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29,807 Miles: 1984 Nissan 200SX Turbo

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Looking to relive your glory days of turbocharged import performance from the 80’s? Then step right up, because this 1984 Nissan 200SX Turbo here on eBay is likely one of the remaining few examples of a vintage hot hatch that has practically disappeared from American roadways. Susceptible to rust and over-exuberance on slippery backroads (it is rear wheel drive, after all), finding one in such nice condition makes this a near-unrepeatable specimen.

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80’s Japanese cars were the pinnacle of their development, in my opinion. They were still chock-full of personality, despite doing the one thing everyone who has ever bought a Japanese commuter buys them for: providing reliable, cheap operation. But before they became watered-down blobs hell bent on swapping out performance for fuel economy, the land of the Rising Sun cranked out plenty of turbocharged hatchbacks with great sport seats, terrific visibility from the cockpit and rear-wheel-driven handling.

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Now, the one downside to this is cars like these became popular with the tuner crowd once they were just used cars and very few are left in good condition. This 200SX is a true survivor that was a second vehicle for the longtime (31 years) original owner. That reminds me of another rarity: owners who actually stick with their cars for any length of time. From the black trim in the taillights to the lustrous rear spoiler, this Nissan presents as new. Available in Illinois, the seller has set a reserve price that is unmet at this time.

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What a clean, driver-focused interior. The conventional manual transmission is a rarity in any car these days, but the Japanese used to swear by them as the best solution for efficiency and keeping drivers engaged. Now, it’s all become CVT drivetrains and dashboard screens that ensure we never miss a text message. If this were my car, I’d add the OEM rear window louvers and otherwise leave it alone. With 135 turbocharged horses, light weight and RWD, it looks like a terrific garage queen that’s still fun to drive (and I know of three in a local junkyard if the need for spares arises!)


  1. sparkster

    Great story on Ebay about this car. Reminds me of the Toyota Supra and it’s little brother the Celica GTS

    Like 2
  2. DRV

    Modern collectible…..own it for free …

    Like 0
  3. Matt

    The odometer looks a little fishy to me, but the condition reflects the mileage claim.

    Like 0
  4. Luke Fitzgerald

    Woman was obviously a maniac – love her

    Like 0
  5. Blindmarc

    This is a great little car! Wish I could afford to bid on it. Great find!

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  6. Alan (Michigan)

    Looks great, but I think that the seller is hoping for a stack of cash.
    Half a stack will be all anyone is willing to pay….?

    Oh and Jeff, the rear window louvers might be hard to find. If someone is lucky enough to locate a set, they bring along issues, such as added weight. Even the factory ones may not be compatible with the rear window wiper. Not that this car will ever see a winter, but clearing snow/ice from a car which has louvers is an exercise in frustration.

    Like 0
    • paul


      How much weight do you think the louvers add to make them an “issue” as you mentioned? I just weighed mine for giggles off my 280zx and they are only 28 pounds and are the factory Datsun aluminum ones….In my opinion i agree with Jeff, the louvers are a necessity and i think the extra 25-30 pound weight gain wouldnt make any difference to me personally….

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      • Alan (Michigan)

        I had the louvers on a Mitsubishi-made Colt from 1983. What I found was that at least one of the overworked lift struts failed almost annually, so you have to figure that into the cost. How they attach can cause leaks around the window, if they are the type which has anchors fitting under the seal.
        Keeping the solar gain down in a big glass hatch is a great idea, and I was glad we had the louvers most of the time. But I took them off for the Ohio winters. And I kept a custom-made wood post to support the hatch when a lift strut failed. The fact that I made one out of an old broom handle, and kept it in the car, should indicate how necessary it was…. ;-)
        Oh, and then there is that pesky issue with whether the wiper would work with the louvers installed….

        Like 1
  7. sparkster

    tint the damn window and call it good

    Like 0
  8. nessy

    Oh I like this car, the digital dash and everything else. As for the Louvers talk, my Datsun 280ZX Turbo has had them since new on both the rear window and the side windows. While they did a great job protecting the interior from fading, the hatch never stays open, even when it was new so I have to watch the hatch from falling on my face, it seemed like everytime I opened the stupid hatch, first I would hear it coming back down and then my automatic reaction was to look up just in time to get clocked right in the face! Ha, I must be a slow learner. Plus, with both rear and side windows having these stupid covers, you can not see much when backing up. I should have just tinted the windows but at the time, Louvers were the hot item on every car including vans and trucks.

    Like 0
  9. PA

    This car is a beauty! To think its a Michigan car too! My dad bought a black 85 200SX Turbo brand new off the showroom floor in NYC. I was 5 years old at the time. Not an ideal vehicle to have as a family car, lol. Even for a 5 year old, its not comfortable sitting in those rear seats. Like the car featured in this post, my dad’s car spent its life in Michigan. He had it rust proofed, washed & polished regularly, but as it got older, it got rusty. It was used as a year round daily driver until 2007. It was a very reliable car, my dad never any trouble with the motor. I learned how to drive a stick with this car, even driven it a few times when I was in college when the Taurus I had broke down. My dad still has that black 85 200SX Turbo, its parked behind his garage in a very sad state. Its been sitting there since he parked it there under its own power in 2007. He’s mentioned about trying to sell it on eBay thinking there is someone out there who would restore it. Its in very bad shape & the cost of a restoration far outweighs what it could be worth. I think its more of a parts car at this point. If it could have a rebirth it would most likely be a restomod into a drift car.

