My first car was a Nissan Sunny 130Y.

At that time it was brand new, modern looking as a new trending departures from the previous crops of boxy shaped automobiles for maximizing space. As I drove it around, I noticed heads would turn in its direction. This was the model at which Nissan-Datsun dropped the name Datsun which was associated with ‘Milo tin body quality‘ of Japanese cars. It marked a radical, new initiative to include smooth styling into new crops of Nissan cars.

And it really was a landmark. Nissan Sunny 130Y came into production in 1981, a successor to the 120Y series which was already hailed as a great car model. It remained until 2006, a whopping length of time for a single model. Not only was the model design a departure from previous models, it also marked the new prominence of FRONT WHEEL DRIVE cars over the standard, trusty rear wheel drive cars. And believe it or not they really laud over the bumper design “AWAS, Absorber Bumper” to emphasize the image of ruggedness and passenger safety.


Living with 130Y was fun. It was chic and nimble to drive, powerful for its 1.3L engine. Latter 1.5L engine was available. I owned it on the 3rd day after starting work, thanks to my late father. As a youngster I would drive in gusto even into the work compound, turning and swerving to a stop, inches away from the wooden wall of my office. to the staring and gawking faces of onlookers. Hahaha.. what childish mannerism.

Every day I would stare at it, looking at all angles to find ways to further personalize the car. Those days, car accessories shops were not that abundance unlike today. I was a fan of automobile magazines.  I had my car seats stripped, remove the original coconut husks material and replace with dunlop type material for more comfortable seating. I would add materials here and there to give better moulding.

Then I heard of a device called extractor to help in the extracting of the exhaust gas from the manifold. I went to a exhaust shop and describe what I want. Extractors were not yet a house-hold off the shelve accessory at that time. Not satisfied with that I latter modified my exhaust to take in 2 silencers from the main exhaust pipe.

I remember when I was at a Bengkel for young engineers, the lecturer came into the room and asked ‘May I know the gentleman with the double exhaust?’ HAHAHA..LOL. He was a mechanical engineer.

Doing long distance, my accelerator pedal was at most time sticking to the floor. I managed a 160km/h speed on that 1.3L Nissan Sunny. After the said modification, flooring the pedal was so light. The engine just revved and smiled; DAMN STUPID DRIVER..HAHAHA…


At that time the Hondas were not yet making quantum in-road into the local market. The comparison was between Nissan and Toyota. I loved my 130Y for its refined engine sound and smooth power delivery. Handling, steering responce was a joy, nipping through the traffic and doing a ‘Schumacker’ on the road, as said my friends who take the back seat at times.

Then after a good years of living with the Legend, my late father asked me to release it to my brother who just came back from oversea. He would topup the cost for a new car. My new car was a Toyota Corolla 1.6L (6th Generation)

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The Nissan Sunny 130Y will always be special to me. It gives a meaning of what a car is and not just a means of communication from one place to another. It was part of me. It was a second family, a beast of burden, an enabler and heart to behold and cherish.




2 thoughts on “MEMORY LANE – MY 1ST CAR: NISSAN SUNNY 130Y

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