Solid Hardbody: 1990 Nissan Pickup

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

So many of these “Hardbody” Nissan pickups have gone back to the Earth that it’s shocking to see one like this 1990 model in such nice condition. Not only that, it’s the best spec out there with the SE package, V6 and extended cab. The seller says it wears 90% original paint and has the optional limited-slip differential. Find it here on eBay where bidding is under $1,500 and the reserve remains unmet. It’s located in Utah and the seller says he wants a quick sale. 

The paint does present evenly, which makes me wonder where the non-original paint resides. Chrome bumpers look good and the factory fender flares don’t exhibit any signs of sun-fade. The bigger wheels and tires are a must-have for a truck like this, and I’m grateful to see OEM wheels still attached. The seller mentions he uses an insulated bed cap (included in the sale) which makes the truck bed warm enough to sleep in! I’d have a hard time taking this beauty camping, but it does seem like the perfect rig.

The only really demerit I see here is the automatic transmission. That’s more a concern from the fun-to-drive standpoint, but as far as finding a loaded-up Nissan pickup, this has to have close to every option box checked. The red cloth interior looks great and the carpets show no obvious signs of wear. Even more impressive is that the mileage is a tick over 130,000, so someone took great care of this truck in all of those miles.

The seller has addressed a host of recent maintenance, including fresh fluids, a transmission service, new exhaust, new thermostat and a replacement windshield. The engine bay presents as cleanly as the rest of the truck, and if the seller’s assertion that the reserve price is quite low is accurate, someone will walk away with a great vintage truck that can be used right away – and the average mileage won’t leave you feeling guilty about destroying your investment. Win-win!

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  1. XMA0891

    Yep; to truly qualify for the “best spec out there”, it would indeed have to have the manual transmission.
    These are scarce in this condition.
    Great truck! Great find!

    • johnnyb

      Great little truck! I agree it would need the 5-speed to meet “best spec.” I seem to recall this vintage of V-6 was a bit wheezy with an automatic.

  2. Gary Member

    I’ve got one of these that is identical, but with 230,000 miles; bullet proof & reliable. Around here a lot of them get chopped & slammed (lowered). Interesting to me just seeing another one with the same colors & options.

  3. Whippeteer

    If the seller claims to want a quick sale, a reserve is probably not necessarily the way to go.

  4. The_Driver

    I’m cool with the auto tranny, as they have a far better tow rating than the 5 speeds.

    The 3.0 V6 is kinda gutless though. CLEAN truck!

  5. JW

    Really nice older truck.

  6. craig

    I owned an identical truck, bought brand new in 1990… it was reliable, fun, and automatic trans. Had to sell it when the family grew in order to get more seating. Someone will get a fine vehicle.
    I still have my purchase and sale papers and a friend is a dealer, and just for fun one night last year we ran the VIN in his Carfax account and sure enough that truck was still on the road somewhere in NY.
    Bids are up to 5 grand, not sure I’d go beyond that even for nostalgia.

  7. Bill T

    Had two of these, a light blue 93 RWD basic “parts truck” and a Emerald Green 95 SE 4×4. Both did what they were supposed to do and with great confidence. If it wasn’t for the tin worm I would still have them.

  8. JohnD

    These are very solid trucks. I believe the first year of the Hardbody was 86.5. Toyota hadn’t yet updated their Hilux, and IMO the Hardbody was the better than Toyota’s pre-89 truck. Drove many of these from the dealer lot to the shop where I worked, doing aftermarket stereo installation. Comfortable and quiet, this Nissan is in great shape.

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