    Like 0
    • Tony

      I would put the money into it. Paid for, great conversation piece, can get all updated aftermarket parts for it, still smoke some of the hot hatches out here, and if i could afford it, i would. These cars will be sought after, since they’re the last of the rear wheel drive Japanese cars. Some young kid with a gleam in his eye will see the potential in it

      Like 1
  10. Jeff Staff

    Love the discussion about louvers. I’ll admit, I’m just a period-correct snob and I hunt down OEM accessories with abandon. Not the most practical item and a pain to store, but they are synonymous with the era!

    Like 0
    • paul


      Im the same way. Find me some louvers, front bra, some gold mesh BBS wheels, a better factory radio with the 9 band eq/booster and a genuine NOS Ansa muffler with the orange and chrome tips for this 200sx Turbo and i’d be set for life with it! Lol

      Like 0
      • Doug Towsley

        Damn Jeff! Im on board with you!…. I LOVE those gold mesh wheels, Enkei made a nice version as well. I had some on a BMW 2002, and a Datsun 510, Have 2 more sets sitting here I got at swap meets cheap.

        I have always been into Datsun 510s both wagons and sedans (2 & 4 doors) But for many years drove a 1980 200SX with the NAPZ motors and 5 speeds. Those had EFI but no O2 sensor so you could run a cam in them and the crude computers did not freak out. Tech changed and the NAPZ was never made for performance, it was designed to be fuel effecient and low emissions.

        Later models of the 240SX really got the performance going again and the 6 cylinders as well (V6) were a race car production motor and the best production motors you can find. Easily handle 800 hp long term. Local guy built a turbo charged/intercooled V6 like that and put it in a BRE styled 510 and was easily the fastest custom Datsun I have ever seen. He took it to PIR and testing against factory race cars had him competitive or faster.

        Im considering selling my 1972 Datsun 510 this summer and will include one of my derelict Datsun 200SXs as a donor. (510 has a 1600 w/auto, the 200SX has the 2000cc with 5 speed and will swap right in, plus the disc brakes are a popular upgrade swap,) My 200SX is looking pretty sad these days but is merely a donor carcass at this point.

        Like 0
  11. Doug Towsley

    Yes, I have a LOT of old junk, But Im getting ready to drop a bunch of sick or damaged trees on my little farm (Some VERY big Trees) so in the midst of moving junk around at the moment. Pardon the mess. But ironically, I have several sets of wheels out that are going into the storage containers I just purchased.

    I { HEART} Gold mesh wheels!

    The other one sitting there (Silver spoked) Might or might not go on my 260Z project (Kit car donor chassis) but are a nice size for modern performance tires. I just am more inclined to go with a style more retro or vintage style as the kit car is somewhat styled after a Daytona Cobra Coupe.

    ** Note the air conditioning holes in the ’37 Coupe door in the background**

    Like 0
  12. Doug Towsley

    Okay, probably over posting today but one final point. MANY cars like this car featured today did not survive. They were scrapped or parted out. This one may be TOO nice and should be preserved. ## I do feel odd about preserving 1980s stuff tho## 1980s doesnt seem that old but, to many people that is ancient history!

    BUT,,,,,,,,,,, It would be VERY tempting to source this car and swap all the goodies off it onto a car like this Datsun 510 wagon. Thats what my donor 200SX is doing lurking in the weeds. Its a future donor for this 510. But a Turbo??? Well, that would be extra special and make this 510 fly! So, probably best to just preserve this Turbo 200SX as Is, Find Lonnie Anderson or Farrah Fawcett, get out your members only jacket, pop in your favorite cassette or 8 track and get on down the road.

    (Millenials will ask Whats he talking about???)

    ## Note, I have been working on this car lately and the photo was a test shot to see how these other wheels would look, Scoed them for $250 with locking lugs and new tires at a local garage sale##

    Like 0
  13. Doug Towsley

    Louvers: I have a set of alloy louvers that I used have on that crusty 200 SX pictured above. I just got them out of storage recently. They DO NOT weigh 28 pounds, less than a can of Budweiser actually. Mine mount with hinges at the top, and you can loosen them and lift up to clean the window under it or give attention to the wiper. I bought them in a wrecking yard in 1991 for $20.00 Not sure I will use them or not, But I would consider a good offer. (More than $20.00) I can take a picture of them if someone wants to see what they look like. Pretty standard accy item back in the day.

    Like 0
  14. Terry

    My two cents on louvers: they were great in the winter. They kept the snow and ice OFF the rear window. I could see out the back without having to brush or scrape (OK, heavy snow was a different story…).

    Like 0
  15. DaveT

    I’m speechless. This car is local too. A friend in high school had a black/red one. It was auto and n/a but I loved the look. Pop up lights, turbo, manual rwd? Bingo! To be honest I’ll most likely bid. Thanks Barn Finds, this is right up my alley.

    Like 0
  16. Alan (Michigan)

    $8250 and still below the reserve. Half a day to go on eBay.

    Looks like profit over the $6500 from last fall, yes?

    Like 0
  17. Alan (Michigan )


    Apparently, that was enough to satisfy the reserve. I’d love to know whether it will be turned into a drifter, or left original. Also if it will be driven much, or used only for shows, or mothballed as an investment?

    Like 0

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