Rare Rides: The 1989 Nissan S-Cargo - It's Van Time

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides the 1989 nissan s cargo its van time

Today Rare Rides takes a look at another one of Nissan’s special Pike cars from the turn of the Nineties. This tiny van is definitely the oddball of the Pike family. It’s an S-Cargo, from 1989.

The first Pike car we featured was the Pao, a clamshell hatchback that borrowed styling cues from European cars of the 1960s. Its industrial, utilitarian look was backed up by a basic interior of simple shapes and minimal levels of complexity. Next up was the oldest issue of the Pike experiment, the Be-1. A two-door sedan, it blended styling from the late Seventies with the appearance of a hatchback.

The S-Cargo took a much different route than those two. First offered for sale in 1989, the S-Cargo was classified as a light commercial vehicle rather than a passenger car. Designers drew inspiration more directly this time: Their muse was a Citroën 2CV delivery van, “Fourgonnette” in Parisian.

Keeping with the derivative theme, all S-Cargos featured a single-spoke steering wheel — a Citroën hallmark. The model’s name was a two-layer dad pun. S-Cargo meant “small cargo,” and was a wordplay on the French word for snail, “escargot.” In addition to a generally snail-like shape, the model’s logo (which is deliciously Seventies looking) was a snail.

Like the other Pike cars, the S-Cargo lacked Nissan branding and was available only via reservation. A total of 8,000 were produced for model years 1989 through 1991. Also like its siblings, it had the underpinnings of a Micra. In this case, that meant a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, mated to a three-speed automatic.

Today’s Rare Ride is an excellent condition example located in Seattle. It has both optional extras: the portal windows on the cargo area, and an electric canvas roof. With 32,000 miles on the clock, it asks $12,500. Small price to pay for a snail you can drive.

[Images: seller]

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2 of 14 comments
  • Cprescott I remember when Fords were affordable.
  • Cprescott As a once very LOYAL FORD buyer, I had to replace my 22 year old Ford (bought new in 1997) once it finally started to have problems at 180k miles. I would have gladly purchased something like this from Ford but they abandoned me as a car buyer. Oddly, Hyundai still builds cars in a variety of flavors so I became a customer of theirs and am very happy. Likely will consider another once this one gets up in mileage.
  • SCE to AUX A friend once struck a mounted tire that was laying flat in the middle of her lane on the PA Turnpike. She was in a low late-90s Grand Prix, and the impact destroyed the facia, core support, radiators, oil pan, transmission, subframe, and suspension. They fixed it all.
  • Dukeisduke Lol, it's not exactly a Chevrolet SS with Holden badging.
  • Dukeisduke Years ago, I was driving southbound along North Central Expressway (south of Mockingbird Lane, for locals), and watched a tire and wheel fall out of the bed of a pickup (no tailgate), bounce along, then centerpunch the front end of a Honda Accord. It wasn't pretty.