Kawaii Cruiser: 1991 Nissan Figaro
Kawaii is not a Hawaiian Island — it is the Japanese word for what is known as the culture of cuteness. Rainbows, Hello Kitty accessories, and childlike aesthetics is the rule, and I won’t go into the details or controversy around kawaii, other than to say that is quite strange to descendants of uptight Westerners like myself…but if you were into that kinda thing, I can’t imagine a better car to go with your Pikachu fishnet stockings and miniature backpack than one of the retro Pike cars (Pao, S-Cargo, Figaro, Be-1, K10-Micra) from Nissan 90s catalog. This next one has some rust, but you could probably get someone to fix the rockers and keep this thing alive. Find this 1991 Nissan Figaro offered for $7,500 in Athens, GA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
From the seller:
1991 Nissan Figaro
cylinders: 4 cylinders
paint color: grey
title status: clean
The Figaro was made by Nissan at its Pike Factory in 1991. A Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) automobile (though not a Kei car), only 20000 were made. A few thousand made their way to the United Kingdom. This one, #11533, was imported by me from Bromsgrove, England in September 2019.
Very retro and cute! Underpinnings are from the Nissan Micra. 1000cc turbocharged 4 cylinder drive the front wheels through a 3-speed automatic. Not a fast car but plenty of power for popping around town or cruising through the country. Theoretical top speed is >100MPH but I don’t think that would be pleasant for the vehicle or the passengers 🙂
Timing belt and water pump replaced by previous owner just prior to shipping (have receipt). Cooling system strengthened for Georgia climate at Car Craft in Athens, GA (more receipts). New tires on arrival about 2000 miles ago. Roof was replaced in 2017 (receipt) and has no tears or leaks. Most recent repair was alternator replacement last fall by Car Craft. Only non-ethanol gas since I’ve had it.
Original stereo was updated by the manufacturer (Clarion) in 2011 and now has digital display and aux-in. Bluetooth dongle hides in the glovebox. New Polk DB461 speakers in the doors and a discrete Kenwood subwoofer under the driver’s seat. Sounds very nice!
Excellent support from clubs in the UK and stateside. Many mechanical/electrical parts are off-the-shelf for late 80s Nissan Micra. (NAPA 1394 oil filter, for example). Body and trim bits are easily sourced from Japan or the UK but may take a while to arrive.
Leather seats are in fair shape with some cracks and tears (more on driver’s side). There is a small backseat that works best as a grocery shelf. Upper “boot” holds the top when down; lower “boot” contains the spare tire and has room to squish some soft luggage. No electric gremlins! Power windows work well. Power antenna. After-market power locks with keyfob. Also an aftermarket immobilizer fitted in the UK. Cold AC and hot heat.
Odometer/speedometer was converted from kilometers to miles with a mechanical reducer around 40000 so actual mileage is a bit lower than the ~72000 indicated. Speedometer now reads in MPH. Tach, temp, and gas gauges all work correctly.
Paint is in original Lapis Gray with white top. A few dings and chips here and there. Rust on inner rockers and rear sills will need attention before any respray. Not a show car by any means but still presents very well!
This is not a car for introverts! Gets a lot of looks, smiles, comments, and thumbs-up from across the whole swath of humanity. Mileage is about 72000 and will go up in proportion to good weather!
Title is free and clear in my name. Car was imported legally. Some assorted service records, receipts, and inspection reports from the UK.
I find myself missing a manual transmission and cannot justify TWO convertibles in the backyard so am letting this one go to make room for a Miata. Price reflects condition and, I think, is fair. I will entertain reasonable offers. Payment with cash, PayPal, or wire transfer.
JDM, Kei, Honda Beat, Suzuki Cappuccino, Mazda Autozam, Daihatsu Copen, microcar, Kawaii, RHD, Duncan Imports
See a better way to drive something JDM? firstname.lastname@example.org
Cute and uncommon in the States, but at that price I think I’d choose a nice, rust-free NA Miata instead (as the seller is suggesting subliminally). Parts availability alone would make that a better choice, not to mention driving dynamics.