By on September 30, 2019

Along the winding road of automotive history, certain vehicles become targets for the sort of owners who want to put a personal touch on their ride. Stance, stickers, and now, sick clouds. Once a car becomes popular with said crowd, unmodified examples become few and far between.

The 240SX was such a car, and most were chopped up long ago. However, a few slipped through the net and managed to remain original. Presenting a stock 240SX, from 1992.

The 240SX was the aerodynamic, modern successor to the blocky and not-so-successful 200SX. Nissan utilized the same S platform for its new 240 model, introducing its new two-door for the 1989 model year. To most other markets, 240SX was known as Silvia, a name Nissan used on coupe offerings since 1964.

240SX was available in two body styles from the start: a glassy liftback, and a more upright coupe. Liftbacks were available in three trims: base, SE, and LE. The coupe extended the trim range with an XE slotted between the base and SE. All trims for the first two model years carried a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter inline-four (140hp). Outside of North America, the 180SX and Silvia were available with a 1.8-liter turbocharged mill. Transmissions across the range included a five-speed manual and a four-speed auto.

Visual updates in 1991 were of give-and-take variety. A new seven-spoke wheel design offered better brake cooling but worse aerodynamics. Front clips were smoother, but lost some of the visual interest of the vents between the headlamps. Performance updates for ’91 fared better, as a DOHC version of the 2.4 replaced single cams and upped the number of valves per cylinder to four. That meant horsepower jumped to 155, with 160 lb-ft of torque. Upscale options now included a limited-slip differential and four-wheel steering for extra complexity.

For 1992 Nissan offered the North American customer something special: a convertible. All examples started out as coupes before their trip to ASC for some domestic chop-top action. In an interesting production decision, though North American convertibles were an aftermarket affair, Japanese-market convertibles were produced in-house at Nissan.

The 240SX was successful enough to warrant a second (shorter) generation in North America, as the S14 replaced the S13 for the ’95 model year. Weight and size increased, pop-up headlamps went away, and a coupe was the only style on offer. By then, the affordable rear-drive coupe market in North America was drying up, and 240SX wrapped things up in 1998.

Today’s Rare Ride sold recently out in California. With a low 72,000 miles, the beige metallic beauty asked $6,995.

[Images: seller]

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26 Comments on “Rare Rides: A 240SX From 1992, Where Stock Is Wonderful...”


  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    It would almost be more interesting to hear the life history of a car like this that has managed to make nearly 30 years and remain stock than to actually own it.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Seeing that worn spot on the driver’s seat, maybe they could have toned down the side bolsters a little.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      I feel like it’s appropriate bolstering for a sporty car for the less portly 1992 buying public.

      That said, I’m not sure if I give the worn spot a pass because it’s a 27-year-old car or if I don’t give it a pass because it has only 72,000 miles. The habits of a particular owner make a big difference too. E.g., the seat controls on my parents’ ’04 Colorado are indeed cheap, but I also know my father abused the heck out them before they broke. (Lumbar knob ≠ handle for hoisting yourself into the cab.)

      Those aren’t pretty seats necessarily, but (worn spot notwithstanding) the cloth looks much more comfortable than what you typically get today. I miss late ’80s/early ’90s fabric, be it European, Japanese, or American.

  • avatar
    retrocrank

    A Car of Choice for the <35 staff at The Office.

  • avatar
    formula m

    Same car in blue is for sale here in Ottawa, Ontario. Similar mileage asking $14,900
    It’s still a 30yr old vehicle that needs every piece of rubber replaced

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      People always say this, but I have a ’91 Volvo 944GLE with 85K on it and all the rubber is perfectly fine. It all depends on where the car came from. This one spent 25 years in the car-friendly environment of Vancouver BC.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        My ’95 Legend is a lifetime Pacific Northwest car (although the first owner also spent some time in LA) and it’s going through the rubber purge. I’ve already done every belt, every motor mount, every control arm bushing, a variety of gaskets, and almost every coolant hose. Strut bushings need replacement too. And the driver’s window seal has gotten weak and is prone to bunching when I roll the window up.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Love the no-nonsense interior on these and the practical hatchback configuration.

    There are two of these on my block. One is just like this (same color), it is in rough condition but appears bone stock. The other is black and has sadly been violated by one of those stance fools. Being RWD and having various Silva aftermarket pieces available means it attracts wannabe drifters like moths to a flame.

    Funny how all the wiper blade arms always fade to grey. I’ve owned several Hondas that did this along with my current Dakota. Is decent black paint that hard to apply to these parts?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I wonder if it’s something about the metal that keeps paint from binding. I applied generic black spray paint to my old Legend’s wiper arms when I bought it four years ago (after what should have been correct prepping), and I can already see tiny little spots where the metal is starting to show through again.

