Rare Rides: A 240SX From 1992, Where Stock Is Wonderful
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.
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