Overlooked S-Chassis: 1987 Nissan 200SX SE

When it comes to Nissan’s beloved S-Chassis vehicles, most people focus on the S13 240SX that the company manufactured from 1989-1994, as well as the models that followed it. However, this 1987 Nissan 200SX SE that is here on eBay is a clean example of the S13’s often overlooked predecessor.

This S12 is available in Seattle, Washington, with the seller noting that they are selling this vehicle due to an abundance of other projects. They claim that this 200SX is completely original and unmodified, describing the sports car’s overall condition in one sentence: “almost nothing is perfect, and almost everything is in decent, or good, condition.”

The exterior of the vehicle looks like it is in great shape, with the seller claiming there is no rust or rot anywhere. The paint is original, and it should remain in decent shape as long as the next owner continues to pay attention to it.

Everything inside the cabin is original and in decent shape, with the exception of the driver’s side window switches. The original seats are in excellent shape, and the only area of wear is on the carpet in the trunk area.

Under the hood, you’ll find Nissan’s VG30E V6 engine, which also found use in the non-turbo 300ZX from the era. The single overhead cam V6 made 160 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque from the factory, and in this example, it pairs to a 5-speed manual transmission to drive the rear wheels. According to the seller, the clutch has lots of life left and the gearbox shifts very well.

There are a few minor flaws with this high-mileage 200SX that will need addressing, such as an exhaust leak and a slight bit of play in the differential, but the sports car has a fair Buy it Now price of $3,000, though reasonable offers are also considered. Do you think this clean S12 is worth it, or would you rather stick to the more popular models that followed it?


  1. Capriest

    I always assumed these had a 2.0 4 cylinder. Surprised to see they have the same 3.0 V6 as the 300zx. Makes them much more interesting to me. Are they lighter than the 300ZX? I never got into them as being a rare car to begin with they were pretty much non existent on New England roads by the time I started driving in the late 90’s. I’d love to have this. RWD, manual, very oddball. I’d say it’s a decent score at that price. Hopefully it doesn’t end up a drifting rig. At that price it may be it’s fate. The 240’s are scarce now for that very reason.

    Like 7
    • Dave

      The base model did have a 2 liter 4-cyl. CA20E. Nissan added a turbo 4-cyl as the performance option (CA18DET?), then went through a styling refresh, The V6 SE was pricey & rare, it finished off production as the top-of-the-line model if memory serves. They were really nice little cars, awesome 80s JDM vibe with pachinko-style stereo, console equalizer and optional voice warning system. I had an ’87 hatch, black over tan fabric. Great cars, tremendously reliable. Handling was top-notch as well, later cars like this one featured a fully independent IRS and 4 wheel disk brakes. Beware the integrated parking brake!

    • Oddimotive Cason Oddimotive Cason Member

      Most had NA four cylinders, but some had a 1.8T and some had this V6, though only for a couple years

      Like 1
    • Rod

      I bought one new in 1988. It was the coolest car I ever owned, would exceed the speedometer with plenty of pedal left, the torque would lift the front end when you punched it, no matter what speed I was driving! It was a 300zx power train in a car 200 lbs lighter. I have regretted trading it in every day..,

  2. PatrickM

    I really like this one. It is almost perfect for my needs. Although, I would prefer something at regular height. Too bad it (or I) am on the wrong coast. Dang, man!

  3. Pookie JamieP

    Is it me? Or at first glance it looks like a foxbody Mustang?

    Like 2
    • Capriest

      The beltline moulding is similar to an 87-93 LX and the rocker ground effect is similar to an 87-93 GT. Wheels are similar to an SVO. I would be willing to bet the image of the recently posted red SVO being fresh in your head is the source of that thought.

  4. Bakyrdhero

    My girlfriend had one of these in high school. It was a ten year old car then. I remember being impressed with the fit and finish/materials. She totaled it promptly..

    Like 1
    • connbackroads

      Are you talking only about the car, or maybe the car and the girl???

  5. Mike

    I had this car in high school very impressive car. I would like to buy it now. Wish I could get contact info

    Like 1
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Just click the eBay link in the first paragraph.

  6. Tom Wasney

    Must verify or first thing have the timing belt changed. Interference motor. Belt breaks, motor breaks…. Ive owned about eight Z31 cars with the same motor…

  7. Reid Hall

    I believe my neighbor had one of these in the late 80’s- maybe early to later 90’s,very attractive, and or a good looking car, sporty car. I believe her’s was white on black, and or grey or maybe dark blue color interior. Although these did have problems,the way l remember it ,l think maybe the ignition system went out on some of these after a few miles,and then they were hard to find parts, and or work on ,so I guess l would steer away from this one.

  8. Sal E

    I remember these being popular back in the mid-late 80s when I was in high school. I also seem to remember mostly two tone white/ gray SE models with the V6 rolling around. Very sharp car with decent performance. Problem was at almost 15 grand, they were pricier than Mustang GTs and approaching loaded F-body money. Both of which were more prevalent at the time.

  9. Steve

    I always thought these were cool especially with the V6. Too bad these things all got used up. I wish nissan would build something like this now.

  10. PatrickM

    Still up for sale and I don’t see any bids. Wow, I would have thought this would go soon. baffled. Am I missing something?

  11. Mitch Ross Member

    I had one of these in dark blue, V6 5 speed. Fantastic car.

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