  • avatar
    lstanley

    I owned a red 240SX in college, which as you can imagine lead to any number of great hijinks a 21 year old with a red sports car should get into to…. including a successful argument with a campus cop about how “because the speed limit on the road is 30mph, you can take a 90 degree turn to the other road at 30mph as well.” Oddly enough I won this argument if you consider not getting a ticket being winning the argument.

    I ended up overheating and destroying the engine on a long trip and soon after I sold the car to a guy who had his own 240SX but had been rear ended. He was going to swap his perfectly fine engine into my perfectly fine 240SX.

    Other than some fun stories and the car being a real looker, there’s not a lot to say about it.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Look well on those pictures of the unmolested car, before some twenty-something guy named Kyler snaps it up and mods it.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    These were never that common here but time – especially in the rust belt – has taken their toll.

    I always wanted to like these – even test drove one – but that KA24 (in or DE form) engine was never a favorite of mine. It was an okay mill in my ’97 Altima but, even with a stick, it never felt very sporty. One of those times in the Altima online community that we all lusted after the SR20DET.

    2.4L (KA24E) in my ’94 Nissan truck – dependable but not anything to write home about.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    The steering wheel, seats, and floor mats, along with a dash that looks cracked makes me think something is amiss with the odometer or those were some hard miles.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, the car’s 27 years old, after all.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        But interior wear is typically proportional to miles, not time. Plastics will warp and discolor over time. I could see the dash being cracked if this was parked outdoors. As to the carpets, maybe the owner had to track through the mud or just didn’t ever clean it. But the steering wheel leather and the seat condition look worse than I would expect for that mileage.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          I would venture the odometer stopped working consistently around 70k. The odo in mine loiters in the low 150s, though the actual mileage is probably closer to 200k.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            Good point, bumpy ii. That would clear up my confusion about the worn spot on the cloth. By my recollection, cloth seats were an industry-wide strength in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I don’t have a history with Nissan, but I recall two ’88 Pontiacs in particular that both went over 100,000 miles with the cloth in great shape. I’d expect 1992 Nissan cloth to be of a good standard.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    I see unmolested Silvias showing up on Craigslist from time to time. But they’re always automatics. It seems to be the manual-equipped cars that get cut up.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    350Zs are hard to find un-f*cked-with too. I’ve got an ’07 with 35k, bone stock, and I swear to God it’s the only one in the country. I keep an eye on listings, and they’re all ridden hard, put away wet, and slathered with carbon fiber vinyl stickers, headlight masks, awful exhausts, wings, body kits – you name it. The ones that haven’t been modified appear to have been owned by Edward Scissorhands. No idea what’s up with these poor things, but finding a nice one is next to impossible. Not sure whether to keep mine or put it on Bring A Trailer with a $100k reserve as the last unmodified 350Z in existence.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      When I sold mine it was 90% stock. I even put the stock wheels back on despite them being ugly as sin. Everything I changed was easy to reverse and desirable. For example Gemini exhaust (not crappy sounding), sway bars, Akebono brakes (larger then the optional Brembos). It had zero exterior or interior mods aside from a new stereo system that was totally stealth / hidden.

      The Z just became so cheap after its 2nd or 3rd owner the bottom fell out of the market. With them being a dime-a-dozen the ricer crowd went nuts. Like the 240 here it was car many wanted back in the day because of Japanese + RWD + hatchback but couldn’t afford. Now that the used market is flooded with horrible, crappy examples its dragging the prices of the good ones down sadly.

      I was the 2nd owner of my ’03 Touring and the first own kept it completely stock. In fact it didn’t even have window tinting when I purchased it and this was in FL where everyone stops at the tint shop on the way home from the dealership. I think the owner was trying to save it for Barrett Jackson, he was older guy who garage kept it with very low miles (18K). However then he realized the market is full of beaters and nobody was paying a premium for untouched example… so he let it go. I felt like I stole it.

      I often considered leaving it untouched too, but it was too fun at the track so I beat it silly and sold it with 75K in mileage. Plus I don’t have the garage space to store it in hopes that 30 years from now someone actually wants to pay top dollar for it.

      Same goes for pretty much any CRX Si that is still around. Finding a stock one has got to be impossible these days.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      They’ve moved on to the manual Infiniti G’s now that the 350Z’s seem to be mostly used up.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Hit that driver side floormat with some “Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover” and agitate with a brush. No need to rinse.

    (What – you don’t *have* any Folex on-hand? Buy some – you’ll thank me later.)

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Dude, do you even drift?

  • avatar
    macmcmacmac

    Looking at that interior creeps me out. Paul Bernardo owned one exactly like this, even down to the the colour.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    Nice to remember a time when I actually aspired to own a Nissan.


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