By the 1989 model year, the weak-selling Nissan Stanza Wagon (aka Nissan Prairie) was gone from the United States, but the unrelated Nissan Stanza sedan continued to sell (poorly) through 1992. You didn’t see many of these cars back then, and they’re exceptionally rare Junkyard Finds today.
Here’s an ’89 that I found in a Northern California self-service wrecking yard last summer.
Other than some body damage that may have occurred after this car entered the junkyard ecosystem, this Stanza is in nice shape for a 29-year-old car. The somewhat low mileage plus unfaded paint and upholstery suggest that it may have spent years forgotten in a garage somewhere in the Bay Area. Perhaps it was driven only to church on Sundays.
The “Auto-Metal” feature was considered pretty snazzy in 1989, though factory-issued CD players were starting to appear in cars by that point. No, the deck doesn’t detect the presence of a Slayer tape; it looks for the expensive Type IV “metal” cassette, which allowed higher recording levels than lesser tapes.
The Stanza car was based on the Nissan Violet (aka Auster aka Bluebird), which was considered a fairly substantial car in its homeland.
The 2.0-liter engine made 97 horsepower; curb weight was well under 3,000 pounds, so acceleration wasn’t too miserable by the standards of the time.
It’s made for fashion models? Approved of by fashion models? There’s no telling.
We wouldn’t be surprised if, next to the word “value” in the dictionary, there was a picture of the new Stanza!
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