WHY IT’S RAD!
Feast your eyes on Nissan’s Forgotten S-chassis, the S12. This 1984 200SX combines all the greatest hits of the 80s in one neat little wedge-shaped notchback: pop-up headlights, voice announcements, striped velour, trip computer and even a digital dash. These cars were imported in far smaller numbers than their better-known successors, and survivors have been rare for decades. This one offers a 5-speed manual, strong mechanicals and remains fully functional from A/C to the teeny little record player (really!) that issues warnings like “the lights are on!”
Cosmetically, the car presents as a survivor, much like it would have during the Mid-1990s as a daily driver. Just as with the era’s other four-cylinder, RWD Japanese sports coupe, Toyota’s similarly sized and shaped AE86 Corolla GT-S, notchbacks are even harder to come by than hatchbacks, though good luck finding another good example of either in 2022.
Apart from a modern CD deck (original head unit included but not tested, see gallery), the car remains totally stock, including its prototypically 80s hexagon themed 14” wheels. According to the seller, corrosion is generally limited to the four wheel arches, an issue partially addressed by a previous owner; see detailed photos including closeups of the fender area, wheel wells and undercarriage in the full gallery. Note also that the previous owner prepped the front bumper for repainting, but it remains primered.
The interior is a highlight, not only for its factory features, but also for its state of preservation. Home to a wild collection of angles, ledges, levels, LEDs and also several shades of tan, the dash is free of cracks and comes packed with Reagan Era High Tech. The green-lit digital gauge pack would probably be our favorite feature, if it weren’t for the Voice Command Box. Replaced in 1985 by a solid-state system, 1984 cars such as this still use a micro-sized phonograph playing a micro-sized record containing various warnings and announcements. Too cool.
Upholstery looks great front and rear, and everything including the (leak-free) power moonroof still works. Wear is limited to some peeling vinyl on the passenger door card and piping on the passenger seat, and carpets would probably benefit from being shampooed. Modern Ferrari dashes have been hyped over disappearing info centers contained in a small dash slit facing the passenger, but here we see the same idea at least three decades earlier.
Mechanically, the car is described as sorted, with the seller adding that its 2.0-liter, SOHC, CA20E four cylinder starts easily, idles smoothly and pulls well through the rev range, while admitting that it does consume a modest amount of oil. The car's 102 horsepower is transmitted to the rear wheels via a slick 5-speed with a light, progressive clutch, and likewise, brakes, steering and suspension are all reported to be in good working order.
Sale includes the original owner’s manual, invoice, warranty/service booklet and factory keys, as well as the OEM jack. Extensive maintenance in the last year included new shocks/struts, General Altimax tires, spark plugs, fuel filter, upgraded headlights, refurbished alternator and a new battery. Recent Pennsylvania inspection is good through September 2022.
Aftermarket CD player (original head unit included)