NO MODS, PLZ: 1989 Nissan 240SX two-tone coupe

1989 Nissan 240SX 01

Not too long ago a low-mileage pignose S13 that had somehow not been drifted to death came up for sale in Pennsylvania. The sleek, red hatchback caught was a real eye-catcher, but if it were our money to spend on a Nissan sports coupe that revolutionized the drifting world, we’d snap up a 1989 240SX coupe, in two-tone. 

Not only was Silver-Green on Gray the halo color that graced the “Art Force” Silvia when introduced — winning it a Good Design award and Japan Car of the Year — but it is the one that most closely resembles the original greenish-gold of the CSP311 Silvia.

What’s more, in Japan Nissan offered only a flip-up headlight hatchback called the 180SX (for its CA18 engine) and the Silvia, a fixed-headlight coupe. The “Onevia” — a portmanteau describing the nose of a 180SX and rear of a Silvia — was never sold there, making this KA-powered machine a unique USDM export model.

1989 Nissan 240SX 02

This Florida NASIOC reader beat us to the punch though, picking up a still-shiny example for just $2,500. With the red hatch asking $9,550 and stock examples of Toyota’s AE86 ready to break the five-digit mark, that green machine’s a smoking deal if you ask us. Let’s just hope there’s no tire smoking in its future and that the owner appreciates what he has.

There is clearly an appreciation for the early S13s’ three two-tone color schemes (the other two being bluish-silver on gray and creamy yellow on gray), as evidenced by this two-tone preservation thread on Zilvia.net, though preservation seems to be a relative term in the heavily drift-influenced forum.

Hat tip to Martin K.

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24 Responses to NO MODS, PLZ: 1989 Nissan 240SX two-tone coupe

  1. Ryan Senensky said:

    I hate drifting because of what they do to these cars…

  2. eric said:

    If it wasn’t for the drift scene, most of these cars wouldn’t probably be so admired, so please stop with the drift bashing, respect the history of it all.

    • Tim said:

      I disagree. I believe that lightweight RWD manual-transmission’d vehicles would be appreciated by automotive enthusiasts even without the drift community.

      • Yuri said:

        I’m going to have to agree with Eric here. Even though drifting has managed to destroy numerous cars, overall, it has had a much more positive effect on JNC’s. Many more S-chassis and AE86’s have been saved from the claws of the junkyard than have been destroyed. Drifting is largely responsible for making cars like the FC, S13/14, and 86 desirable in the eyes of many, and what’s desirable tends to be saved.

        I know that modifications are becoming more and more frowned upon in the JNC community as it tries harder and harder to become the stodgy middle-aged numbers-matching Barret-Jackson museum of rolling investments, and I appreciate well-preserved bone stock examples of our cars more than any other type. But especially with JNC’s, we mustn’t turn on back on previously modified examples, because modifying these cars is what made them desirable to us in the first place. That’s another thing I’ve loved about JNC culture is that it was still accepting to modified examples, whereas with old musclecars, which were often modified back in the day, are now always returned to factory condition, even if mags had been bolted up to it before it even left the dealership.

        In addition, most of the JNC’ers I know who are currently all about keeping it original got started with modifying something back in the day. I would have never tracked down and saved one of the last S10 200SX’s if not for my previous love of S13’s, and knowing the history of the Silvia.

        As for the two-tone preservation thread on Zilvia, I started it after buying my silver-green coupe. Keep in mind this was 8 years ago, and S13’s have only just now been able to be considered JNC’s.
        The goal was to encourage people to start saving these cars in any way they could, as factory two-tones were often rattle-canned flat black, something crazy, or just straight-up junked as donors to keep the then more desirable fastbacks on the road.
        My own car would have been junked if I hadn’t bought it (for $500 no less) and I wanted to encourage others to do the same.
        Whereas now, preservation would focus on keeping them as stock as possible, 8 years ago, the word preservation meant just that. It was meant to encourage those with factory two-tones to keep them two-tone, and to make them desirable enough to want to save ones that would have been junked otherwise.

