By on March 8, 2019

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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14 Comments on “Rare Rides: The 1989 Nissan S-Cargo – It’s Van Time...”

  • avatar
    Philippe Pietro

    Is this Doug DeMuro’s ex S-Cargo?

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I worked circa 2005 to 2011 with someone who owned one of these. He used it to deliver small, expensive electronic parts to local customers and for making service calls. It was of course right hand drive. He was a bit of a ‘mad scientist’.

    There was also a company called Escargot Motors based in Toronto that imported ‘new’ Citroen 2CV’s to Canada circa 2002 to 2004(?)

    Information on the imported 2CV’s below is from the wesbite: Citroenvie.

    “In reality the cars were brand new 2CVs, other than the registration plate and painted chassis.

    The old frame with the original VIN was restored and then a “new car” built on the old frame harvesting all the parts from brand new 2CVs. Something you could only do with a car as simple as 2CV; – just 8 bolts affix the body to the frame.

    In all, Escargot imported about 200 cars and these cars are considered by Citroën collectors to be highly desirable today. Customers included Billy Joel who purchased one for Christie Brinkley.”

  • avatar

    The perfect pizza delivery van!

  • avatar

    It is not in Seattle, it is in Olympia. If it was in Seattle they wouldn’t be asking anywhere near that price as this place normally asks around half that price when they first go on sale and drop from there. The one due in shortly is priced at $6k though with more miles and lacking the important portholes for that 70’s sin bin vibe.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen one of these in Gig Harbor, maybe this same car. And agreed, $12k+ is absolutely insane.

  • avatar

    SOOO cute ! .

    I can see this being used as an actual delivery vehicle .


  • avatar

    Would absolutely love it. If I was a Washington pot producer and needed a delivery vehicle, nothing would be more perfect.

  • avatar

    That seems super expensive… these things go cheaply elsewhere. In Australia the Figaros are not cheap but the scargo is a cheap roughy despite it’s charm.

    It was quite a time then. The MX5 came out that year and Mazda was about to roll out their bubble cars and usher in the modern era … I look at the Nissan Pulsar of 93 as being the first modern car… something that has only really been slightly changed ever since.

    Then the Japanese crash happened and they went super conservative and engaged in that Endaka (I think?) of stripping costs out of their cars. That Nissan Pulsar turned out to be the high water mark of that brand – they got weaker with each generation. It was the Euros who restarted the practice of productionizing the concept cars, like the TT Audi.

  • avatar

    The viciously sharp rectilinearity of the window cut into all that roundness is a deliberate sadism that deeply wounds me in a place I can’t articulate.

  • avatar

    Definitely needs a turbo.

  • avatar

    Reminds me of Trading Places

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