits

      “A door is a jar” is Mopar.
      “Right/Left door is open” is Datsun/Nissan.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I distinctly remember Ford having “A door is ajar”, though not as a spoken notification. An old boyfriend of my mom had a Sable wagon and of course that confused the hell out of my eight year old mind.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          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.)

  • avatar
    ninjacommuter

    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.

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