Bargain bangers week 4: Cheaper without the battery!

Each week in Driveanotherday’s Bargain Bangers we shine the light on the best car we can find locally, within both our price and our range limits. Like our expectactions, both our limits for this challenge are very low…

Today we have unearthed…a pretty clean 1991 Nissan Pintara!


The rules are pretty simple in the Bargain Bangers selection criteria.

1. The car must be advertised in FREE classifieds (ie Craigslist, Gumtree etc). After all who wants to pay for an ad for something cheap and nasty?

2. It must still run. Just. So no ex parts cars and no half picked half cuts or rolling shells or write offs. If it can’t be driven out of it’s own driveway under it’s own steam, then it’s no good here.

3. The budget limit is $500. Therefore finding something exotic or remotely interesting becomes a real challenge…

4. The range is 500KM from your posting location. Who knows what you may find in your own backyard?

5. The same model can’t come up more than once. We don’t need an army of 1982 Holden Commodores.

5. You don’t actually have to buy it in reality. But hey, a bargain banger is a bargain…

Things were looking good for a moment this week…there was a Seat Ibiza GTI for sale for $500 but the starter motor was dead and with a flat battery, it failed the criteria. Then we thought we’d try our luck with luxury again like last weeks Merc find but most of the BMW’s under half a ton were in desperately need of resuscitation.

So instead we’ve gone for the subtled down lines of a 91 Nissan Pintara with a little change to spare ($450).

91 Nissan Pintara

The Nissan Pintara was one of those cars I saw a lot when I was growing up, especially when my best mate purchased a bright red 88 as his very first car once he had his license. It was big and boxy (more squared shaped than the one we found here for today’s Bargain Bangers), auto and according to one safety report ’caused more damage to what it hit than what it carried’. Shaped like a lunchbox with the ability to carry around as many school mates as you could physically cram into it, it meant the end of public transport unless we planned a night on the sauce.

(My mate also discovered that his Pintara key had the ability to open about 80% of Pintaras of the same vintage…but that’s another story.)

Since then the best mate has moved on to cars more practical for raising a family but my brother in law has a fascination with the things and along with his 87 there’s a couple of parts cars on the father in laws farms. Recently the ex mechanic dad in law had to perform an emergency rebuild and I had the fun task of driving it back – can’t say that I was a fan of this particular car. It creaked and groaned when you put the foot down (sounded like a wooden ship fighting in a squall), the heavy steering was a chore and the racing seats the brother in law had salvaged to put in his beast made the ride even more uncomfortable if that was possible. After 370,xxx kms the 4 cylinders really struggled and the blue interior made me feel trapped in a kids toybox. Yeah, fun. My Rx7 felt like a supercar after that ride.

From 1989 onwards they changed the layout to Front Wheel Drive and tweaked the CA20E slightly as well as softening the boxy lines of the brother of the Skyline at the time. There was also the choice of the T, Ti and TRX versions which came with the even more powerful KA24E inline four. There’s no 2400 on the valve cover on this one so we can only assume it’s the CA20E.


1991 Nissan Pulsar


You can even make it cheaper by supplying your own battery!

91 nissan pintara auto. One owner 209052 ks with full service history. New wheels n well look after car . No registration no rwc $450 or $400 without the battery. 

Not bad mileage for something of this age either and with new tyres and a decent service history, you could do far far worse especially for a cheapish run around for the family or a first car for someone.

Fingers crossed for something SEAT next week then…

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