Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Pulsar GTiR...

It's a Nissan Sunny basically, with the added bonus of a distinct willingness to explode into a bazillion pieces at any given moment. Ergo, it's our kind of car.
A Pulsar. Pre explosion
Nissan is a huge company, famous for many impressive cars. When they decided to get involved in the WRC back in the early '90s they raided their brochures for a suitable car. They brushed aside any notion of a Skyline - a car they had received global praise for thanks to its 4WD system and instead opted for a Nissan Sunny. You know, the car the old lady down the street drives to ASDA once a month. Riiiight. To give them some credit, they didn't enter a 1.4LX into the WRC. That would've been silly. No, they jumped into their parts bin and treated it to a 2.0 twin-cam, 16 valve engine. They also made it 4WD and for good measure, they strapped a turbo to it. Yes, now we're talking. Of course if they wanted to rally it, they'd have to holomogate it, which means they'd have to build some road legal version for Joe Bloggs to buy.
A rallying Pulsar, presumably with its engine still intact
It was a bit of a wet blanket in the WRC and never really came to anything. No worry there though, as that meant they were cheap to buy. The boom of importing Japanese cars in the early 2000s was what really brought them to people's attention. Why buy a Skyline or Impreza for a millonty pounds when you could buy this 200+ bhp four-wheel-drive rocket for a fraction of the cast? It just made sense. Then, once it became known, the Max Power generation got their hands on it...
...urgh. The horror. Looks likes it's been covered in glue and driven through the Ripspeed aisle at Halfords. Luckily this passed and once they had moved onto other things like Evos, RX7s et al, the Pulsar fell into the hands of those looking for fun, power and individuality at a wallet friendly price.
They're now plentiful and dirt cheap, too. But be aware that they have a tendency to explode. We're not kidding either. A friend of ours bought one years ago and, on his way home, called to say he was going to do a high speed pass of the pub we were in. He did just that, but as he hurtled past at breakneck speed, he opted to change gear. Then the engine threw a con rod out of the side of the block. Nice. The car is still in his garage to this day. It's £34 if anyone wants it, though most of the engine is in the boot...and all over the A38. Another thing to remember is that it's mind-numbingly dull inside. It's a Nissan Sunny after all. Don't believe us? Well...
...yeah, see? Ignoring the dull innards and the engine's willingness to distribute it all over any given stretch of road, though, and you're on to a winner. It's rare, it's fun and it's dirt cheap to get more grunt of one. We'd invest in a GTiR if we could, but then again all our cars tend to explode at some point, so this would be no risk to us. Plus, Nissan did make the Skyline, and that was awesome, and in essence this is the Skyline's little brother. Its angry, explody little brother.