CC Capsule: 1989 Nissan Hardbody – Let’s Do the Time Warp


This is a simple case of disbelief. How did this 25-year-old truck survive to the modern day in such amazing condition out here in Rustopia?


It’s not quite showroom fresh. The front bumper is pockmarked with rust bubbles and some of the paint has peeled off the wheels. Inside, sun has discolored the back of the headrest and repeated application of a driver’s elbow has discolored the armrest.


I’ve never actually been inside one of these before, even though one of my work buddies bought one new back in the day. It was an unusual choice back then – S-10s and Rangers and Toyota Trucks crushed these in sales. When I found this truck, I couldn’t remember the last time I saw a Hardbody. Since this day, I’ve seen four others – all rusted, dented, and used up. (That PRND21 indicator right off the shift lever seems like a straightforward and inexpensive way to show the selected gear.)


And lookit that Indiana license plate. This truck isn’t just passing through from less-rusty climes – it lives here. Was it Grandpa’s, and now grandson is treating it with tender loving care? Or is Grandpa still alive and driving it, and only takes it out on nice days? Or did a hole open in the space-time continuum and this truck drop out of it?