Time Capsule Sedan: 1988 Nissan Maxima – SOLD!

Apr 2021 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

May 13, 2021 Update – we confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Although it can be hard to remember, there was a time when Nissan built some very driver-focused vehicles. The modern-day lineup says otherwise, which is why this incredibly well-preserved 1988 Nissan Maxima sedan originally listed in April 2021 in Commerce, Georgia for $5,000 is so tempting. Comparing this price against the NADA Price Guide doesn’t tell the full story, as it pegs a top condition model at $3,125 – but NADA doesn’t take into consideration how few of these original Four-Door Sports Cars remain in this sort of nick.

Ah, yes – 4DSC. Nissan actually put this abbreviation in the back quarter glass of the rear passenger door when the third generation Maxima came out, a testament to how confident the company was that it had made a front-driver to go head to head with the best products from Honda, Acura, and Toyota. The moniker worked, as for years Nissan owned the category known as sports sedans, at least among the Japanese makes. The second-generation model was slightly more restrained, but certainly an indication of where Nissan was going, leaving behind the rear-wheel-drive platform for a front-driver with a V6 and optional manual gearbox. The manual take-rate was seemingly far lower than the automatic, especially among second-generation models like this – so if you find one with three pedals, grab it.

The Motor Week YouTube Channel provides their Retro Review of a 1985 Maxima when this generation first launched:

However, don’t let the automatic transmission in this car dissuade you from pursuing it. Finding one in good shape is a seriously daunting task, especially in SE trim – Nissan-speak for their sports package – which typically featured enhancements like electronic suspension and fog lamps. This car does not appear to be an SE, as it has the standard La-Z-Boy interior with buttons sewn into the upholstery and standard suspension. Still, this is a great choice for a daily driver-friendly classic, courtesy of the standard V6 pulled directly from that year’s 300ZX. The seller notes it was a longtime, lady-owned example until her grandson got his hands on it, who used it for a few years as a weekend driver before passing it along to the current seller. With survivor-grade Maximas few and far between, here’s hoping the next owner keeps the streak going of considerate caretakers. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1988 Maxima is very nice shape, lady bought new and drove till about 5 years ago, it sat in the garage till her grandson, who is about 50 pulled it, installed fresh tires and service and drove it as a hobby car. Georgia car its whole life, amazing shape, not a rip or crack inside, very little wear, not a ding in it, 112000 miles, rare find. Runs and drives perfect, clear title $5000.

Do you have a Nissan Maxima story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!

1 Comment
  1. Time Capsule Sedan: 1988 Nissan Maxima – SOLD!

    I had a diesel ’80 I think,, station wagon.. really liked it, too slow.. got an 85 Maxima.. same fuel mileage, much faster..


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