COAL: 1989 Nissan Hardbody Pickup – Chapter 9, My Graduation Present

My sister’s 1988 Nissan

In August of 1989 I was starting my final semester in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arizona and starting to look for a professional position.  With a real job, where I had to dress professionally, I was going to need reliable transportation that didn’t expose me to the elements when the weather wasn’t ideal.

My sister had bought a Nissan pickup the year before and it was serving her well.  My credit union (the same one that financed my motorcycle and approved me for a credit card to mail order parts for the Jeep) offered an attractive rate and shortly before my 26th birthday I bought my fourth brand new vehicle.

My 1989 was gray like my sisters 1988 but it didn’t have a cap over the bed.  Its others distinguishing feature were “horse” stickers on both doors.  Those stickers were the signature of Thoroughbred Nissan in Tucson where I bought the truck.  My sister likes horses so I asked for an extra set to mail to her.

Gene Liu in his COAL – Flashback – The Cars Of My Childhood 1 – 1977 Dodge Aspen SE – Peak MOPAR Malaise Machine post said that his dad was “always buying the cheapest loss-leader car on the lot”.  I guess in the ’80’s that was me as well.  All four new vehicles I bought in that decade were the lowest cost examples in town (including the 1982 Rampage with its custom paint job).  But for the crash damage it suffered I probably would have kept the Rampage until its wheels fell off.  With 88,000 miles on it you could probably say that I nearly kept the Honda Silverwing until it was ready for a junkyard.  The CJ7 became unaffordable when I unexpectedly transitioned out of the Navy. This Nissan pickup was innocuous and reasonably affordable, but living in Los Angeles was expensive.

Around the time that my Jeep moved to the museum my brother (who was at NAS Alameda in the Navy) bought his first new car, a 1991 Eagle Talon TSI.  While I was making good money for a first year engineer, my brother had a much nicer 1986 Toyota pickup that he longer needed (next weeks COAL) and I wouldn’t have a monthly payment so I bought it from him and the Nissan found a new owner (who claimed to be Steven Spielbergs neighbor).