Junkyard Find: 1990 Infiniti Q45

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 1990 infiniti q45

A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to own a well-preserved 1990s Japanese luxury car, and my first choice was the Infiniti Q45. Well, it turned out that just about every example of the Q45 got completely trashed by about 2005, and so I found a very nice Coach Edition LS400. Still, though, I love the early Q45’s weirdness and its Nissan President origins, and so I shot this first-year example that I found in California.

These were seriously luxurious and powerful cars for their day, but most of them weren’t cared for so well once they went to their second owners.

This one just barely made it past 150,000 miles.


There is no compromise at any speed.

Take a long, hard test drive.

In Japan, it was called the Nissan Infiniti Q45.

I couldn’t find the weird US-market “Zen” Q45 ad, but here’s the Japanese counterpart.





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  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Mar 12, 2015

    My uncle in Cambridge, MA had one of these. It lived a hard life, outdoor parking for long periods of inactivity followed by infrequent blasts to Conn. and surrounding region. It was pretty much bulletproof and wore quite well, and was the definition of luxury at the time for me.

  • Emanistan Emanistan on Jul 27, 2016

    As philisophical as I try to be about cars, it still hurts me on an almost personal level to see the disrespect the original Q45 was subjected to, and how mistreated so many of the ones that have survived are. I first saw the Q45 at the 1989 auto show at Moscone Center in SF when I was 15, and I'd never seen a car like it. It had a totally unique beauty on the outside, & conveyed quality on every little detail, & to this day, I've never sat in a more comfortable interior, even having ridden in several Mercedes & Beemers since. To my 15 year old mind it was inconceivable that this car wouldn't take the country by storm & become the ultimate prestige machine. This spring a very pretty 1990 Q45 with a low serial number ended up at the local pick-n-pull here in Redding. I was almost tempted to save it, but soon came to grips with the fact that I had neither the time, the money, the space, let alone the trailer to do so, so-even though it makes me feel lie a vandal-I went about saving as much from the crusher as I could. Naturally the cloisonné emblem was the first thing to go, and is now on my wall, then I spent the next few weeks dismantling the doors to get at the pretty oval door handles, then I got all of the seats, front and back, which I'm in the process of restoring in order to mount in my van. Even as a junkyard hulk its a beautiful car. Redding gets very hot, but even with no power to it's AC, the Q45's interior is still comfortable, and it's usually my break spot during long days in the yard. Taking it apart, I'm still impressed by it's build quality: the only junkyard car I've worked with yet that's as solidly put together as a Mercedes.

  • Wjtinfwb How does the ICE mid-engine C8 platform work for... anything else? A sedan? SUV? With a mid engine configuration? A mid-engine SUV will have to be Suburban sized to offer the utility of a CRV. GM should dust off the Omega platform designed for the Cadillac CT6 for an SUV/Sedan offering with exceptional handling, Rear or AWD capability and acceptable space utilization. They also need to focus on interior fit & finish, trim choices and high quality final engineering and assembly. What GM doesn't need is another half-baked product with a storied and prestigious badge on the decklid and a premium price on the Monroney. No more Cimarron's, Allante's or X-cars needed to tarnish the reputation of Corvette.
  • InCogKneeToe BUILD It and they will come.By Build It, I mean a Vehicle that the Customer Wants and it works for them. It could be called Chevette for all that that matters. The Mach E's success isn't because it totes the Mustang on it.Just build what people want, the next Caravan/Taurus/Beetle/Maverick (truck).
  • YellowDuck Wait...how do you make a mid-engine crossover? Or even a 4-door coupe? Me not get.
  • 28-Cars-Later Thanks Corey. The head stud job on NOrthSTAR-T was $3K *years ago* as it involves an engine pull so rear wheel arch rust in and of itself isn't a show stopper. I'll be sure to check out the trunk as it may start to add up on deferred maintenance. Supposedly this was garaged so the underneath the rockers etc. should be decent but if those are shot its not gonna work.
  • Mark 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, G4NG engine with connecting rod bearing issues. Engine needs to be replaced, but Hyundai is denying warranty claim. I have all maintenance records from mile zero. It has been in Hyundai Service department 5 time in 4 months. They added the knock sensor and software update to let you know the engine is about to blow up. They kicked the can down the road doing patch work until the car was past the 120k extended extended warranty. I have that documentation too. So how can I join the class action law suit or find a Lawyer that handles these types of issues?
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