Nissan pulled the first 240SX off its assembly line in 1989 and ended production of this magnificent machine on July 23, 1998. During that time period, Nissan produced more than two million 240s for the US market. In classic Nissan fashion, there are two separate generations for the 240, thus creating many names that car enthusiasts choose to use for this particular vehicle.
The 240SX has been called the S13, S14, Silvia (the name of the Japanese market), S, 180SX (the Japanese market) and 200SX (the European and Australian markets), but the American 240SX is not exactly the same as the other S platforms. Although related, there were differences in important areas, such as the engines and the front body design. With the similarities, American 240 owners are a distinct and individual bunch who idolize their cars for the things they can do.
First generation 240SX
Nissan produced the first generation 240SX (also known as the S13) from 1989 to 1994. The S13 showed us three separate models, the coupe, the fastback (truly a hatchback), and the convertible. The middle period of the first generation, also known as Chuki, saw some minor changes to the body of the SX. For example, Nissan gave it a newer, more modern-looking front bumper. However, enthusiasts were most excited about the 15-hp increase that came with the new DOHC engine upgrade. Even with the engine upgrade in the interim period, critics said the 240SX was underpowered for its size, forcing many tuners and homeless to place special orders for Japanese model engines.
In 1992, Nissan produced its “American Only Market” convertible, but took it off the market entirely after 1994. Only 8,320 convertibles were produced by Nissan for the SX. In fact, in 1994, the only 240SX available in the United States was the Convertible Special Edition.
Second generation 240SX
The second generation 240SX (also known as the S14) was created between 1995 and 1998, and most of the contrast to the S13 came in the form of differences in the bodywork. Nissan replaced the fastback and convertible, with SE and LE versions of the coupe. The main differences with the first generation were mainly in the design of the body, which made it look more like its counterpart in the Japanese market. However, Nissan gave the newer 240 a two-inch wider wheelbase and stiffer suspension.
Creating a new history for the 240SX
Nissan owners are true automotive enthusiasts and are absolutely loyal to the Nissan market. These same enthusiasts have their own bands … some are tuners, some are wealthy, and some are homeless. The modifications these enthusiasts make to the 240 often depend on the group they are in. Specifically, the tuners have a more “show car” look, therefore their modifications will be along the lines of vertical doors, dash trim kits, neon and carbon fiber parts.
On the other hand, homeless people are in a different world than tuners. While they love and respect their 240SX just as a tuner, they demand a lot more from the SX than their tuner counterparts. Its modifications often involve engine and performance improvements that are made in an effort to make drifting easier. Drifters also use other customizations, such as installing a limited-slip differential or suspension coilovers, for a more exhilarating drift experience with their 240SX. In the unfortunate event that the 240 is damaged while drifting, the body kits and intercoolers may need to be replaced. While some modifications are the result of damage, others are directly related to the sport of drifting, causing some stress on the 240. SX owners often find themselves replacing clutches and tires. Serious bums will tell you; however, they do not mind making these modifications. The excitement of the sport, the recognition of your teammates and the awards that come with it make these customizations a “necessary evil”.
Regardless of which group an enthusiast belongs to, both of you have to find a trusted place to buy parts and accessories for your “baby.” While there are big companies that have some custom parts and accessories for the 240, most of them aren’t exclusively dedicated to the SX, nor do they have everything a tuner or drifter could dream of. But there is a little piece of paradise on the horizon.