In 1989, Nissan updated its S platform by replacing the outgoing 200SX (S12) with the 240SX (S13).
While the S platform was always meant to be less aggressive than the more elite Z line, the new sports car would also be equipped with a more powerful engine in North America— a 2.4-litre inline four-cylinder engine (the well-liked KA24E producing 135 horsepower from 1989–1990 and then the preferred KA24DE producing 155 horsepower from 1990–1998).
Then in 1992, Nissan released a convertible version — which differed in North America from its Japanese counterpart by including a cover boot which had to be installed manually once its roof had folded. The Japanese were treated to a power top cover boot.
That’s really all just prologue, however. Our story really begins in 1993 when, after a long day of visiting every dealership in the 401 Dixie area, Ron Boyko and his daughter, Melanie, walked into 401 Dixie Nissan and spotted a white, convertible Nissan 240 SX in the showroom.
“I walked into the showroom and said, “That’s the car I want,” recalls Melanie Allison. “I had never seen it before. But it was so different and so unique. I remember the sales person saying to us [about the convertible], “There’s only 240 of these that were released in Canada.” I remember thinking that was even cooler than how it looked.”
And so Ron Boyko graciously purchased his daughter a brand new convertible Nissan 240SX.
That Nissan 240SX then proceeded to live a full life, doing what cars, especially sports cars, do best — make memories. Specifically, it made memories with Allison, whose passion for dance earned her a spot in the original Raptors Dance Pack.
“That car that took us everywhere. I was the driver!” Explains Allison. “Driving to Raptors stuff —games, practices, promotions, with my friends, with the top down. Back then, I used to have about six jobs. That car would take me from teaching dance in the morning, to dancing at a bat mitzvah, to go-go dancing at night. It took me everywhere. It gave me my whole performing career.”
But as is inevitable, life moves on. Allison married a professional NHL player and moved to Nashville. The Nissan 240SX, however, stayed behind — slowly growing old and tired in its unused state in Boyko’s driveway.
And while Boyko wasn’t completely aware of the Nissan 240’s pedigree and desire amongst enthusiasts, he did know there was something about this particular Nissan 240SX which prevented him from selling it.
“I had no idea about any of that.” says Boyko when asked about the Nissan 240’s merits as a race and enthusiast car. “But I’ve never had a more popular car. When I had it in my driveway, people used to come by and give me all kinds of offers for the car. And my kids would say. “Dad, sell the car. Nobody is using it.””
Boyko says things changed after his granddaughter, Melanie’s daughter, Taylor, was born.
“Something just told me, ‘No I’m not selling it. I’m going to somehow hand this over to my granddaughter,’” recalls Boyko.
It’s a scheme Allison confirms, saying, “My dad has been manifesting this since my daughter was three-years-old, saying “I’m saving this for Taylor, I’m saving this for my granddaughter.””
And so, for the occasion of Taylor receiving her driver’s license, Boyko set out to put the Nissan 240SX back on the road, and restore it to its former glory, eventually turning to the very dealership which he bought the car from to tackle the restoration.
“I towed the car at least six times to various body shops, then to a dealership on the Queensway, and I never had a good feeling. So I picked up the phone to [401 Dixie Nissan] and asked them to take a look at it and tell me what it would cost – I just felt comfortable with them.”
Nissan is developing a reputation for helping owners restore and maintain their classic cars — a few years ago,teaching robots how to produce discontinued parts and last year announcing a program to support owners of Skyline GT-Rs with OEM parts and restoration services.
Boyko’s 240SX received a full treatment of restoration services, including paint and bodywork, a new convertible top, engine servicing, new tires and brakes, and a variety of other repairs.
The result is a car which looks factory new. Candidly, I’ll say that this particular 240SX is probably the nicest one I’ve ever seen in person. My personal association of the Nissan 240SX could be summarized by the image of zip ties holding a bumper on. Boyko’s 240SX sincerely looks like how you imagine the car did when leaving the showroom in ‘93.
401 Dixie Nissan felt the occasion was so special, that they held a small unveil and passing-of-the-torch ceremony on September 8th, where Taylor received the keys to her new (Melanie’s timeless) Nissan 240 SX convertible.
And this is where the magic of cars comes into play.
Because even though any car is really just a collection of metal, plastic, cloth, oil — utilitarian junk to non-car enthusiasts — what car enthusiasts, or anyone who has developed a personal attachment to a vehicle understands is that a car is more than the sum of its parts.
Cars are the memories you make in them. When your desire to own a car or keep it in your life, it is based completely in sentimentality, a car can feel alive — a part of the family. And you don’t just shoot a member of your family because they’re getting on a bit.
“We saw it in the driveway for years, with the tires going flat and saying, “Dad why don’t you just sell it?”” Explains Allison. And to see it come back to life like this, I could cry, because it’s such a special car to me. It’s kind of surreal, to be honest.”
It was an event even Nissan Canada felt they wanted to support, and so were in attendance.
“The passion that our customers have, any opportunity we have to bring that out is what we need to do.” says Steve Milette, President, Nissan Canada Inc. “
Milette also comments that it was currently an exciting time internally at Nissan. That enthusiasm is born from having recently turned an incredibly dated portfolio of vehicles into one of the newest, as well as gearing up for an eagerly anticipated new sports car launch. Nissan seems to be fully aware of the spotlight which has been cast on that particular product.
“As we approach the launch of the new Z car in Canada, for us, it just makes a lot of sense to draw on our heritage to define our brand,” says Milette. “It’s an industry of passion to start with. We know sports car enthusiasts are one notch higher than that.”
As for Boyko and Allison’s fully restored Nissan 240SX convertible, it has now officially passed to Taylor.
How does a Gen Z teenager feel about inheriting her mother’s 28-year-old Nissan?
“She’s so excited,” says Allison. “She’s an old soul. She loves old music. She’s vintage. She knows how special the car is and how much fun I had in the car. Even before we knew it was being fixed up, she knew how special the car was.”
Allison says she’s also looking forward to driving her Nissan 240SX again, making new memories and reminiscing on the past.
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