Published on September 13th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Finding And Restoring My Fathers Old Nissan Sunny 130Y
Sold this Nissan Sunny 130Y in 2000 and now in 2021 its back in our garage.
There are some car enthusiasts who are emotional about their past (sold) vehicles and feel the need to re-connect by searching, buying and restoring if needed the car from their childhood or even their very first car.
The Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown has accelerated this revival of old cars movement and recently we stumbled upon a Facebook friend who went looking for his father’s old car which was used during his childhood and decided to bring this neglected by the current owner Nissan back to life.
This is his journey.
Question: Share with us the history of this car.
Answer: This car is a 1983 Nissan Sunny 13DX (the Nissan Sunny was sadly never revived with a new model even after a rumor of a new model was mentioned in late 2010) that my dad bought as a used car back in 1986 for a sum of RM15,000. This was shortly after I was born to ferry my pram and other newborn paraphernalia.
The car was the family car right through my primary education. In 1995 a 1.5L engine was installed, in 1996 the car got metallic blue paint. A few additions were included like a JDM meter cluster with an rpm gauge, digital clock, upgraded air-conditioning system and power steering. The car became my mother’s car till the year 2000. In September 2000 my dad sold the car to make way for a W201 Mercedes-Benz 190E.
Question: So what happened next?
Answer: This Nissan changed hands a few times and in the year 2016 it was seen at the nearby town of Batu Gajah, running, but it was in a sorry state.
Question: You had to do something?
Answer: in January 2021 I did a JPJ check which revealed the car was at a village nearby Batu Gajah and when I went to look for it, in my dismay I found it being used as a mobile store for a local contractor. A sum of RM800 the car became mine
Question: Can we get some costs involved in this restoration?
Answer: The bodywork needed to be done and the welding came to RM5,500 including parts and and labour. A lot of wagon specific parts especially were tough to source. Mechanical refreshing which included a complete service, upgrading the gearbox to a 5 speed, replacing all mounts, belts and suspension components. This bill came to RM4,500.
Question: What was the next expensive bill?
Answer: Where able, I looked for good original used parts and these were fitted from the local chop shops. Once that was done and the car looked complete, it was to for paintwork which came to RM4,800. Wiring with a new air conditioner system and tinted film came to RM1200. Interior refurbishment work was another RM2,700. Finally, new wheels and tyres were fitted for RM1,000.
Question: Wow! That’s an expensive restoration for a Sunny, Why?
Answer: Well, the cost mounted after I made the decision to make this humble Sunny to mimic the Sunny Extra 4 specification, with the grill, lamps, badges, bright work, painted bumpers and instrument panels. The Sunny Wagon Extra 4 never existed from the factory apart from the California spec that wasn’t available in Malaysia. Yet we now know what the Sunny could have been, had they made an Extra 4 variant of the wagon.
Question: So, was it worth it?
Answer: Yes. My dads Sunny Wagon was one of the best on the roads in Malaysia in the 90s. I couldn’t let it have such a pathetic demise. A lot of effort, money spent. Much more than the car is valued. But there is the point when the car turns into being part of the family. No price can equate to this.
The total cost to rebuild this Nissan Sunny Wagon was a staggering RM19,700. The purchase price was just RM800. Value today, priceless.