Nissan Pao in SoCal

nissan_paoThe answer to what happens when a Citroën 2CV gets crossed up with a Nissan K10 Supermini is the Pao. French automobile and Japanese motorcycle obsessed Andy Takakjian sent along these shots of a Nissan Pao in the wilds of Los Angeles. While you were probably hoping for some Jacques Cousteau style narration to go along with the photos, the best we can do is ask you to read along in a Jacques Cousteu or Inspector Clouseau sotto voice on this thrice-retro minicar. The 1989-90 Nissan Pao was one part of a trio of Nissan specials built on the K10 Supermini car platform, itself the successor to the Datsun Cherry. Retro styling wrapped up around a proven and reliable mechanical package proved to be a hit, and the Pao sold out during its short production run. At average urban speeds of around 40 mph the Pao acheieved an astonishing near 70 mile per gallon rating. The 1000cc engine used one-barrel carburetor to produce 51 horsepower at 6000 rpm. This Pao appears to have the desirable factory canvas-roof option. The Pao (say pow) could also be optioned with a two surfboard carrier! All Paos came equipped with a retro styled two-speaker AM/FM audio system with tape player for cassette-enhanced retro motoring as standard equipments.


  1. says

    I absolutely love the Pao. If money were no object, I’d have one imported right away. I wish the new Mini was more bare-bones like the Pao. I wish more cars were bare-bones like the Pao.

  2. Jonee says

    I’ve seen this car around L.A. and always wondered how they got it in the country and registered it since it isn’t yet 25 years old. And how does it pass smog? Anyway, along with the Figaro, it’s a great car that I wish they made more of.

  3. Jim-Bob says

    The other two retro March chassis cars were the S-Cargo and the Figaro. The Figaro has a roof like a convertible 1952 Rambler American, and the S-Cargo was a take on the 2CV Cammionette (cargo van). Of the three, the Pao is definitely my favorite. It just oozes style from a car that is simple and practical to use. I wish Nissan would sell something like this again, but this time sell it in the US too. Sadly though, the US market never got any of the March cars. However, they can keep the new March/Micra. That thing is just hideous!