Sunday, March 23, 2014

5k: Pao-der Puff: 1989 Nissan Pao

 In the late 1980s Nissan launched a series of retro-styled cars in what was called the Pike series and consisted of the Be-1, Pao, Figaro and S-Cargo (and yes, the S-Cargo does look like a snail).  The Pike cars beat the New Beetle, New Mini, PT Cruiser to the retro-style market, but keeping everything in perspective --the old Mini had been retro-styled since about 1970, the Beetle since about 1960.  What was old is now new cetera.  Anyway, if late 80's Japanese retro-cars are you thing, you might be interested in this 1989 Nissan Pao offered for $6,999 in Seattle, WA via craigslist.  Tip from Luke.

The Nissan Pao used many of the mechanical components from the first generation Nissan Micra, but  instead of bland econobox styling, Nissan hired Naoki Sakai who was noted for bringing retro styling to Olympus brand cameras.  The Pao combines various classic styling elements, like external door hinges (from an Austin Mini), folding windows from a Citroën 2CV and split rear tailgate from an Austin Farina Countryman.  Overall the effect is that the Pao looks like a 60s classic that has been de-chromed.

A glance on the inside continues the classic look, with a small functional painted dash with minimal dash cap.  This Pao is equipped with a 3-speed automatic tranmission mated to the 1.0 liter MA10S Nissan inline-4, good for 52 horsepower and 55 ft-lbs of torque.  Performance will be on par with a 60s economy car, but the fuel economy should be great.

See another way to live the JDM lifestyle here in the states?


  1. There's a lively import market for these in the UK, where the RHD isn't a PITA. I prefer the Figaro, even more cartoony.

  2. I know the precise location of a derelict Figaro here in the LA area. It's just sitting next to a repair shop. If anyone's looking for one, send a message through the tips email and I'll investigate.


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