Even as Toyota kept the Cressida a rear-wheel-drive first cousin to the sporty Supra (sales of that car continued here well into the 1990s), Nissan moved the formerly-Z-based Maxima to a front-wheel-drive platform for the 1985 model year. The new, roomier Maxima continued to be loaded with futuristic electronic gadgetry and a Z-Car engine, and sales of the wagon version continued all the way through the 1988 model year. Hereâ€™s a well-traveled â€™86 Maxima wagon in a Denver-area car graveyard.
Itâ€™s flipped sideways here, but this is just about the same VG30 V6 that buyers of the 300ZX got in 1986 (152 horsepower in the Maxima, 160 in the 300ZX).
Americans hadnâ€™t yet fallen completely out of love with manual transmissions by 1986, but most of these cars got two-pedal setups over here. 5-speed 1985-1988 Maximas do exist, though.
If you want to find 1980s cars with trip-to-the-moon-and-back odometer readings, youâ€™ll need to look at Mercedes-Benz diesels. This Maxima made it to the moon and some of the way back during its 35 years on the road.
The Colorado climate laughs at cloth interiors, even nice Japanese ones.
When translating from compact Japanese kanji characters to bulky English words in the 1980s, funny typography could ensue. Iâ€™ve got a big collection of these â€œSECU-RITYâ€� indicator lights, and of course I grabbed this one. This car has the talking voice-alert system that made upscale Datsuns legendary a few years earlier, but it operates via solid-state digital gear rather than the amazing tiny-phonograph-based rig used in earlier Maximas.
Thereâ€™s rust in the usual spots, not as bad as what youâ€™d see in Illinois or Vermont but enough to kill whatever modicum of value a faded high-mile wagon might have had.
In Japan, the V6 Bluebird was incredibly suave.
In Australia, the Bluebird Wagon got this strange video-game-themed clearance-sale pitch.
Todayâ€™s automotive world is filled with compromise. To get luxury and performance, you have to sacrifice value. Nissan disagrees!
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