City Constraints: 1989 Nissan 240SX 5-Speed 49.6K-Mile Survivor – Sold?

by | Jul 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

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August 18, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “ClassiFIND” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “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.

By the late 1990s, Nissan’s sports car had grown in size, power, and cost. The Z32 300ZX launched in 1989, had grown in size and price with typical prices averaging in the mid-$20s (approximately $50K in today’s dollars). Many of Nissan’s customers longed for a simpler, less costly alternative that harkened back to the company’s original 240Z launched in 1970.  Nissan answered the call with the 1989 240SX, a sporty four-cylinder, rear-wheel-drive-powered compact available in either two-door hatchback or coupe form.

The tuner crowd took notice of these well-balanced, rear-wheel-drive cars. As the S13 Nissan 240SX prices depreciated, more tuners started to modify the cars for drifting, a form of racing that challenges the driver’s ability to get a car’s rear-end to break away under power and then test their skill at keeping on the car on skid at the limit.  Consequently, it’s very rare to find a low-mileage, unmodified S13 Nissan 240SX for sale.

This black 1989 Nissan 240SX for sale, last spotted in July 2023 on Craigslist in Manhattan, is a notable exception.  The seller reports their Nissan 240SX for sale has just under 50K miles, and the only modification is a modern aftermarket stereo.  The seller also reports that while they love the car, living and storing it in New York City is expensive, especially when they can only drive it once a month.

Last offered for $20,000, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask at the high end of this guide’s one-year results summary, however, keep in mind this is a low-mileage, unmodified S13 Niisan 240SX.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense for what comparable examples sold for in the past rolling twelve months:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask is double this guide’s #1 “Excellent” estimate of $10,000. We believe a data lag in this source is the root cause of this guide’s out-of-touch estimate.

The 1989 Nissan 240SX hatchback is a sporty compact car that gained popularity for its sleek design, rear-wheel drive configuration, and impressive performance. It belongs to the S13 generation of the Nissan 240SX produced from 1989 to 1994.

The 1989 Nissan 240SX features a compact, aerodynamic body design with clean lines and a low-profile stance. Its hatchback configuration adds practicality and versatility. The front end showcases pop-up headlights, a popular design element of the era. The body panels are well-proportioned, and the car has a distinct sporty appearance.

Inside the 240SX, you’ll find a driver-focused cockpit designed for a sporty driving experience. The cabin offers comfortable seating for two passengers in the front and additional room in the rear for two more passengers. The seats are typically upholstered in cloth or optional leather, providing support during spirited driving. The dashboard layout is functional and straightforward, with easy-to-reach controls and gauges for essential information.

The 1989 Nissan 240SX is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 engine, which is where it gets its name. This engine, also known as the KA24E, features a single overhead camshaft (SOHC) and electronic fuel injection. It produces around 140 horsepower and 152 lb-ft of torque, delivering a respectable level of performance for its time. The power is sent to the rear wheels through either a 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 4-speed automatic transmission.

The rear-wheel drive configuration of the 240SX, combined with its lightweight construction, provides excellent balance and handling characteristics. The car’s chassis is well-tuned, offering responsive steering and precise control, making it a joy to drive on twisty roads or on the track. The suspension system, comprised of MacPherson struts at the front and multi-link at the rear, strikes a good balance between comfort and sportiness.

As a sporty compact car, the 1989 Nissan 240SX prioritizes driving experience over luxurious features. However, it does offer some notable options and features for added convenience. These include power windows, power mirrors, air conditioning, a rear window wiper, and a sunroof. The audio system, though basic, offers decent sound quality for enjoying music on the go.

The 1989 Nissan 240SX hatchback achieved a cult following and is highly sought after by automotive enthusiasts. Its rear-wheel drive platform, responsive handling, and potential for modification have made it a popular choice among those looking for a versatile sports car. The 240SX has also been a popular platform for drifting, with many owners modifying the car’s engine, suspension, and body to enhance its performance and style.

The 1989 Nissan 240SX hatchback is a classic sporty car known for its sleek design, rear-wheel drive performance, and engaging driving dynamics. With its lightweight construction, respectable power output, and sharp handling, it continues to captivate car enthusiasts to this day.

The MotorWeek Retro Review YouTube Channel features this 1989 Test of the then-new Nissan 240SX:

Given the immense popularity of the rear-wheel-drive S13 platform among the tuner crowd, this 1989 Nissan 240SX for sale is a refreshing time capsule, save for the modern aftermarket stereo.  With just under 50K miles, this Nissan 240SX you can enjoy driving on your way to and from car shows.  Our only hope is that the next caretaker doesn’t hack this car up for the sake of drifting it.

If you are serious about buying this 240SX, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their survivor-quality Nissan featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1989 Nissan 240SX
5-speed manual
49,610 miles!
Clean title
Entirely stock except for the new CD radio
Very little maintenance work done, gearbox was lightly serviced by a mechanic last year who did a full look through after I bought it
AC works well, was serviced last year
Runs like a dream
Reason for selling is that my limited usage (once a month) does not justify NYC parking costs

Show or go: What would you do with this 1989 Nissan 240SX survivor for sale?  Please comment below and let us know!

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