It’s not like these cars are rarities, in fact the Nissan Figaro probably has its highest ownership here in Britain due to it being one of the biggest cult cars ever built. But due to its short construction time of only a year, you’d think such a car would be hard to find.
As mentioned, the Figaro was built for one year in 1991 with 20,000 models constructed. The reason for such a short lived little car was to give the discerning Japanese driver a taste of some retro motoring, being designed to resemble the Datsun Fairlady of yesteryear. Built on a similar platform to that of the ever popular Micra, the car was launched in 1989, and was available in 4 colours that each represented times of the year (but none of those colours were red, which makes this cherub extra special).
Initially, only 8,000 cars were built, but unbeknownst to Nissan, people in Ireland and the UK were buying up second hand versions of the car and thus the company soon started building them again in order to meet demand, eventually constructing another 12,000 cars. But it’s easy to see why these cars were so popular here in the UK, with a very well equipped interior complete with leather seats, air conditioning, CD Player and, on some models, cup holders and shopping baskets, the car was indeed practical for its size.
More importantly though, it was, dare I say, cute! wink grin
With its poky little eyes and stout little body, the Figaro is indeed an adorable little machine, and does almost resemble some of those sidekicks you find on children’s animes. But with the styling also came very cheap running costs, with its 75hp engine giving the car a top speed of 106mph, but also a fuel economy of 39mpg, thus giving the owner the luxury of a current Range Rover, but the economy of the Nissan Micra off which it was spiritually based.
Today, like I said, these cars aren’t that hard to come by here in the UK, at home there’s two that live a few streets away from me, and when walking around on this day alone I found this example, plus another three dotted around Regents Park. So with that in mind, I guess it can be true that if you look and act cute, you’ll get your way!