By on June 19, 2015

10- 1993 Nissan NX1600 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The Nissan NX was never much of a big seller in the United States, and only the first-cousin-of-the-Sentra-SE-R NX2000 gets any attention from potential diamond-in-the-rough rescuers today. That means that you won’t see many of these cars in the wrecking yards, so I decided to photograph this purple-duct-tape-customized example in a Denver yard a couple months back.
08- 1993 Nissan NX1600 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The GA16DE DOHC engine in this car made 110 horses with variable valve timing, which wasn’t exactly big power. It did manage to get 33 mpg on the highway.

19- 1993 Nissan NX1600 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Digital dash!

04- 1993 Nissan NX1600 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

The Black Ice Little Tree is the second-most-popular flavor of Car-Freshner product found in American junkyards; New Car Scent is #1. Note the purple-tape-wrapped steering wheel.

18- 1993 Nissan NX1600 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Purple tape may be found in many places in this automobile, in fact.

13- 1993 Nissan NX1600 Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee Martin

Rollin’ on Arizonians!

It was sold in Europe as the 100NX.

In Thailand, women were indifferent to NX-driving men.

Australians became werewolves behind the wheel of an NX.

In the NX’s homeland, it was pitched as a cute car made of rubber and sold to “kids at heart.”

And, of course, the American-market NX ads were boring and focused on cheapness. Only $6 a day to drive this car!

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40 Comments on “Junkyard Find: 1993 Nissan NX1600...”

  • avatar

    Wow, I have to say that I have never seen one of these ever. To be honest I’ve never even heard of this little car until now.

    • 0 avatar

      Same here. Looking at wikipedia it appears it was only sold in the US from ’91-’93 though.

    • 0 avatar

      Use to see a fair number of these here in Canada back in the day… They did not age well at all – The winter salt did a number on the body and usually in the same spots on all… Fenders, door frames and where the front end connects with the fender.

    • 0 avatar

      I remember pondering heavily over the Sentra SE-R or the NX2000, which was essentially the SE-R with this swoopy early ’90s body. I ended up being too broke to get either one but remember them well.

    • 0 avatar

      This is actually the 3rd generation. There were earlier NX’s with boxier body styles in late 80’s.

    • 0 avatar

      My parent’s neighbors across the street had one for a while, in faded red. It didn’t look too bad really, I think it was an interesting design and certainly pretty rare.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Hope you profile the maroon Accord in front of it someday.

  • avatar

    I want one of these. Have since I first saw one. Now I just want to buy one, and an MX3, and race them together. Oh, the fun I’d have.

  • avatar

    I always liked both these and the Mazda MX-3’s (“world’s smallest V6!”). They never sold well here, but were very well regarded for the way they drove, and they were the last of the simple, two door, small, inexpensive Japanese coupes

    • 0 avatar

      I darn near traded my wife’s sentra with the 1.6 for an MX3 with the winky little v6, but the other fellow backed out. It was a neat little thing and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a smaller V6 then that K8. I think it did 130 HP in a little MX3–not too bad given that they weighed a little more than a Miata.

    • 0 avatar

      I remember these, and the little Mazda coupe too. “Well regarded” is exactly the phrase I was about to post for them.

    • 0 avatar

      Bought one of the MX3s with the 1.8 six and 5 speed new in 92. Was really sporty and fun for the time. That motor liked to rev like crazy. Ended up moving to NYC and not needing it, but got a few speeding tickets making the trip from Nor Cal.

  • avatar

    And you didn’t pull the digital dash for your collection? I’ve never seen one in person, but they look really cool, I’d love to have one in my B13.

    I average in the low 30’s in a B13 Sentra, with spurts on the freeway up to 40mpg. I’ll bet this one was sent to the junkyard for a bad transmission, as they are not terrible robust.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Poor Easter Egg. The digital dash is the only reason anyone cares about the 1600. There are writeups to install it in all sorts of other cars.

      The 5-speed may not be toughest thing in the world, but 110 hp isn’t exactly taxing. Besides, a junkyard box could be swapped in an afternoon.

  • avatar

    The NX2000 variant was a hoot. Buddy of mine nearly bought one at the same time I had my Sentra SE-R. He brought it over for a weekend to play with, so for the weekend we had Nissan cousins! Come to think of it, we also both had Plymouth Arrows starting out (mine, a ’78 GT, his a ’79 Fire Arrow) and when I went to college he had a Shelby Charger and I had a Lancer ES.

  • avatar

    Those digital clusters are the current hot swap for the drift set.

  • avatar

    Always found it hilarious that the 1600 had the digital dash while the 2000 made do with an analog pair of dials.

    I wanted one of these badly while in high school but the folks (wisely) got me a used Sentra instead. A few years later I sprung for a 200SX, which while much better screwed together didn’t have nearly the charm of the old NX body.

  • avatar

    Interesting, I’ve never seen one of these before! In a junkyard or on the road. heck, never even heard of it!

  • avatar

    Wow. The NX.

    So, it was my first few months of working in a car biz and I attend my first auction with my then-GM, the cokehead I refer to occasionally. We’re at Manheim St. Pete and we’re looking for a cheap car for his 19 year-old son that’s good on gas. He buys a black ’93 NX1800 for $800 – stick, t-tops, poorly-installed aftermarket SUPERHYFYGOODTIMESDYNOMITE CD deck, and this fabulous digital dash and like 138k miles. He argues with his son over the phone about this car because he thinks this car is ‘gay’ and his father doesn’t give a crap and just wants him to take the car. He abruptly hands the phone to me, “Here, you tell him its cool…”

    Me: “Hello?”

