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My experience with this car goes back to January 2018, but the car has obviously had an extensive history prior - over 30 years of it. The Pulsar was nothing less than an accidental find around Sacramento, CA. We were two cars cruising back from breakfast when we had taken a wrong turn back to our friend's house. I was driving the second car in our group, with Preston in the passenger seat. Preston is a man of many cars, in fact the car I was driving belonged to him, and with his many cars come many stories. As we navigated through this quiet, suburban neighborhood, we stumbled upon a 1987 Nissan Pulsar NX parked along the curb of the main street. It had the standard liftback trunk lid, on which "For Sale" and some other less-legible writing was written in removable window paint. Naturally we slowed down to gaze upon the relic, bad decisions racing through our minds, before we proceeded on our merry way. Right as my foot reached the accelerator pedal a voice called out to us. "100 bucks and it's yours!" the voice called. Was it Jesus? Was it Cthulhu? Was it some divine being? No. It was none other than the owner himself, working on some other project in his garage. Of course upon hearing this I made a legal U-turn when it was safe to do so (and totally didn't flip a U-ey in the middle of that street) to go back and confirm what we heard was true. Lo and behold, he said what he meant and he was not joking. The owner, who I will refer to as PO for "previous owner" because I have shamefully forgotten his name, was looking to sell the Pulsar as it didn't run and was causing too much of a headache to fix. PO used to enter this car into bracket races and drag race this car (yes, this 1987 Nissan Pulsar with a CA16DE making what, 100 hp?) not for speed, but for consistency. All was fine until it wasn't. The car wouldn't start and no amount of troubleshooting could bring it back to life... yet. After the exchange of some signatures and one hundred big ones, the car was now Preston's. Along with the paperwork and keys came the sportbak at no additional cost. Our group pushed the Pulsar back to the house, while my friend Alvin drove the sportbak there with his Datsun 1600 roadster. As you can tell, we were unknowingly prepared for this event that had unfolded. As we rolled the car into the driveway, there were nothing but smiles all around. Did this really just happen? Is this car going to run? What do we even do if it doesn't? So many questions arose but no answers in site. Thankfully, Alvin busted out the multi-meter and dove headfirst into diagnosing the engine. Alvin knows CA's like the back of his hand, after building up a CA18DE for years before I even met him, and eventually graduating to a CA18DET. It's safe to say that we were in good hands. We borrowed a battery from another car and found that the car did crank, but the spark plugs just weren't firing. The fault was determined to be somewhere in the wiring harness, so Alvin jumped the ignition coil directly to the battery. An hour and one wire later, the Pulsar fired right up. The silence was deafening as we waited for something to go wrong but to our surprise the engine was running properly. We took it for a spin and it ran, and it ran, and it ran all day without failure. At some point we hopped into Walmart for a battery and at that point Preston was $160 invested into this car. I drove it back to Preston's place and it was at that moment when I knew one day the legendary Pulsar needed to be mine. Fast forward to August 2018, tragedy struck when an unfortunate battle between two cars was had. As with all things in life, accidents will happen and that's just the way life is. The resulting damage deemed the Pulsar's driver's side B-pillar and door to be irreparable, but the car still drove perfectly fine. Just when all hope for the Pulsar was seemingly lost, I saw my opportunity to take on ownership of the beloved shooting brake I loved so dearly. Preston, being the wonderful person that he is, graciously bestowed upon me the keys to the Pulsar to cherish forever - or at least until an Uber driver hits it or whatever. A few hours of my friend Mike wailing on the body panels with a BFH and me dying in the heat, the door was back in "working" condition and it could be "used". From then, it's just been a few signatures on some paperwork and a 3 hour drive back to the Bay Area at 3am. The Pulsar is now mine. Prior to PO drag racing the car, the history of the car is unknown. As much as I want to believe the car has been in his family since it was brand new, passed down to him to hold onto until he drove it into the ground on the drag strip, I can't be so certain. What I do know is that there's still a fighting force in this car that keeps it going. After being transferred twice within a year, the car hasn't given up. Sure it's seen better days physically. Sure it's currently considered a gross polluter. Sure it will cost me a hell of a lot more than $100 to get it where I want it. But much like Alvin did by jumping the ignition coil to the battery, I'll try my best to give this car not a second chance at life, but a third. Thanks for reading.
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