The other Uglycar
‘Men have become tools of their tools.’
~Henry David Thoreau
In my quest to own the perfect daily driver, I’ve been through a lot of vehicles. The perfect daily driver is built to be reliable, safe, efficient, and potent, all at the same time. For some, ‘aesthetically pleasing’ or ‘comfortable’ could be added to that list, but I see paint as rust prevention and gauge seats based on the effectiveness of their side lumbar bolsters. The core values always remain the same, and my quest has prompted me to purchase a simple, lightweight, efficient, rear-wheel-drive Nissan 200sx turbo. It’s one of the ugliest cars I’ve ever seen, but it fills out all my technical requirements in spades.
I had owned another s12 previously, but technical issues kept that car from ever seeing the road. I needed a daily driver that I could just drive and not dive into head-first as a project. I just needed ‘a car’ that I wouldn’t hate owning, and that wasn’t rotted with rust (New England winters tend to be pretty hard on cars). This particular car is powered by the ca18et engine, rather than the ca20e that was in my last s12. The turbocharged engine produces roughly 25% more power, which should be a noticeable change, and it also ran from the start.
Out of State purchases
I sourced the car on a forum in Virginia, and started preparation to go pick it up and drive it back. Buying an $800 car and driving it 500 miles home as an inaugural trip is always an interesting proposition, so I made sure to ask a bunch of questions:
- Does it run?
- Do the lights work?
- Are the tires ok?
- Do the brakes work?
- Does it steer?
- Does it spontaneously combust?