Monday, June 29, 2015

1k: Hot Mess: 1992 Nissan Sentra SE-R B13

The B13 generation Nissan Sentra isn't a particularly memorable car in basic spec, but the factory hod rod SE-R offers an oddly fun package.  The combination of a robust and torquey inline-4, good brakes, light curb weight, and limited slip differential puts the SE-R into the ugly-but-good category of used cars.  Find this 1992 Nissan Sentra SE-R B13 offered for $1,000 near Pittsburgh, PA.

This B13 SE-R isn't just an example of an ugly, but fun, car -- it is an ugly example of an ugly, but fun, car.  Mechanically it sounds fairly stout, with no signs of the dreaded 5th gear pop out that afflicts many SE-Rs. However it does have some rust and leaks all kinds of fluids according to the seller.

The SE-R is one of the classic FWD Japanese factory hot rods (along with the likes of the Integra Type-R, CRX Si, Corolla FX16, etc). If this one drives better than it looks, it would be a tempting way to enjoy an SR20 with limited scrimp for chump change, until the body falls apart.

See another fun and driveable econo-box for less?


  1. Marvelous little machines. First car. Discovered going for a drive as the universal antidote. Took one cross/side/up/down country in college. Already had 190K. Continental divide in the snow, turned back and slept in a motel with knife wounds in the bathroom door. Pulled up to the sequoias on snowchains, careered through the winding smoky mountains (midrange torque in third). Learned to drive fast/learned to crash slow. Learned how to overcorrect oversteer. Hit a road sign. Blew out two tires. Broke the trunk latch and watched it swing open over sleeping policemen. Marveled at an e34 pulling away from me at 120 on the nj turnpike. First speeding tickets and heel-and-toe failures. Taught friends to drive stick. Slept in the back seats and fronts. Alot. Fell in love with cars.

    1. ++++++++++++1! That's what it's all about!

    2. Plus one indeed. Stories like these, regaled stream of concious-like, are what keep my faith in humanity.

  2. At $1k it's an excellent donor car for LeMons or CrapCan racing.

  3. I bought one in Black with a blown motor got a crate motor for $500.00 was a great car fast with decent mpg seats were pretty comfy for stock one car i miss that i have owned.

  4. I myself have owned one of these and it would have shamed many more sporting cars of its day. While they weren't hard on the eyes either,they were just too cheaply built. A hit and a miss both at the same time. Damn shame!

  5. I can't speak for the economic viability of this particular vehicle or whether it's a good Lemons tool, but the basic SR20DE B13 crapcan as it left the production line was a remarkable example of a capable FWD product.

  6. I was an Integra and CREX SI driver until both cars were totalled in the same year. Niether was my fault but still lost 'em. I was in a bind and got a b13 1.6 from my tow yard for peanuts. It was adequate. I knew nothing about Nissans. After studying I discovered the SE-R. I found one. OMG. More torque at all revs and good looking when those fender gaps are closed up. I was sold. It started out trashed. I redid the interior from making the sunroof work to raiding the pick n pulls for all the trim. That was my first headliner from scratch. New a/c, drop springs, rims n tires, exhaust yada yada. That was 10 years ago at 179,000 mi. starting on a diet of Royal Purple. It now has 278,000 mi. and is as tight and poewerful. I asked my wife to bury me in it.


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