Hard to believe: Nissan produced the Figaro for one year. During that time they sold 20,000 examples. I imagine it could very well simply have stayed in production.
You see these trundling around now and again, the retro-classic that became a real classic. Here at DTW we absolutely love to
imagine counter-factuals, and today’s is the alternate world where evergreens like the Jimny, Century and Defender just hang around as long as people want to buy them rather than die at the whim of a product planner.
I had a good look at this car, obligingly parked with its roof down. It is packed with lovely details. The HVAC is a set of chromed sliding dials on a chromed plate. The hazard warning light is a toggle switch. Nissan blended old and new features rather well. In fact no 1960s car was really this tidily integrated, since in those times the bits were still a collection of mostly separate entities.
The seating has a delightful form, those head restraints are sweetly placed. Little about this looked wrong then and nothing looks wrong now. I am pretty sure that such a car, like the Jimny, would sell at a constant rate to those who want a touch of 1960s charm minus the agony of rusting wings, failing electrics and choking, low-powered 4-cylinder misery (will it start?) That was perhaps true in 1999 – the Figaro is probably now also as unreliable as any other almost-thirty year old car. At least it’s not a 50 year old car.
The rear central high-mounted stop light reminded me of Lord’s Cricket Ground Media centre.
The press centre is angled differently but it’s much the same thing. Well-known car enthusiast Jan Kaplicky designed the press centre. Is this something of a coincidence or is there something behind the striking similarity?
If you want a Figaro, you’d better get saving: a good one costs €13,000.