SOTW: Nissan Bluebird ZX Turbo


My maths teacher at school had a Nissan Bluebird. She wasn’t very cool and to be honest neither was her car. But here we are many, many years later and one has found its way to the illustrious pages of Shed of the Week.

The Bluebird was a blue rinse favourite and became sadly unloved once they finally changed hands. Some gave a few years faithful service as an illegal cab in central London but even then they would eventually be replaced by a 200,000 mile Peugeot 406. In the end they became a rare and unloved sight on our roads.

But this wasn’t the end. Not all Bluebirds came in metallic blue and there was a rather interesting version called the ZX Turbo (although in Japan there was a few other hot versions including a four-wheel drive) which admittedly most of the PH office had managed to almost erase from their minds. But when Mr Will came across this red example in PH Classifieds a glimmer of recollection turned into an all-round agreement that this is one cool car.


Yes, that is ZX as in 300 as in 300ZX and 240ZX – this is a four-door Z-car that, to the untrained eye, looks like it should be picking people up outside the local Ritzy on a Saturday night.

The Nissan Bluebird was a mid-sized car that was launched way back in 1957. Various Nissans and Datsuns carried the Bluebird name until we arrived at the U11 series, which was front-wheel drive and launched in October 1983. It was a boxy looking thing but sold reasonably well in the UK, with owners applauding its all-round capabilities and good reliability.

A V6 was even offered in Japan but the top model we got was the 1.8-litre ZX Turbo. The four-pot pumped out 135bhp and 140lb-ft of torque, hauling the ZX from 0-60mph in a very respectable 8.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 120mph.


The Bluebird we have here is not only just Β£950 but it is rather special. It has just 49,000 miles on the clock and is in excellent condition. Although there is a Momo steering wheel and CD player the original items come with the car. You even get a spare clutch if you need it. I want this car – just don’t tell my maths teacher…

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Ad Reads: '49,000 miles, Mot May 09, tax feb 09. Originally purchased from Nissan Torbay Ltd in 1989 by a Mr. Setter. Unfortunatly he passed away and the car was left garaged for some years.
'In 1997 Mrs. Setter decided to start driving it again, (I have every MOT from 1997 onwards) that year the mileage was 11,670 miles !
'Inside the car is very clean and tidy, drivers seat with elecrtic lumber and bolster adjustment, original over mats and a cd head unit.
'Outside the car clean up really well, I'm always getting comments about how tidy it is ! Although not perfect I keep the paint work well pollished and it does keep a good shine.
'As with all 20 year old cars there is the od little parking ding and a single rust spot on the o/s/r arch.
Since owning the car I made a few subtle changes:
Fitted intercooler
Induction kit

Leather Momo steering wheel
Sony cd head unit
x2 new tyres
I still have all the original parts, airbox, steering wheel and factory tape player.
Drives like a car with 49,000 miles should, although clutch is high, it does not slip and there is a brand new boxed clutch supplied.
Β£950 ono


Comments (88) Join the discussion on the forum

  • MrTappets 29 Aug 2008

    That looks strangely attractive

  • hman 29 Aug 2008

    this really is a rare car nowadays, I dont want to own one but it is still intriguing to see how it would drive.

    Just needs a dump valve now to draw attention to itself.

  • james_tigerwoods 29 Aug 2008

    I'm strangely drawn to this...

  • nervous 29 Aug 2008

    I got drubbed by one of those a few years ago, when I was in something that should have been much, much faster. In the rear window was a sticker that said 'you can in this one'.

    I still lay awake at night thinking about that. well, about shakiras bra actually, but yknow, whatever.

  • griffter 29 Aug 2008

    I once passed up a (seemingly) mint Mitsubishi Lancer turbo (the one with 'turbo' written in mirror script on the front spoiler). I regret it every time I think of it.

    There is a strange attraction to these old skool Jap turbo cars, that modern rice burners don't (yet) have.

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