How the car was born
The Figaro has been referred to as a ‘retro fashion car,’ and was born out of the Japanese ’boutique’ movement in car design. Japanese designer Shoji Takahashi was inspired by Swatch watches – the notion that it was possible to give identical products different casings. Around 1988 the magpies of the Figaro design team took all the best and shiniest bits from a variety of European cars and fused them into an almost-cartoon whole. There’s something there to remind you of just about every classic car you have ever seen. An Austin Healey specialist provided the grille, a Vauxhall one the chrome and some panels are Ford Popular, others vintage Rootes. Owners will become used to pensioners approaching to say ‘I had one of those in the sixties!’ – no mean feat considering the car was introduced to the public at the 1989 Tokyo Motor Show under the slogan ‘Back to the Future.’
February 14, 1991 – Nissan Announces Domestic Release of All-New Nissan Figaro.
TOKYO – Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Today launched limited domestic sales of the all-new Figaro, a compact coupe that follows the successful Be-1, Escargot and Pao niche cars. The sales volume will be limited to 20,000 units. The car is priced at 1,870,000 yen (£10,000).
1st allotment Feb.14 – March 14 – April 6. 8,000 Units
2nd allotment March 15 – June 16 – June 29. 6,000 Units
3rd Allotment June 17 – Aug 31 – Sept 14. 6,000 Units
1989 at the launch of the car in Tokyo Motor Show