Rare Survivor of the Forgotten Sunny B11 Generation Scrapped

The B11 generation of the Nissan Sunny Coupe is a car that has vanished from the roads and most people’s memories. While the older, rear-wheel drive Sunny generations possess motorsport pedigree and are preserved by a careful group of enthusiasts, the younger brothers of the B11 also manage to find a place in the hearts of (some) enthusiasts. Both the B12 Sunny coupe and the next-next-generation B13 100NX coupe combine sporty looks with powerful engines (namely, the CA18DE for the B12 and the SR20DE for the B13).

The B11 has neither of that: the styling looks dull and boring, the E13/E15 8-valve carburetor engines lacks both power and excitement, and Nissan’s first front-wheel drive Sunny platform killed the last bit of driving pleasure. Isn’t it even wrong to call it a coupe?

While never relevant for petrol heads, the B11 Sunny at least got a reputation of being reliable and affordable. It is therefore not surprising that B11s are still frequent sights on roads with less stringent emission laws, such as Malaysia. In Germany, however, the missing catalytic converter and the high road tax for such vehicles meant that most B11 were already scrapped by the turn of the millennium.

Parked next to a first-generation Mitsubishi Eclipse awaiting its retirement, this rare survivor of an extinct species was found on a junkyard in Rhineland-Palatinate in April 2010. The “1.5GL” emblem on the rear hatch indicates that this car is equipped with the higher-grade E15S engine, delivering 84 horses to the front wheels. I didn’t bother to open the bonnet to confirm my assumption.

The good condition of the paint, complete lack of any modifications, the sticker of a Bavarian festival (“I was there”) and the immaculate interior makes me believe that this car was parked for 30+ years in a garage, and only used on every other weekend to buy some groceries. I bet the ODO showed less than 100,000km.

While there was some slight rust and workshop-quality style of rust repairs on the rocker panels, I doubt that this was the reason this Sunny met its faith. My guess is that the previous (and probably only) owner of the B11 had passed away, and the general low resale value of the B11 combined with the cheap aftermarket sunroof and no-cat-from-factory engine made it not worth the hassle of trying to find a buyer. Who would want to pay almost €400 in vehicle taxes per year to drive a B11?

If I had to choose, I would have taken the Eclipse parked next to it, which was probably cheaper to operate. Nevertheless, I can’t deny the eccentric-yet-boring statement driving a B11 would make.

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