1990 Nissan Pao Convertible
Stock Number: 4514
When it first debuted in 1989 the Nissan Pao was touted as "the height of postmodernism" by the NY Times, and frankly, they weren't wrong. While we never had legitimately unique cars like this offered stateside we can finally rectify that thanks to importation laws. While the Pao is inherently unique, it was also limited in production meaning your chances of stumbling across another one would be a tall order. There aren't many Cars and Coffees you can pull up to and have the only one when you're talking about sub 20K vehicles. 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. Sporting perfectly retro yellow fog lights and a split folding rear tailgate the Pao is surprisingly practical. We have quite a few customers who daily drive theirs since they get such great fuel mileage around town. It's ivory 12" steelies are period correct and wrapped in fresh rubber as well.
The retro styling carries through to the interior finished in a rather unique white and red vinyl two-tone. The seat covers are in great shape considering how easy it is to tarnish anything white. It's also worth noting that the red accents look a bit more orange in the photos than they do in person. The driver's side seat bottom does have a little bit of puckering on the base and some light staining which you can see in the photos. The Japanese really do nail seat covers making them 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 serious issues. The carpeting and headliner are void of any egregious staining and compliments the two-tone coloring quite well. The large retracting soft does have some staining on the top side from sitting but the fabric itself is still soft and doesn't have any issues retracting. 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 which has been upgraded to an LED backlighting to give it a bit newer look. While the interior is a bit sparse you still have all of the key elements to make it a comfortable ride. Heat and air are controlled by convenient slide controls right above the rare factory Panasonic radio. Aside from its super retro look, the radio even has a selection for top open or closed volume selection which is a neat little touch. With its split-folding rear hatch, you can easily access luggage or groceries in the back, and for the times you need some extra storage the rear seat fold-down doubling your cargo capacity. While there wasn't much by way of electronic options the front crank windows and power top offer plenty of airflow, and the rear occupants even have pop out venting rear windows.
Power comes from the, equally cute, 1 liter MA10S. After all, this was built to be a fun little runabout, not a sports car. With only 91K verified miles the engine starts quickly and happily hums along. Paired with a 3-speed automatic makes this a blast around town, even if it is just running errands. The transmission happily pops into gear and goes through them with ease. The shifts aren't aggressive by any stretch of the imagination but they don't seem to linger as some small cars will. The suspension is very compliant and soaks up bumps, ensuring a pleasant afternoon cruise. The brakes and steering feel surprisingly reassuring since these have such a low curb weight. To ensure plenty more afternoon cruises are in store we've gone over the Pao and addressed a few small issues. Along with the new tires we replaced the front left axel boot, patched up a small exhaust leak, along with a typical oil change. With a standout like this the Pao turns heads everywhere it goes and is assured to make a fuss every time you step out.
*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.