    Son: “Hey.”

    Me: “What’s up?”

    Son: “My dad’s trying to pound me into that car. It sounds so fruity.”

    Me: “Its a decent car, man. Its good on gas, not beat up…”

    Son: “Dude. You don’t have to close me. Be honest with me. You’re only a few years older than me. Would YOU drive this car?”

    Me: *pause* “….Y-yeah. Yeah its cool. Its like a cool sports car. Its got a fastback and room for all your stuff. Its got a stick, which is…which is sweet. And, uh, its got T-Tops. That’s awesome man. And a nice So-…uh…I don’t know what brand it is, but its got a stereo with a sub in the back. Oh and the dash is all digital! Wow! That’s awesome!”

    Son: “Its a two-seater, right?”

    Me: “Yeah.”

    Son: “It sounds like one of those gay Del Sols.”

    Me: *long pause* “Its nothing like a Del Sol. At all.”

    Son: “Okay, I trust you if you say its cool.”

    He absolutely HATED that thing for the eight months he drove it. We eventually gave up and put it online to sell for $2995. I get a phone call from a college kid from FSU. He drives down with his girlfriend to look at it. Both are MORBIDLY. OBESE. They wedge their behinds into this little bucket, drive it around the block, fill it up with gas, and come back saying they’ll buy it. Just as we close the deal, he looks and sees a coat hanger hanging down from the back. We look under the rear parcel shelf and see a 3 square foot gaping hole right through the trunkwell floor. Can see the pavement. The son comes out and goes “Wow, so that’s where my shampoo went!”

    Needless to say, we didn’t sell it.

    Had the rear fixed and a few weeks later sold it to some guy who flew down from Ohio for $2500. Bought it because he sold his wife’s when they got married years ago and she always missed the car.

    That’s my NX story…

  • avatar

    I didn’t realize these things were such unicorns. I’ve ridden in three of them: one back in 1995, spent a lot of time in one in the late 90s/early 00s until it was traded for a new Civic, and finally – I had a co-worker who was still driving one of these in 2010!

  • avatar

    You’ll find one in every car kid. You’ll see…

  • avatar

    You mean there was an NX *before* the bionic-looking Lexus NX? Huh. You learn something new every day.

    Having just looked up pictures of operational NX1600 clusters, let me come out and say that I really like it. It’s very well-executed.

  • avatar

    We have owned 2 dark red NX2000s. A 1991 and a 1992 with T-Tops. These things are fun! Lots of low end torque that builds quickly, a 7000 rpm redline and a nice exhaust note the whole way. Steering was wonderful – better than our power steering equipped NA Miata – and the handling was sharp. The NX2000 had one of the first limited slip front differentials so I am not sure how, but it helped. The t-tops were a fun novelty. Downside was the lack of backseat passenger room, but with the seat folded it was amazing what you could take with you. A fun pocket rocket and styling that I thought was great and unlike anything else on the road. I wanted to fit the digital cluster from the NX1600 to our second NX2000 but it was a project that we didn’t get to.

  • avatar

    wow some of you guys are pretty young up here. This was the second stick shift that I drove. The first was a POS Renault Alliance GTA (MT car of the year). In its prime the NX was considered one of the best FWD cars in the world.

  • avatar

    I was a Nissan salesman in 1991 when the NX was released in Canada, as a replacement for the old Pulsar. Can still remember the gaping look on the salesmen’s faces when that ugly mug came rolling off the truck.

    The NX2000 was the way to go. Not only for the SR20DE engine and handling upgrades, but because the ugly proboscis was somewhat masked with a chin spoiler and fog lights.

  • avatar

    These aren’t common around here, about as rare as the Mazda MX3. I just saw one of these in a LA yard the other day, same blue color that the majority of them seem to have been painted. I always likes the digital dash, only offered on the 1600 and not the SR20 model. Also why does the engine shot above say the car has VVT?

  • avatar

    Today’s Rare Ebay Find, made the same year as our purple taped friend here.

    A 93 300ZX, in the best color (pearl) with factory convertible (rare!) and 80K miles.

    It’s in fantastic shape save for the awful chrome aftermarkets, and I really don’t think this is a bad deal.

  • avatar

    I used to sell Nissans for a bit in early 1990s, so I’ve had a fair amount of time behind the wheel of these cars.

    The NX1600 drove and handled like a Sentra XE – no surprise there. On the other hand, the NX2000 was an amazing corner carver for a FWD sports coupe, a hugely underrated car.

    The Sentra SE-R got all the love, however. Although it shared the same engine as the NX2000 and Infiniti G20, its handling was nothing special IMO. Whereas you could take the NX2000 by the scruff of its neck and toss it around curvy roads and it would love every minute of it. Very tossable.

    I’d say that the NX2000 was almost at the same level as the much-loved 240SX. In fact the NX2000’s engine was more refined and eager to rev than the 240SX’s coarse engine. Of course the interior of the 240SX was more unique and interesting, whereas much of the NX2000’s interior used parts from the Sentra.

    Anyhow, at legal speeds, the NX2000 and 240SX were the most fun-to-drive Nissans in the line-up at that time. The 300ZX were fun to be seen in, but it couldn’t hold a candle to its less powerful siblings at normal speeds.

  • avatar

    Speaking of NX’s, I found a Pulsar the other day at the junkyard. Regular hatchback, not the rare sportback, unfortunately.

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