Sportback Equipped: 1988 Nissan Pulsar NX – Sold?

by | Mar 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

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April 7, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar

Does it seem to you these days that automotive manufacturers don’t take risks? Every model coming out of the design studio these days seems overly calculated as if it was created via a formula rather than pure inspiration. The days of throwing a model against the wall and seeing if it sticks are gone, aside from perhaps the new electric vehicle startups like Rivian. This 1988 Nissan Pulsar Sportback originally listed on Craigslist in March 2022 in Macdoel, Oregon is described as a project but seemingly has been restored mechanically, and comes with an entire parts car for $9,500. Comparing that price against the NADA Price Guide isn’t a perfect science given the rarity of the Sportback and the value of a parts car, as it calls for a “High” retail price of just $2,625.

I realize it often sounds like I wax nostalgic about the automotive industry, and I apologize for my daily mourning ritual. It’s hard to get excited by modern product offerings, however, when they seem designed to simply appeal to the suburban housewife rather than the kid out of college who wants to stay a kid for just a little while longer. If you recall the marketing around the Pulsar when it was introduced, there was no question what demographic they were targeting: young, care-free, and headed to the beach or the bonfire. The tough choice would have been deciding between the Pulsar or the Acura Integra, which was awfully similar with its pop-up headlights but was decidedly more mature than the Pulsar; either car in pristine condition would sell quickly these days, with perhaps the advantage going to the Integra given its reputation as a driver’s car.

This 1988 Nissan Pulsar NX commercial featured on the Retro Rabbit Ears YouTube Channel checks the box for just about every 1980s stereotype imaginable:

The Pulsar shown here looks like a decent driver, but the seller pivots between calling it a “..reliable, every-day driver” and a “…restoration project.” So which is it? It’s hard to tell, and given how few of these are left especially with the OEM hardtop, I’d say anything that moves under its own power is a winner in my book. The seller’s car should be rust-free given its Pacific Northwest location, a part of the country where cars and trucks that would otherwise be extinct everywhere else seem to thrive while still being put into daily use. The listing description notes that the seller has installed a “…professional reconditioned engine and fuel injection upgrade” at 99,000 miles and that the car now has 103,000 miles on the clock. As part of this work, the head was rebuilt and a new timing chain and gears were installed. Throw in the bonus of a parts car and you’re looking at one heck of an opportunity if you’ve been hunting for an elusive Pulsar with the Sportback roof.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“• Unique little car resulting in Pulsar car clubs around the world (US, Europe, Australia, etc)
• Good, reliable everyday driver
• NOT a smoking oil burner
• Great restoration project
• 1989 Professional Reconditioned Motor and Fuel Injection Upgrade at 99,000 miles (current total 103,000)
• Excellent compression test results
• New life-time warranty alternator
• 33 MPG
• Performance suspension upgrade
• Custom wheels and tires with required machined spacers
• Both tops – sport back and notchback
• Tinted windows
• New Control Arms including Ball Joints
• Rebuilt head in 2020 (including new timing chain and gears) under 3000 miles since
• Parts car included
• New paint job in Sept. 2015
• last smog in August 2020
• replaced as of 2021:
– front right engine mount
– lower center strut
– axle seals
– selector seal
– front right C V axle

3-in-1 hatchback: did you ever drive a Pulsar back in the day with the trick removable hardtop option?   

  1. Darrin

    how much?

  2. Anonymous

    I have a rear topper for a 88 pulsar I also have a parts car that is red

    • butch

      Do you mean that you have a Sportbak top for the Pulsar?

    • Anonymous

      Hi there. My name is Matt. I have a red Nissan Pulsar NX. I’m looking for the topper if you have one. The sportbak. Thanks 360-561-8500


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