Thursday, February 26, 2015

5k: 37k Original Miles: 1982 Nissan Sentra Wagon

Why is it that the  cleanest original condition classics are almost always the worst combinations in terms of sportiness?  Slushboxes, manual windows, no center console, AM radios, the list goes on.  DT's resident crapbox expert CFlo supposes: Maybe it says something about the car, but I think it says more about the type of person who drives less than 2k miles per year and keeps a car in as-new condition for so long...likely a blue-haired old lady who wants/needs an auto.  Very true....but that doesn't mean the cars aren't interesting to enthusiasts.  Find this 1982 Nissan Sentra Wagon offered for $3,500 in Stockton, CA via craigslist.  Tip from Kaibeezy. 

The Nissan Sentra was first released into the wild in 1982 as a replacement for the Datsun 210.  It was initially introduced into the States with the Nissan badge (instead of the silly Datsun stuff that was used on most of their prior US bound goods) and used a front engine / front-drive setup for maximum fuel economy and interior space.

The Sentra is powered by a 1.5 liter inline-4 cylinder SOHC engine rated at 67 horsepower and 85 ft-lbs of torque.  This one is mated to a 3-speed slushbox automatic that will do little to increase the fun factor, but the little car only tips the scales around 2000 lbs in 5-door trim. Colorless velour and vinyl will cosset the driver into a reassuring snooze.

The big question with one of these weird low-spec survivors is always this: to keep as is and drive to shows as a novelty, or to modify into an entertaining sleeper? What say you, DT commentariat?

See another grandma or grandpa driven classic?


  1. Holy mother of pearl, DO NOT change this car! They're only stock and as clean once. Anything you do to this car would defile its current state. Leave it alone!

    1. Usually I fall into the leave it stock category, but this one... It's a white early 80's Nissan with an auto and a whopping 70 hp. What would you do with it? Keep it under a cover in a heated garage and only take it out for car shows? Concours d' LeMons is probably the only place you could show it. You wouldn't just want to take it for long drives on sunny days, since it is pretty much a penalty box on wheels. I say sleeper. Keep it looking stock, but make it fun to drive. My 2 lira...

    2. I understand about the penalty box on wheels, but i've always wanted to get a car that was in this kind of condition and drive it like i would have if i had bought it new. there's one specific car that i want like that, based on the only new car i ever owned. 1989 Mazda 323 sedan, bare bones, 5 speed, radio, a/c. if i find one of those i'll drive it. and this time i will see if i can make it last longer than the 240,000 miles my first one did.

  2. I don't know why but it was always interesting to me that they never created a convertible Sentra, especially with Toyota's Paseo as a competitor. SE-R aside, that seemed to me to be a way to upscale the image of the lowly Sentra a little. I have a tendency to agree with Bolo on this one. This car should not be touched but left as is. There can't be many like it left and it would be a crime to hoon it. Nice find, Kaibeezy!


  3. This was my wife's first new car. It didn't even have air conditioning and she drove it cross-country - twice!

    1. Yeah, similar story here, spouse's first car of her own was a Sentra of this vintage.

      It was nothing special to drive, but it also wasn't horrible.

      She's not the kind of person who'd want another one around, though.

  4. The total cost per mile for this would be one of the best ever if you leave out investment cars.


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