A Bit of Fun: 1998 Mitsuoka Viewt

Okay, people. You can stop rubbing your eyes because this isn’t an oddly squashed Jaguar. What you have here is a quirky little Japanese creation called the Viewt, and it is the product of a company with quite a history of producing cars of this nature. Barn Finder Roger referred the Viewt to us, so I have to thank him for that. Under the skin is a pretty humble vehicle, but if you want to own a car that is guaranteed to start conversations, then this is one that is worth more than a passing glance. Located in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, the Viewt is listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set a price of $5,000 for the little car.

Let’s clear up one thing pretty quickly: This car contains exactly 0% Jaguar in its DNA. Under the skin, you are looking at a garden variety Nissan Micra. A coach-building company by the name of Mitsuoka take a Micra and drape it in this set of hand-made panels in an attempt to transform the car into a replica of a 1963 Jaguar Mk II. They achieve this to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the angle that you view (Viewt?) the vehicle from. The panels and paint on this car look to be in good condition. This is a plus because even though Mitsuoka has produced around 12,000 of these little cars, sourcing replacement body parts can be quite difficult. Just for your information, the Viewt is only one in a long line of replicas that Mitsuoka have produced over a period of more than 50-years. They have also produced cars such as the Yuga, which is a London Taxi based on a Nissan Cube, along with copies of cars like the Lotus 7 and Porsche 356.

By and large, the interior appearance makes it apparent that the Viewt is most definitely based on a Nissan. The addition of some timber trim doesn’t hide this fact. The interior of this one looks like it is in quite good condition, with no obvious stains, tears, or other problems. The car is fitted with convenience equipment which includes power windows, power mirrors, power locks, and sat-nav. One little quirk of this is that due to the fact that the car was entirely built in Japan, the sat-nav actually talks to you in Japanese. I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or not.

There is nothing complicated under the hood of a Viewt. Everything is standard Nissan fare, which is understandable given the fact that this car is no more than some fancy panels hanging on a Nissan Micra. That means that what you are dealing with is a 1.3-liter 4-cylinder engine, which sends its power to the front wheels via a 4-speed automatic transmission. The owner does mention that the car is reliable, and given the fact that many of the Viewt body panels are lighter than the production Nissan items, the performance should also be slightly better than that of the donor car.

This is a car that you can’t take terribly seriously, because to do so is to miss the point of what it is all about. The Mitsuoka Viewt is a bit of tongue-in-cheek fun. It is designed to stand out in a crowd and to start conversations. I think that if you bought it, you would certainly do that.

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Comments

  1. NotSure

    Hah! the fact that the car was entirely built in Japan, the sat-nav actually talks to you in Japanese – probably wouldn’t be an issue for me. Would be just like having my wife in the passenger seat as we are going somewhere. She doesn’t speak Japanese but all of the driving tips and directions that I get from her are just as unintelligible…

    21
    • John T.

      Isn’t that why they have a mute button???

      5
      • packrat

        In my experience, they don’t have a mute button, and take exception to any of their husband’s attempts to do so.

        12
  2. Moparman Member

    No side profile view?! I’m trying hard to visualize this car, and that would help! :-)

    3
  3. Bill Shields

    Wish I was closer. My son is looking for a car. It would be hilarious to tell him I bought him a Jag and then when he sees it apologize for washing it and leaving it in the hot water too long!😀😀😀

    13
  4. Jack M.

    Hi Adam, normally we would put the province after the city to narrow it down a bit as Canada 🇨🇦 is a very large country. In this case it would be Surrey, British Columbia on Canada’s west coast.

    9
    • Adam Clarke Adam Clarke Staff

      Hi Jack M, thanks so much for that. When I proof-read the article I knew there was a mistake, but couldn’t pin down what it was. All fixed, and thank you for the feedback.

      1
  5. Gazzer

    So if that is Canadian dollars it is quite a bit cheaper.

    2
  6. Neil G.

    I agree. Conversion rate of $5,000. Canadian to US dollar is $3720.

    • rod444

      Yup, c’mon up. EVERYTHING in Canada is on sale for you lucky Americans.

      2
  7. Rich

    My girlfriend in Nagoya had one of these. Cute car and was fun to drive.

    2
  8. 86_Vette_Convertible

    When I first saw this one I thought someone left their Jag out in the rain and it shrunk overnight. I’ll give it credit, it’s cute.

    4
  9. William Denny

    Not quite ready for the U.S., has to be 25 years old.

    3
  10. Coventrycat

    It’d be hard to start a conversation with someone about your car when they can’t stop laughing.

    4
  11. Bruce

    This is what happens when you wash your Jaguar “S” Type with hot water that is too hot. They shrink was a flaw that few would talk about at the time. When that happened they just renamed them to hide the shame.

  12. chrlsful

    big improvement on Nissan Micra style.
    Nice price, no more comments on RHD.
    What could U do for interior up grade?

  13. Andrew Minney

    Having seen one up close and personal, why bother? I’d rather walk!!

  14. Todd in Seattle

    I just bought one from a dealer in Japan, wont be here until July, it’s a 94, only thing that scares me is the automatic. I paid just less than $5k for mine plus shipping. I currently have a S Cargo and a Sambar truck and have owned a Pao, Suzuki Alto Works and a Toyota Century

    3
  15. George

    I told them not to put it in the dryer…

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