To Be or Not to Be: 1987 Nissan Be-1

From Nissan’s family of Pike Factory cars comes this rare 1987 Nissan Be-1, one of the very few in the U.S. This unusual right-hand-drive ride can be found here on craigslist in Walton, New York. The seller is asking $4,500 for this one which could be a steal. I’d better prepare my wife for another possible arrival.

Nissan’s Pike Factory made four unusual cars: the Figaro, Pao, S-Cargo, and the Be-1, which was the first to come out in 1987. They were so popular that Nissan held a raffle to win a chance to buy one.

This car doesn’t have the power fabric sunroof which adds value, but the price is almost too good to be true. These cars can easily sell for $10,000 or more. I think if it was yellow with the folding roof and fewer than 101,000 miles, I’d be in trouble, again.

Most of the Pike cars that I have seen are automatics but they did make these with a manual transmission. That would also add a little value and certainly would add value to the driving experience. The interior looks good from what is shown in the photos and for a craigslist ad they have a lot of good photos in the listing.

The engine looks a little dirtier and in need of at least cosmetic work than the rest of the car does. It’s Nissan’s MS10S, a 1.0L inline-four with 51 hp. There’s no word on how it runs but they say that the car is in overall good condition and the big thing is they say there’s no rust. Have any of you seen a Nissan Be-1?

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Comments

  1. GeorgeL

    A yellow Be-1 was just auctioned on Bring a Trailer this week and only got up to $3300, where it did not meet reserve. It was arguably in better condition than this one.

    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1987-nissan-be-1-3/

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  2. e55

    I own one that I purchased in Canada about 4 years ago. Mine is the more common yellow color. Great car. It may look pretty basic, but a lot of thought went into the design aesthetics of this car. (For example, one will note that the flattened oval shape of the taillights is repeated throughout the car – exterior door handles, head rests, front turn signals, rear view mirrors, etc.) It has also proven to be quite reliable – even the air conditioning – and it gets quite a lot of attention. The factory modular stereo mounted in its own center console “rack” binnacle screams 1980’s – which is also fun. Buy it. For $4,500, how can you go wrong??

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  3. Coventrycat

    As neat as these Nissans are, it’s RHD and you just can’t bring it to your local Nissan dealership unless you’re prepared to explain what it is, and hope they are willing to take the time to help you.
    There was that wave of all sorts of Kei class trucks with stupid money being paid for them – when they break they end up in the backyard or in the front with a for sale sign that says “needs work”. There’s at least 5 in my area like that.

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  4. Todd Fitch Todd Fitch Staff

    LS swap? Sorry; couldn’t resist. I like how the lower part of the center console resembles a Honda generator. I wouldn’t want any Nuns listening when I had to work around that forward-tilting hood. Luckily, if it’s like most Nissans, it will start using oil around 150,000 and run another 100k without much fuss. Paint it some jellybean color and detail the interior and you could probably sell it as an alternative to a $5000 golf cart on Martha’s Vineyard. Never seen one. Nice find, Scotty!

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  5. rod444

    1500 lbs? So when you need to store it you can just get the kids to roll it in the garden shed for winter?

    It’s adorable but still not quite the panache of the retro styled Pao. For similar money that’d be my choice.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/11/Nissan_Pao_001.JPG/1200px-Nissan_Pao_001.JPG

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  6. Ben T. Spanner

    Ft Meyers FL Craigslist has a Figaro for the low low price of $14,000. Cool car but no where near $14,000 cool.

  7. SubGothius

    IIRC, that lower front part of the console with the stereo also houses the speakers and is removable as a sort of boombox, not sure offhand if it takes batteries or just uses a power cable that plugs into the 12V cigar lighter.

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