Of all the Pikes cars, the Nissan S-Cargo is definitely the most extravagant. Almost all Pikes cars were retro styled after a specific European car: the Nissan Figaro was styled after the Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile, the Nissan Pao after the original Renault R4, the Nissan Rasheen after the Wartbug 353, the Be-1 after the Mini and the Nissan S-Cargo after the Citroën 2CV Camionette. (also called the Fourgonette) Shortly after the Citroën 2CV was released, it received the nickname Ugly Duckling thanks to the Dutch and nowadays this is considered the defacto nickname for it. However, in the UK it has the nickname The Tin Snail and escargot means snail in French, so the name S-Cargo is a double pun here! If you squint your eyes, you can see what the design of the S-Cargo is based upon below:
Spotting a Nissan S-Cargo
I had never encountered one myself in person, but I knew there were a couple of them here in The Netherlands. For instance, the TofuShop’s S-Cargo in Panda livery is an infamous over here. But I digress…
So I was happily surprised when me and my (back then) six year old daughter parked at a local multistory parking garage and found a Nissan S-Cargo parked up near the entrance. My daughter instantaneously loved the S-Cargo and that was for a large degree thanks to the gold accents. I quickly took some photos, but I have to apologize for the poor quality of these photos. The camera in my phone kind of died and its focus is basically on random stuff it finds. I have replaced the camera module in my phone since and it works much better nowadays.
Quirky Nissan S-Cargo interior
The interior is bone stock and nothing has been changed or altered. The only thing I could find that isn’t supposed to be there is the Maneki-neko that has been stuck on the dashboard. It isn’t clear if this was already inside the car when it was imported from Japan.
Citroën’s single spoke steering wheel
This single spoke steering wheel is a signature Citroën thing. Citroën introduced this in the 1950s with the all new DS model. Their idea was that a single spoke steering wheel would give optimal visibility of the gauges on the dashboard. This didn’t instantly trickle down to the 2CV, but by the mid 1970s this was available on all trim levels of the 2CV except the bare bones standard edition. You can see them in the 1980s 2CV brochure page below:
The only other company I can think of that copied this idea was Mitsubishi. Mitsubishi featured single-spoke steering wheels in their cars during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Nod to the 2CV umbrella shifter
And in case you are wondering about the automatic shifter being mounted on a weird spot in the middle of the dashboard, this was also a nod to the 2CV. The 2CV featured had a dash-mounted gear selector that was often called the umbrella. It was called this way because the selector featured an umbrella-like handle.
Detailing shop S-Cargo
As you may have noticed, the S-Cargo was plastered with all sorts of car brand logos: Bentley, Ferrari, Porsche, Koenigsegg, Maserati and Lamborghini. It is owned by MG Exclusive Detailing who are a detailing shop for exclusive cars. Their website is full of wonderful cars that I would never be able to own or drive. Their shop used to be located in Loosdrecht which is a hotspot for well-to-do. However, they recently have moved their shop to my hometown.
I was happy to add the Nissan S-Cargo to the list of Pikes cars that I spotted in my hometown. Over the past few years I spotted multiple Figaros in my hometown. In addition to that I also spotted a Nissan Pao a few months ago (I’ll post that one next week!), so the only two remaining on the list are the Nissan Be-1 and the Nissan Rasheen. I think the Be-1 could be a possibility, but nobody sane enough would ever import a Rasheen.