        • Ray said:

          agreed. a lot of these kids nowadays who drool over the sight of any ae86, fc, mk3 etc. wouldn’t have given those body styles a 2nd look had it not been for the whole aftermarket scene. let’s face it, those cars are “ugly” and dated looking, not what you would describe as timeless or even appealing. but somehow they manage to strike a certain niche and have started to become cool and collectible. as long as the modifications are done tastefully and properly fit the car in style and in context, it’s all part of what make these cars appealing to begin with.

          • Mike Pristave said:

            Again I disagree. A lot of people like the 80s style now especially. It doesn’t matter if it’s Japanese or Europeon the appreciation of 80s cars and wedge cars in general is in and that is aside from “drifting”. If you think they are ugly that is your opinion. 80s hatchbacks like the AE86 are beautiful.

        • cesariojpn said:

          “But especially with JNC’s, we mustn’t turn on back on previously modified examples, because modifying these cars is what made them desirable to us in the first place.”

          I disagree. The amount of botched modifications and cutting up of metal is detrimental to the hobby, and should be actively frowned upon. Also the subculture that has arisen has been more negative than helpful where you have idiots that produce stupid hooning videos all the while worshiping Ken Blockhead is not what the hobby should be founded on. Given we have now a new crop of cars to be butchered by these folks (and let’s face it, modding a Miata first should be the bonafide requirement before ANYONE touches another RWD car), it’s high time we put the foot down.

          Also in an economic sense, a modified car does not give a viable ROI, despite some folks trying to squeeze as much pennies from it as possible.

          • Yuri said:

            I’m not arguing, I’m just confused with your statement. So you’re saying that modifying a Miata should be a requirement for everybody before touching another RWD car, yet modifying is detrimental to the hobby?
            NA Miatas, especially in their various limited edition variants are already collectable, so I don’t quite understand what you’re saying. By modifying cars that are not JNC’s, but will someday be, it’s just having the same opinion as the people who modified those cars a decade ago, when they were just used Japanese cars, and not yet JNC’s.

            I’m just of the opinion that we should be trying to save both the immaculate stock examples of JNC’s, as well as the JNC’s that have been modified, because there is so much joy to be had in seeing a showroom fresh 1st gen RX7 parked next to a crazy IMSA-style widebody one at a show. Think how much cooler an American muscle car show would be if they still had held on to the mentality that it’s ok to celebrate every aspect of the hobby, that if instead of 3 high buck factory stock restorations of the same Dodge Challenger at a show, you would have the clean stock example, as well as one that had been modified into a Trans Am style road race car, and one that had been turned into a drag car back when it only had a couple hundred miles on the odometer.

            I’m just terrified to see our hobby go from fun, inclusive, and celebrating the oddities, (and to many car enthusiasts, up until recently, all JNC’s were oddities); to being those guys wearing panama hats and sitting in lawn chairs arguing that a restoration was botched because the factory chalk marks behind the door panel were replicated in the chalk that was used in August of 1977 instead of April 1975 as was proper for that car coming out of that factory at the time.

          • Mike McDonald said:

            I agree with keeping at least a few pristine [as far as time and manufacture negligence can support them] examples to serve as touchstones for modifiers to see just what they are deviating from! I am doing my best with my 3 original buyer/ownercars, Datsun 1967RL411, 1990Nissan 240SXSE and 1970 Infiniti J30T. Over time the “original configuration” examples will become more admired as the foundation models for all the subsequent modified vehicles.

          • Randy said:

            I think he means that Miatas are common enough that it’s still okay. In 20 more years, the same things will be argued about modding them.

        • AKADriver said:

          I can’t help but feel like drifting was a bit different when I first “discovered” 240SXs for myself in the late ’90s. Those grainy Best MOTORing and Hot Version clips I downloaded over 56k didn’t have cars with hacked up bodies, welded diffs, and so on. The mentality has changed from “let’s have fun with our nice cars” to “let’s beat up our cars, zero @#%s given!”

