1989 Nissan Pao Hardtop
Stock Number: 4435
The PAO is without a doubt one of the most unique cars to come out of Nissan this decade. With its super retro styling, it screams 1960's beach cruiser, yet with all the functionality of a new car. The Aqua Gray (FJ0) paint turns heads everywhere it goes. The bright hue is extremely unique and pairs perfectly with the one of a kind styling. The paint shows exceptionally well for its age, free of any notable blemishes. The wild body lines have been kept up just as well, free of any notable dents or dings. While it only has 47K verified miles it's not showroom pristine. There are a few little door dings and stone chips that anything would accrue from road time, but it's in wildly better shape than cars running around stateside with a quarter of the miles. Since the exterior needs little help from the factory it's been kept pretty much all stock. The only change up that's been made comes by way of a set of 13" Manaray Sport EuroSpeed wheels which add a bit more modern touch to the styling. Another unique design element to these is the split-folding rear hatch. The top glass can be opened separately from the tailgate for quick loading of groceries or luggage. Or when you set yourself up for some of these nice spring days it doubles as a spot to set up a picnic and enjoy some scenic views.
The retro styling carries through to the interior finished in a classic white vinyl piped in brown. The seat covers are in great shape considering how easy it is to tarnish anything in white. The driver's side seat bottom does have some puckering which you can see in the photos. Overall though the covers almost look as if they were done by the factory. The cushions/bolsters themselves feel to be in great shape leaving us little reason to suspect the original fabric underneath has any issues. The carpeting and headliner are void of any egregious staining and compliments the two-tone coloring quite well. That same retro styling flows into the interior sporting a painted metal dash, keeping with the 60's vibe, coupled with a single large multi-function gauge. One of the more rare options is the OEM radio which is present and functioning as well as it can considering the frequency difference between Japan and the US. Supposedly Panasonic can reprogram it to function here stateside, however, we haven't had anyone try it to officially confirm. It even has a clever little selectable volume switch (inside/outside) for when you've got the windows open. The side windows are split in half to allow the bottom to pop out as additional ventilation. For those days that it may be too hot to open things up, the Pao is fitted with full climate control. The A/C appears to be working and adds a nice bit of year-round functionality to the relatively sparse interior.
Power comes from the, equally cute, 1 liter MA10S. After all, this was built to be a fun little runabout, not for bombing back roads. Though there are a few wild motor swapped ones around the globe for those looking for a truly unique build. The engine starts quickly and quietly idles along. The 3-speed automatic makes it a perfect car to run around town in. The transmission happily pops into gear and goes through the gears with ease. These were touted for their fuel efficiency around town making them surprisingly strong daily drivers. The suspension is well built for soaking up bumps, ensuring a pleasant afternoon cruise. Since landing here a few key maintenance items have been brought back up to par. New rubber on all corners, a new passenger front lower control arm, and your routine oil change have everything back up to speed. The Pao turns heads everywhere it goes and is assured to make a fuss every time you leave it in a parking lot. There's no doubt that you'll be hard-pressed to come across another one at a stoplight, so be prepared for the questions everyone will have. But with something truly this unique can you really blame them?
*California Residents: In order to register a Grey Market vehicle in the state of California then it will have to be made CARB complaint first. CARB certifications will have to be performed within the state. Depending on the vehicle and any existing modifications will affect the pricing. Typically CARB compliance will range between 5-10K. Additional information can be found on the California Air Resources Board website.