Figaro Festival - Andrew Noakes - Motoring Writer
Published by Total Nissan magazine 2008

One of Nissan’s quirkiest cars was been celebrated in style at the Heritage Motor Centre in May. More than 200 Nissan Figaros assembled at the Gaydon car museum for Fig08, their first ever national gathering.

Organizer David Shaw, a guide at the Heritage museum, revealed that it was his daughter Laura who was the family’s Figaro fan. “Laura came here to an event, and she had the only Nissan Figaro,” he explained, “so we thought we’d organize this. We thought we might get half a dozen cars…”

In the end 210 of the turbocharged, Micra-based coupes made it to Gaydon, making Fig08 by far the biggest collection of Figaros ever assembled in the UK and representing around a third of the total number believed to be on British roads – though an accurate figure is not known.

Between them the cars on show displayed all four of the standard Figaro pastel colours – including the rare ‘Topaz Mist’, a kind of coffee colour – together with plenty of eye-catching custom paint jobs.

Three Nissan Paos line up alongside a white Be-1

The Heritage Motor Centre also played host to a handful of other rare Nissans from the late 1980s and early 1990s showing the whole of the ‘Pike Factory’ series of cars which ended with the Figaro. Three Paos were on show, together with a Be-1 which is believed to be the only example in the UK, and a red S-Cargo.  Joining them were other niche-market Nissans including a Rasheen and a pair of Nissan Cubes. The furthest-travelled car came all the way from Glasgow. 

figaro 0988Madeline Wilson from Staines won the award for the car everyone most wanted to take home with her bright pink Figaro, a present from husband Den two years ago.

Madeline’s car now sports a matching Figaro trailer, which Den built up from an accident-damaged car and which drew crowds all day long.

“It’s nice when people come from far and wide,” said Madeline (right) of the Gaydon event. “They’ve really put themselves out to be here.”

Also pleasing the punters were demonstrations of roof replacement by Jason from figaros4sale, which gave away a new roof in a prize draw. The Figaro’s fold-back roof tends to develop leaks after a few years, and as the cars are now more than 17 years old many owners were keen to pick up tips on how to do the job themselves.

The massive turnout for Fig08 has already generated calls for the event to become an annual fixture, and made some wonder why there is no Figaro club – though owners are supported by a lively online forum hosted by specialist importer AutosupplyUK. But Fig08 organizer David Shaw revealed to Total Nissan that he is looking into the formation of a Figaro Register to help owners stay in touch. 

And who knows, maybe there’s a date in May next year that will be perfect for Fig09.

Share this page