          • Yuri said:

            No doubt, drift cars have really gone downhill from the mid-2000’s in terms of quality. I blame the idea of the “drift missile,” where it became acceptable, even cool to have a car that was totally beat.

          • Mike Pristave said:

            Back then “drifting” wasn’t the focus, is why. I didn’t even know it was a thing back then. It was about having a nice car, tasteless mods, and 1/4 miles mostly. The only other kinds of driving were track days.

            Back then MR2s and DSMs were incredibly popular like the 240SX is now, both cars that are not choices for drifting.

        • Mike Pristave said:

          Sorry but I disagree completely. They were popular before drifting was popular, I remember it. I was in high school from 1997-2001 and it was an extremely popular choice of a car for anyone who actually was an automotive enthusiast. They were the car you got if you couldn’t afford or find a good 300ZX or a RX7 and hated Mustangs and Camaros. I’m talking Z31 and FC.

          They would also still be popular today. ALL enthusiast cars right now from major brands are popular even ones that “suck” at drifting like MR2s. The prices for those have been skyrocketing. That and Fast and the Furious started the appreciation for Japanese cars thing, not drifting. The drifting movie came a bit after that.

    • Mike Pristave said:

      They would be appreciated and were before drifting existed.

  3. eric said:

    It’s up the individual in my opinion,let him/her do with his/her property as seen fit, some of us has the mob/collective mentality. Hey,if it gets sold to someone who’ll keep it stock,awsome, if someone picks it up and mods the crap out of it, so be it, should’ve gotten to it first. If all cars was left stock, man what a sucky world this would be. Sorry, but to each his own.

  4. Mike McDonald said:

    I still have my “original owner” 1990 249SXSE. I waited to have the JDM “Toshio Watanabe” driver find any residual problems before I bought my car. I have “upgraded” the plastic wheel covers to 1991 plastic ones because the 1990 covers almost exactly duplicate the look of the optional Aluminun wheels of the 1990. I have 101,000 miles on my 240SXSE.

  5. Randy said:

    $2,500 – wow… Looks to be a screaming deal. Based on some of the discussion, it’s gonna stay stock.

    I’m not against modifying a car, just against doing it to a nice and/or rare car. What would the comments be on chopping up that million-dollar 2000GT? Not the one that was found under a tree; a primo one. How about a blown 350 in that heading-to-auction Cosmo.

    Take a look at the splash page, and, let’s say, the previous 5 pages. Which ones should we make like something from any of the F&F movies? Turn that Carol into a sort of MadMaxCamino? (The Bellel would make a great restomod, though…)

    If you’re gonna modify one, I’d say start with either a solid rat, or one that’s already been done. No guilt in undoing somebody elses’s taste, and the original is gone already, anyway, so go for it.

    Just a thought: All the ooohs and aaahhhs about the cars mentioned above came from video games, at least as much as from the aftermarket.

  6. Nigel said:

    All it needs is a set of 16 inch Watanabes.

  7. Ray said:

    i’m from the school of keeping all aesthetics stock/original (as much as possible – minus ride height of course), but all about updating the technologies and mechanics of old cars…aka restomods. sure it’s cool to say “all original” but who really wants a 20, 30 or even 40 year-old power/drivetrains for a car that you’d more than likely to want to drive on more occasions than just a sunny saturday afternoon. i myself is starting a 1968 toyota corona rt52 coupe and i’ve already decided to swap in the BEAMS 3sge motor/trans and updating interior w/ modern instrumentations and stereo (no woofers). but exterior gets a complete restoration except i’m leaning on brushed finishing all the chrome bits. so in essence an old/classic with a modern twist b/c at the end of the day, i personally want to enjoy this car as a cruiser/commuter. and original parts are hard to come by. plus, who really wants to toot around in a 1.6L carb’d motor that pushes out less power than my 600cc motorbike?

  8. mister k said:

    80’s & 90’s jnc’s need to be modified else they’re just plain mediocre to drive

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