Lone Star Pulsar NX for $1850

When the original Pulsar NX came out in 1983, I immediately fell in love with it’s slab-sided, sharp-cornered gawkiness. Then I read the car rag reviews of it. I believe it was Road & Track that summed up the 1983-86 Pulsar NX as “proof that you can build a thoroughly mediocre car and people will still buy it.” Okay, so it had 69 HP in non-turbo form, emissions-strangled throttle response, lots of body roll and vague steering. I’ve tried not to like the car for over a quarter century, but I can’t help but like it; those quirky proportions melt my objectivity like so much drawn butter.
So, after posting a scan of a Pulsar NX ad yesterday, I decided to see what Pulsar-y goodness the List de la Craig might render.

Most of the “Pulsar NX” search results were for the later, better-remembered but more ordinary-looking “Lego-back” generation, and the few originals I found were in pretty sorry shape. (The Pulsar NX was not one that car collectors were eager to squirrel away in climate-controlled storage bunkers for posterity.) But then, my heart leapt when I found this remarkably well-preserved first-generation offering with a claimed 64,000 original miles:

1983 Datsun / Nissan Pulsar NX – 37 mpg! – $1850 (Keller)

Date: 2011-01-08, 10:23AM CST
Up for sale is my 1983 Nissan Pulsar NX. This is a rare model in great condition. These have not been made in the US since 1989. It has only 64,000 original miles and gets 37mpg! 1983 was the crossover year for Nissan so it also has the Datsun emblem on the rear. This car has the E16S non-turbo engine (1.6 liter carbureted) with a manual 5-speed transmission. Parts are still readily available as it shares a lot of them with the Sentra. The interior is in immaculate shape with a back seat that looks as if it has never been sat in. There are no stains, tears or other major marks on the interior. All of the glass is in excellent shape. The body has a couple of minor dings and scratches as it is a daily-driven 27-year-old car. The paint still shines although it could use a good buffing. All of the original vehicle graphics have been removed except for those on the rear (see photo). The only thing that doesn’t work is the a/c… but it may just need to be re-charged. I’ve never needed it so I didn’t bother looking into it. Great commuter car and fun to drive! Great for when gas prices are $3.00 or more per gallon. The car is in north Ft. Worth just west of Keller.
Items replaced in the last year:
Timing Belt
All Drive Belts
Front End
CV Boots
Spark Plugs
Custom Exhaust
Rear Shocks
$1,850. Firm

Would I really go to Dallas to get it? Nah, I like being married too much. But, on the other hand, this could be my last chance…
What say all of you? Is this sharply-whittled shape worth $1850?
[Source: craigslist.org]

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  1. OA5599 Avatar

    Since when don't you need air conditioning on a daily driver in Ft. Worth?

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      My thoughts exactly. We've had several over-the-top blistering summers since 1983. 1988 and 1995 especially stick out in my mind. We hosted the CORSA national convention in '95 (in Las Colinas), and people were dropping like flies during the drive-thru concours judging.
      I once knew a girl that owned an NX – gold, with some cheesy wire wheel covers. At least the one in Keller has the original plastic ones.

  2. Van sarockin Avatar
    Van sarockin

    Nah. You want the model with all of the interchangeable, different backs. And even then, you don't want it.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      No I don't. Subsequent generations have zero charm.

      1. Alff Avatar

        Daddy had a saying … "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree."

  3. TurboBrick Avatar

    "it may need to be recharged"… after you've replaced every other component in the system.

    1. dukeisduke Avatar

      Certainly the compressor and dryer, the expansion valve, the flex hoses, and probably the evap. Cha-ching!

  4. tonyola Avatar

    Ugly and uninspired car. As much of a joke as a Ford EXP. I used to laugh at these NXs as I was driving my faster, cheaper, prettier, better handling, better built, and more refined Honda CRX.

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      "Let us leave the faster, cheaper, prettier, better handling, better built, and more refined cars to men of no imagination." ~ Marcel Proust*

      1. skitter Avatar

        This needs an honorary day on the Hooniverse banner, like the Google logos.

  5. nitroracer Avatar

    I like the pulsar,
    <img src="http://www.japanesesportcars.com/classifieds/data/media/32/pulsar-gtir-white-01.jpg&quot; width="500">
    And the NX,
    <img src="http://importnut.net/ben/restored01.jpg&quot; width="500">
    But not the Pulsar NX.
    <img src="http://www.carlustblog.com/images/2008/06/06/pulsar1.jpg&quot; width="500">
    My first car was an NX2000 so I may be a little biased, but the B13 chassis (Original SE-R) is still a good deal for a fun econobox.

    1. tonyola Avatar

      The oval-eyed NX2000 never seemed to get the respect it deserved. By the time it came out in 1991, small hot hatches were falling out of favor here in the US and people thought it looked funny. A better car than its reputation.

    2. CJinSD Avatar

      I knew a girl who had an NX2000. It burned to the ground after running over some object on the street that cut a fuel line. She almost died because the interior caught fire before she knew anything was wrong and she was overcome by the fumes of burning upholstery and sound deadening materials.

    3. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      There's an NX2000 in LeMons that's terrifyingly fast. Apparently it's got an SR20.

      1. nitroracer Avatar

        Stock equipment. And quite fun too.

  6. Maymar Avatar

    <img src="http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20061214133258/starwars/images/1/14/Rebspeeder_swenc.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>
    I'm sure the weather will turn Hothian again this winter, that's the closest to a T-47 I could hope to get (short of a Subaru XT), so I'm interested. Come spring time, my desire will shift back to the aforementioned Legoback model.

  7. LTDScott Avatar

    I moved from Texas to California when I was 16. TX required 4 hours of in-car driver's ed to get your license, whereas CA required 6. So when I moved here, I had to do two extra hours, and those hours were spent in one of these cars. Same color, IIRC.
    Granted it was 15 years ago, but I remember absolutely nothing of my driving experience in that car. Unremarkable, apparently.

  8. CJinSD Avatar

    One of my friends that I went to High School Graduation Beach Week with received a new Pulsar NX before our trip. I remember two of us riding sitting facing forward in the open hatchback while driving the strip. I don't remember if we actually took off the hatch, or if we just propped it up somehow. I think it had T-tops that came off too. It didn't drive better than any other Nissan product, but at least they were taking some chances. I guess it didn't work out, as they weren't around for long.

  9. Alexandria Burrell Avatar
    Alexandria Burrell

    Im interesting in purchasing this vehicle. Would someone contact me (601) 529-3238.

  10. Jason Avatar

    My first car was an 83 Nissan Pulsar NX. I got nearly 200,000 miles out of it before the heater core went out and radiator fluid started dripping on my feet. I still miss that car to this day…