Brian Akre

No car I have ever driven elicits as many smiles, waves and thumbs-up as my little Figaro. It’s rolling sunshine — a bright, happy little car. It’s not for everybody. It’s slow. Its design is a bit feminine, with its curvaceous lines and pastel shades. It is terminally cute, yet endearingly humble.

I bought my Figaro entirely ignorant of its most fascinating feature: Women adore it. They walk up and want you to tell them what it is. It is a non-threatening, four-wheeled ice breaker.

Had I known this when I was a single, shy 20-year-old, I would have flown to Japan to buy one. Problem is, that was in 1977. The Figaro wasn’t produced until 1991. Bad timing.

My Figaro is a rare left-hand-drive conversion. I had considered selling it in my home country, the United States, after it became legal to import Figaros there on January 1st. But that won’t happen. My kids adore it, too.

I also own two classic roadsters from the 1960s. But last spring, my 16-year-old daughter didn’t hesitate a second when I asked her to pick the car in which I would chauffeur her and her date to the prom: the Figaro, of course!

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