Doing these three things will increase your chances of finding a cheap S-chassis
With Formula Drift, all its feeder series, and the local grassroots scene growing in popularity, it’s safe to say drifting is still alive and well in the United States.
That means fans of the sport and beginner drivers actively seek out Nissan 240s both as an entry level platform into the motorsport and because it’s still a competent and sporty chassis.
But, as the years go by, the supply of Nissan 240s grows ever smaller while demand remains high meaning buyers expect to pay a premium.
Despite that, there are still ways to find cheap Nissan 240SXs without the dreaded drift tax if you’re willing to put in a little effort.
Here are a handful of ways I’ve managed to come across cheap Nissan 240s without trying all that hard.
Bookmark multiple Craigslist search results in locations you’re willing to go to.
If you’re going to search for a cheap Nissan 240 online, you’re going to want to use a desktop or laptop, it’s just easier to work with a larger screen and just plain faster.
Setup a special bookmarks folder labeled “Craigslist searches” and bookmark your specific search for the location you want, filtering for maximum year (1999, the last year the 240 was sold) and choosing only owner owned.
And, as the heading hints at, bookmark each and every Craigslist search for the locations you’re willing to go to.
Finding a cheap Nissan 240 online is a lot easier if you live in and around larger metropolitan areas just because you’re playing the numbers game, larger population means more cars and the higher chances of someone selling a Nissan 240.
Even if you live in the so-called “middle of nowhere,” but you are willing to travel to find your cheap S-Chassis, definitely still do this.
It’s cliché to say the early bird gets the worm but you’re going to want to get in the habit of checking your craigslist bookmarks either before you head to bed or early in the morning (preferably before 8 A.M.)
Just this weekend I saw a 1991 Nissan 240SX with super high mileage but, in otherwise, good condition, for sale in Fresno for just $3,700.
I couldn’t believe it, that is until I saw someone pick it up for themselves, posting about it on Instagram.
A good condition 240 with all its original body panels, original engine, a five-speed, with the proverbial cracked dash but for less than $4,000? Unreal.
Pay attention to Mecum, Barrett-Jackson, and other “older crowd” car auctions.
These “older guys” auctions are just catching onto this Rad-era and JDM craze surrounding older Japanese cars from the ’80s and ’90s and you’re already seeing dozens of imports on these, originally mostly classic cars, car auction dockets.
Here’s the thing, to even get to bid on these cars, you have to register, which means submitting your driver’s license, proof of car insurance, and, in the case of Barrett-Jackson, for online bidding, you have to show some kind of bank letter.
All that rigmarole is a barrier to entry for a lot of casual Nissan 240SX shoppers, they simply don’t want to go through all that.
On top of that, most younger people don’t have thousands of dollars on tap in their bank accounts to bankroll an online auction nor do they have the “fire power” to go toe-to-toe with another bidder.
But, if you don’t mind registering to bid and have that disposable income to play with, these car auctions are an upcoming gold mine to find cheap Nissan 240s.
Check out a pair of Nissan 240s that showed up in Las Vegas last month.
OK, they’re convertibles and automatics but, when it’s slim pickings, you can’t be too choosy.
One sold for $11,000 and the other sold for around $5,500.
Hoofing it AKA scoping out where you live without looking like you’re up to no good.
If you’re hell bent on finding a cheap 240, you can’t discount a good walk around where you live and even a leisurely drive around town.
Thinking through the Nissan 240SX market in the United States logically, most original owners are probably in their 50s and 60s and there’s a good chance they bought these imports because they wanted something sporty but somewhat affordable for themselves.
But, now as they’re getting up their in years and, it’s either time to let these cars go or they’re open to the idea of selling.
You’re not going to find these “barn finds” online, you’re going to find them taking a walk around several of your nearby neighborhoods or casually driving through Krogers on a Monday morning at the crack of dawn (when older folk do their shopping.)
You’re going to see a pristine Nissan 240 you’ve never seen before because early mornings are not your bag and you’re going to politely approach the owner, asking if they’re open to selling, and, perhaps, leaving your number with them if you change their mind.
You also might come across that proverbial cheap Nissan 240 driving by an open garage, that one-owner 240 parked there, just sitting.
It’s just a thought and possible good strategy.
Look at it this way, it’s also good exercise.
I believe if you start incorporating those two practices, checking your folder of Craigslist bookmarks every day, paying attention to traditional car auctions, and keeping your eyes open in your local area, you’ll find that affordable Nissan 240 soon enough.
This advice goes for any import car you’re having trouble finding.
Do you have any tips and tricks finding a cheap Nissan 240?
Let me know in the comments below.