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Radwood Ready: 1987 Nissan Maxima

If you aren’t familiar with the “Radwood” phenomenon, it’s a fast-growing series of car shows that highlight 1980s and 1990s cars and the lifestyle that went with them. The seller suggests, rightfully so, that this 1987 Nissan Maxima GXE (the fully loaded version) would fit right in to one of these events. It’s listed for sale here on eBay and right now is only at $1,000 without a reserve. Naturally, it’s in California, San Francisco in this case.

I vividly recall one of my best high school friends trading in his freshly repainted and reupholstered Datsun 240Z in on one of these cars and wondering what he was thinking. The lure of starting every day and a new car warranty I think were what led him over the brink. To be perfectly honest, it was more reliable than my TR6 and he could take more than one companion. But I digress. This car looks incredibly clean and nice!

One of the really special things about this 87,777 mile survivor is that it has all records from new. Unfortunately that includes a malfunctioning “motorized mouse” seat belt that, despite a “lifetime” warranty, the dealer can’t fix due to lack of parts. Luckily, it’s failed in the functional position.

The seats look great too. If I remember correctly, that “shirring” on the door panels was there from new.

OH YEAH! How about that digital dash! Complete with bar-graph tachometer! So 80s! Interesting that Nissan didn’t feel comfortable enough to put a digital odometer in as well?

Not only do the cosmetics of the engine let the car down a bit, but we’re also told that it’s developed a “minor knock” 2,000 miles ago. To begin with, I applaud the seller for being honest about it, and remember, it’s not that expensive a car to begin with. Performance from the V-6 wasn’t bad for the day and a relative of the engine lives on in today’s Nissan lineup. I vote buy it and fix the engine! What’s your vote?


  1. Avatar photo Terrence Bennett

    These cars were great cars back in the day. My parents used to have the wagon model. The transmission went out at 7,000 miles on a cross country trip when it was still new. Nissan gave my parents replaced the transmission and basically reimbursed us for the entire vacation. The replacement tranny never failed and my dad got rid of the car for $500 at 372K miles, 19 years later, and the car still ran and drove well.

    Like 2
  2. Avatar photo Oregon_Guy78

    I had a 1987 Nissan Maxima SE black with a 5 speed. Enjoyed that car. It didn’t have motorized seatbelts. It was my understanding the motorized belts started with the 1988 model but maybe some late 87 cars had them?

    Like 2
  3. Avatar photo Steve R

    The engine knock makes it a $1,000, it’s too risky to pay more, even if you can do the work yourself.

    Steve R

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Louis q Tran

    I’d offer $500 for it…once you rebuilt the engine and check the tranny, it should good to go. As for the seat belt, replace it with a “normal” seat belt set up? Maybe a total of $2000 one can have a decent daily driver?

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo mike

    This is badass! I think at 2 grand it is still a steal. Youncan get that motor rebuilt for no more than 1200- 1500. Get it detailed and buffed and you are in it for 3500 and can enjoy it for years to come. About the same price as a 75 inch 4k tv.

    Like 0

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