The Nissan Pao was, just like last weeks Nissan S-Cargo, one of the Pikes cars. Each and every Pikes car had its own distinctive retro styling: the Nissan Be-1 was styled after the Austin Mini, the Nissan Figaro after the Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile, the Nissan Rasheen after the Wartbug 353, Nissan S-Cargo after the Citroën 2CV Camionette and the Nissan Pao after the original Renault R4. Well actually the Pao more a mashup of the Renault R4 (overall shape), Citroën 2CV (flap up windows), Kübelwagen (ribs), Aston Martin DB4 (grill and logo), Austin Mini (outside hinges and the front overfenders) and the Austin A40 “Farina” Countryman (split rear tailgate).
A rare terracotta Nissan Pao
When I brought my daughter to swimming classes I encountered a terracotta Nissan Pao from 1990 many times. Twice I made photos of it because it’s such a lovely car. I would trade my Carina for it without much thought!
The Nissan Pao was available in the colors Aqua Gray, Olive Gray, Ivory, Terracotta, Gold and Blue-black. This list is sorted in popularity where Gold an Blue-black only accounted for a grand total of 2 cars produced. Terracotta was the least favorite color with only 1595 cars produced. This accounts for just over 5% of the total Pao production, so this is a rare beast!
Steel rims or alloys?
The Pao was delivered with steel rims that featured a body colored hubcap. This Pao features a set of rims that at first look like steel rims. However, if you look closer you will notice they are actually a set of alloys that look like a set of inverted Wolfrace rims or another variant of the Cromodora CD-101 rims. I have seen a couple of other Paos on these rims, but I can’t figure out whether this was an option on the Pao or if they are actually aftermarket.
The Pao logo proudly wears the “Produced by Pike factory” tagline. These cars are definitely something to be proud of! The badge kind of resembles the Aston Martin winged logo. Paired up with the signature Aston Martin grill it looks a bit like what an Austin A35 produced by Aston Martin would have looked like. Perhaps this was foreboding the Cygnet?
Retro styled English interior
This retro styled interior is even better than the one in the S-Cargo! It is a throwback to the original Mini interior with a big center dial and the flip-switched give it that 1960s English-interior feel. The interior actually isn’t that spartan as it looks: it features air conditioning and has a proper defroster. If only the English cars would have featured that in the 1960s!
Owned by a true Pao entusiast
One of the encounters me and my daughter found out the car is owned by a Pao enthusiast. It featured a beautiful print of a Nissan Pao on the back bench seat. Naturally the Pao in the print was also in terracotta!
As my daughter had her swimming lessons around the same time as the owner of this Pao parked his/her car and the Pao featured a child seat, I figured the owner must be present inside as well. Strangely enough I never spotted a person that would remotely resemble someone I expect to own a Pao or wore something obvious like a Nissan/Nismo/Pao t-shirt.
The first time I encountered the Pao I left a note (on a Bosozokustyle sticker) under the windshield wipers, but never got a response. I posted the Pao up on the forums of the Dutch car magazine Autoweek and it got elected to be the carspot of the week. Unfortunately the owner never responded there either. Let’s hope the owner one day ends up here and gets in contact with me!