We are pleased to offer 1991 Nissan Figaro s/n 11015, a throwback to Japanese micro car design of the 50’s but incorporated modern electronics, safety features and build quality, powered by a 1.0-liter (987 cc) turbocharged engine. Nissan introduced the Figaro at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show, using “Back to the Future” as its marketing tagline. Built at Nissan’s special projects “Pike” factory, the Figaro was styled by Japanese industrial designer Naoki Sakai, with the original production run planned for 8,000 cars but quickly upped to 12,000 to meet demand. In the end prospective purchasers entered a lottery to acquire a Figaro, with a total of 20,073 Figaro’s’ built in the convertible’s single year of series production, all with right hand drive and all built for the Japanese market.
Styled as a fifties retro-car, the Figaro is a fixed-profile convertible, the upper side panels of the Figaro’s bodywork are fixed, while its amazingly-easy-to-use fabric soft top retracts much like other notable fixed-profile convertibles, including the 1957 Vespa 400, the well know 1948 to 1990 Citroën 2CV, the 1950 American Nash Rambler Convertible “Landau” Coupe and the iconic 1957 Fiat 500. The exterior design of the Figaro first makes us think its a Fiat or Citroën but when one opens the doors and touches the controls the Japanese cues are obvious. We love the white interior with the big round dials and sliding chrome heater controls. Even the radio has a 50’s feel. With typical Japanese obsessive attention to the smallest detail the soft top and heated glass back window fold quickly and easily into the trunk and out of sight. Standard equipment included twin ivory leather seats with adjustable headrests and contrasting piping and a two-place rear bench upholstered in Creme leather. The Figaro also features air conditioning, a CD player, chrome and Bakelite-style knobs, soft-feel paint on the dashboard top, a chrome-trimmed speedometer with smaller inset gauges for fuel and engine temperature and a chrome-trimmed tachometer with inset clock. The two tone exterior paint color represented the four seasons: Topaz Mist (autumn), the Emerald Green on the car we offer (spring), Pale Aqua (summer) and Lapis Grey (winter).
Mechanical are based on the Nissan March (Micra) platform. The Figaro uses a 1.0-liter (987 cc) turbocharged engine generating 75 hp and 78 lb⋅ft of torque through a three-speed automatic transmission, the front suspension features MacPherson struts while the rear features a four-link coil spring suspension plus rack and pinion steering, front ventilated discs and rear drum brakes. The 12″ steel wheels wear white disc covers with polished hubcaps are wrapped in 165/70 Nankane CX-668 tires and they are tiny, but any larger would not have felt 50’s enough. Forth those who are brave, Nissan states that the Figaro can reach a top speed of 106 mph. Anyone who’s driven or raced a late 1980s or early 1990s turbo engine is familiar with the turbo’s “whoosh” and sound of the pop-off valve on the over-run and, much our amusement, the Nissan Figaro makes the same sounds, albeit in a diminutive way.
The three-spoke steering wheel fronts a metric 180 kph (110 mph) speedo, an 8k-rpm tachometer with an inset analog clock, and gauges for coolant temperature and fuel level. The six-digit odometer shows 177,628 kilometers (~110k miles), a partitioned trunk under the rear deck houses a compact spare tire as well as a jack and tool pouch with it’s tools while the locking glove box holds an all-important English owner’s manual.
Nissan Figaro s/n 11015 was imported into the US in June 2018 and has been well maintained since. In July of 2019 was fitted with a Catalytic convertor, a fuel neck restrictor and 02 sensor for US Smog compliance by G&K Conversions, 2530 South Birch Street in Santa Ana. The total invoice was $6,593.43. In June 2019 Orange Independent in Orange, CA completed a major service included a lube, oil and filter, new spark plugs, distributor car and rotor, new ignition wires, new automatic trans fluid, filter and gaskets, new rear engine mounts, new trunk lid shocks, a new battery; front struts and rear shocks. The total invoice was $2,483.18. In Nov., 2019 Private Collection Auto Care in Glendale, CA detailed and polished the Figaro with new tires and the wheels repainted. The total invoice was $1,584.00. Most recently in July of 2020 Nissan Figaro s/n 11015 was treated to a very major service by Orange Independent in Orange, CA including a bonnet stay, thermostat housing cam belt tensioner, rocker arm shaft, new bumpers, major service with fluids and filters, a new turbo charger and many trims parts. The total invoice was $11,201.58. Priced to sell at $24,950 or best offer.