The Nissan Figaro: Back to the Future

The Nissan Figaro: Back to the Future

by Alvin Miles Jr.


“Figaro, Figaro, Fiigaroooo!” Luciano Pavarotti’s iconic recording, Figaro, comes to mind, doesn’t it? Although with no relation, this Nissan Figaro made its impact across its homeland, Japan, and import/export affiliate, the United Kingdom. Pierre Beaumarchais actually references the name from the title character of his play, “The Marriage of Figaro”.

In 1989, The Figaro was introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show that’s held every other year at the largest convention and exhibition center in Japan, the Tokyo Big Sight. Naoki Sakai and Shoji Takahashi’s “Back to the Future” design really soaked up many and all possibilities and made something that one wouldn’t know which generation it belonged in.

The Figaro came a long way and looked very modern, considering its production date post 1990s. It’s based on a long timeline of previous similar vehicles that were sold from different branches that changed throughout the years of producing more vehicles. Just like its predecessor, the Nissan Micra, it was built at Aichi Machine Industry that was a special projects group that built little kei cars and trucks. Later on, Nissan changed the group’s name to Pike Factory. After that was settled, the Be-1, Pao and S-cargo were produced. The Figaro had a lot of company.


Despite having competition for the name, Kei car amongst the similar Be-1 and Pao for also having the same like specs of performance. The Figaro stood out with its distinct European feel. Only 20,000 units were made, and 8,000 of the units were the original amount produced. The other 12,000 were added to a lottery pool due to many consumers wanting them. In total, 1991 was the only year of production of this car.


The Figaro was equipped with leather seats, air-conditioning, CD-Player and a fixed profile, slide-back, open roof.


A better look at the interior.

Some angles never give any justice to the mint fabric and craftsmanship of the production build. Unfortunately, not coming with airbags, it still has three-point seat belts for the front and rear seats. And, if your belts weren’t fastened, expect the buzzer to go off.

As most have already done, this Figaro here also has definitely been touched up and restored to its potential. Owned by Mr. Sean Morris of Top Rank International, he has many classics just like this one here for sale at his import dealership out in Long Beach, Ca.

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