Stolen Nissan 240SX Spent 32 Years in a Lake and Still Looks Driftable

Throw on some cheap tires, weld the diff, and hit the track. Don’t mind the roof.

byNico DeMattia|
Nissan News photo
Virginia State Police


A stolen vehicle case from 1992 is open once again as a Nissan 240SX taken all those years ago was just found in Lake Gaston near the Virginia-North Carolina border. A Virginia State Police search and rescue team was diving there during a training exercise using side-sonar equipment and found the sunken Nissan. After pulling it out, they realized it was a car that had been reported stolen more than three decades ago and state police are looking back into the original report.

According to a Facebook post from the VSP, the Nissan S13 was stolen from Ft. Liberty—formerly Ft. Bragg—in North Carolina on July 4, 1992. No other details have been released yet, so it's unknown whether it ended up in the lake due to a crash or if it was dumped there. One photo shows police pulling it out of the water upside down, so it must have been sitting like that all this time. I've never dumped a stolen car in a lake before but I don't think I'd flip it into the water. Seems easier to just drive it in.

Virginia State Police

As you can imagine, the car is gross. It’s been sitting upside down in a muddy brown lake for nearly as long as I’ve been alive. The metal must be rusty, every fabric is soaked with muddy water, and every crevice looks filled with muck. It’s also heavily damaged, as its roof is caved in and every piece of glass seems broken. However, its absolute tragic state hasn’t deterred car enthusiasts from inquiring about it.

Several enthusiasts commented on the sunken 240SX, asking to either buy it outright or strip it for parts. Those might be jokes, of course, and I fully expect them to be, but some parts might be worth saving as long as they aren't too rusty. Many of the body panels look to be in good shape, like the hood and entire front end; the passenger door looks mostly fine; and even the popup headlights look good (though the mechanism is probably broken). One Instagram commenter even said they have the roof to restore it.

Who knows. Maybe someone revives this classic sports car or turns it into a hilarious track toy. Either way, at least it's found.

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