Rare Rides: The 1988 Nissan Sunny Is Nearly a Sentra and Definitely All-wheel Drive
Today’s Rare Ride comes to us — for the first time — from the nation’s capital. As we ponder what the owner was thinking, we’ll pore over a tidy Nissan Sunny imported from Japan. It’s rare, square, and almost exactly the same as the Nissan Sentra your aunt had in 1991. I’m really not sure.
Datsun first introduced vehicles wearing the Sunny nameplate back in 1966. Through four generations the car kept the Datsun name, only switching to Nissan for the fifth generation, which debuted in 1982. The Sunny/Tsuru replaced the Datsun 210 and was always called Sentra in North America. This B12 model was available in the United States from 1986 through 1990.
The only all-wheel-drive model the United States received was the wagon variant, and only early on. Nissan simplified model offerings over the years, and by 1990 there was only a coupe, sedan, wagon, and a two-door sedan — all in front-drive-only. Today’s Rare Ride is the Japanese domestic market version of the Sunny. It has all-wheel drive, low miles, and brougham pretensions.
A five-speed manual transmission puts the power down through all four wheels via one of seven different inline-four engines. I’m not sure which one powers this; perhaps one of the B&B is more enlightened?
The model-specific logos are a nice touch, and the front end is reminiscent of a Polish-manufactured FSO Polonez.
The claimed mileage of 30,000 would seem accurate given the pristine state of the interior. Five small persons fit in plum velour comfort, and will wonder once inside why you didn’t just buy a Sentra.
This 4WD Super Saloon E model came straight from the Sunny dealership chain in Tokyo.
Current ask is $4,950 on Craigslist. For the diehard Nissan collector, that might be the right kind of price to bring the Sunny home.
[Images via seller]
Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Writing things for TTAC since late 2016 from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can find me on Twitter @CoreyLewis86, and I also contribute at Forbes Wheels.
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- Dukeisduke Eh, still a Nissan. Nope.