The Soul Sucker – Nissan B12 Sentra SE Sport Coupe

Pretty much everyone I can find talking about these cars online says that they are ugly and slow.

Slow? Fair enough, I’m not surprised by that at all. But ugly? When I first starting seeing people saying that, all I could think was “are you motherfuckers all BLIND?! This is such a cool looking little car and I would love to own it!

Reading all of the negative things people have to say about it had me wondering why I liked it so much when I am fully capable of understanding that it’s probably totally underwhelming to actually drive. I’ve come to the conclusion that it has to do with “soul”, or rather, a lack of soul. Allow me to explain:

All the guys who are a little older than me grew up dreaming of shoebox Chevys and 60’s Muscle cars- cars that most people would consider to have an excess of soul (I’m about to use the word “soul” like, six more times, so get used to it) and all of the younger people these days are all about perfectly functional, boring cars like M3s, STIs and GT-Rs. Some might call these cars “souless” compared to the classics, but I feel like it’s not that simple. To me, all of these new cars do have soul, it’s just a different kind. It’s more of an artificial, plastic soul, but it’s definitely there, even if it something that was completely forced in by the designers.

So where am I going with all this “soul” crap? Well, my point is that although they might be polar opposites, both classic cars and new cars have souls. And I feel that most of the 80s-through-early-90s cars that I love so much exhibit a complete and utter lack of soul. Like the designers were so busy trying to cram technology into the cars that they completely forgot that cars ever had them. And that is precisely what I like about cars from this time period.

Maybe it’s just a product of me coming of age around a bunch of 80’s cars and my immature brain concluding “this is what cars look like” when I was a kid, or maybe on a slightly deeper level, it could be the fact that I grew up when everything was starting to become “computer designed” and since computers weren’t all that powerful yet, everything ended up with an overly angular “wireframe” look and I associated that look with “the future”. I’m not entirely sure. But to me a car is a machine- not a living thing, and I like my machines like I like my women: cold and calculating.

White and light grey is my favorite color combination. I think dancing is a waste of time. I don’t listen to blues or jazz. I play with my bridge pickup through early 90’s rack gear into a solid state amp. Soulless. I like it.

A car is not a farm animal. It’s not a horse. I don’t want to stare into my cars headlights and feel awed by the beauty of nature or anything like that. I don’t want to feel connected to the Earth or anything when I’m driving around aimlessly. I do it so that I can feel detached from the world, not to be one with it. I want to be as far from nature as possible. This Sentra looks about as inorganic as it gets and that’s why it appeals to me so much.

If I sound like a heartless bastard, I’m sorry. I can’t help it. I’m from the 80s.

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About Mike Ross

I love anything you can drive. But I love it even more if it has a small block Chevy or Ford motor, a turbo, four wheel drive, is a hatchback, or was made in the 80s. My ideal car would be a combination of all of these things, and I'm working on building a time machine so I can go back to the 80's and convince Chevy and Ford to collaborate on a twin-engine, single turbo 4x4 XR4Ti/Fox Mustang/Third Gen F-body and hide one in a mineshaft for me to recover in brand new condition. Look for a blog post about it just as soon as it happens. Or maybe it already did, and I've already posted about it in the future and the internet just needs to catch up with it. Okay, my head hurts, never mind.