Bargain Bangers Week 7: Great Nissan EXA-pectations

Usually at we trawl the classifieds midweek for possible Bargain Bangers, today it’s a Sunday submersion into the sub $500 car bargains in the the hope of a freshly listed catch. And in under 60 seconds we’ve managed to land on something that screams ‘Wow the 80’s were an interesting time weren’t they?’ – a 1988 Nissan Exa!

Yes for all of our measly $500 budget, you can enjoy this still working (but needing some more work) Banger.

Nissan Exa

For Sale – 1988 Nissan Exa 1.8L non Turbo, 5 spd Manual. 
Would suit either use for a parts car/wrecking or restoration 
Has some surface rust on edges of panels. 
No water leaks through roof. 
No radio fitted. 
Has near new tyres. 
Has near new exhaust system. 
Runs & Drives.  

Obviously the in car entertainment system was worth more than the car itself which is probably why the radio spot sits empty and the car itself wouldn’t be nearly as fun as the turbo version, but if you loved the days of big hair and shoulder pads, this is a prime example of 80’s styling and probably a good candidate for someone’s first car.

And who doesn’t like (when they work) pop up headlights? Just looking at this Nissan Exa makes us get me a little misty over my FC3S and recalling the fun the mechanic had in replacing one of the failed headlight motors…

Nissan Exa

Having seen plenty about growing up (and still to this day) I can’t admit to ever having piloted a Nissan Eva so it’s over to Google to find someone who has – luckily we found some glowing praise over at :

Drives like a sports car – albeit a slightly underpowered sports car.

This was never a race car, and the engine is fiddly for the home mechanic. But in two years, with regular tune-ups, it’s never missed a beat. This model didn’t come with the option of Turbo and that’s probably not needed anyway. The engine seems fine unless you want to run the air conditioner – it reckons that’s a bit much.

Those rear lights though…whoa. Drugs were obviously cheap and plentiful for car designers back in the day.

Exa 3

But hey, for half a grand you can buy a semi-sporty looking 80’s flashback. Just find a $5 factory tape deck on Facebook, load up some Duran Duran and relive the glory days..

Found anything interesting yourself? Let us know!


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…


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