1989 Nissan S-Cargo 1.5L FWD Commercial Van, Automatic
Engine: E15S 1.5L Inline 4
Interior color: Grey
Exterior color: Pearl White / Blue
Fuel type: Gasoline
Doors: 3 Door
Stock number: R-G20
In the late 1980s to early 1990s, Japan's swelling economy bore some odd automotive fruit. Nissan's tiny S-Cargo van fell into the latter category for reasons obvious, but the reasons that made it unsellable during its short production run are the ones that make it a wheeled treasure today.
One of the car world's first, the S-Cargo was Nissan's nod to light-duty Citroën 2CV delivery vans, which were recognizable for their vaguely snail-like silhouettes. 2CV "fourgonettes" and S-Cargos shared roughly similar roles (that of a small cargo van), but the latter was an obvious riff on the former; it was both a caricature of the 2CV's already gastropodous styling, and its name, a play thereon, referencing the famous French delicacy of escargot.
Nissan wasn't coy about what it had made, either, as it hid snail motifs on both the mud flaps and hubcaps. With a footprint about the size of the Fat 500, the S-Cargo was on the small side for a utility vehicle, even with its rear seats folded (it ostensibly sat up to four people). Its cargo area might fit a smaller home appliance, like an oven or washing machine, but a refrigerator is out of the question. That's probably why the S-Cargo oozed its way to an estimated 8,000 to 12,000 sales across its entire production run that lasted just three years (1989-1991).
S-Cargos are rarities no matter where you are in the world, and if one came up for sale in good condition, its price would almost be irrelevant. Fortunately this one is listed for under $10,000, so if a car that looks like a snail and is as slow as one appeals to you, ooze your way across to us for a test drive.