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The one that got away

2 years ago

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David Twohig | Engineer


23 September 2022

We all have them – that one car. The car we should never have let go. The one that drags us back to the classifieds late at night, forlornly looking for another that might transport us back in time to when it sat on our driveways…

Mine is a Nissan Pulsar GTi-R – the Japanese-market version of the Nissan N14, sold in Europe as the Nissan Sunny GTi-R. A remarkable, spectacularly ugly early-90s über-hatch. I owned mine for only a few years, and chopped it in for an R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R.

Foolish as I was, I had gorged on the Kool-Aid of Godzilla myth and assumed that my Pulsar’s big brother, with more power and presence, could only be the better car. I was wrong. But by the time I realised it, the mistake was made and my fugly little Pulsar was gone forever.

Things started badly. Because when I bought it, I got burned. Done up like a kipper, in fact. It was 2002. I had been transferred to work in Japan by my then employer, Nissan. Strictly speaking, I did not need a car. Japan’s public transport was, and still is, probably the best in the world. Nissan also laid on an armada of clean, Swiss-train-precise company buses to get its workers into the office on time.

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