My apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I wanted to get the car all cleaned up before I emailed you back as the end result is really stunning. Bottom line… my biggest complaint is that I bought only one Figaro!
Anyway, I went to the docks at Jacksonville to pick up the car and trailer it home. When I got there I was a little worried as the front hubcaps were missing, the passenger window was open, there was shrink wrap all over where the window should be and the battery was dead. After putting the battery on a charger and running the engine for about 5 minutes, the electrical system came back to life, and I was able to bring the window up. While waiting, I found the hubcaps in the back seat. So all was good.
From what I can tell, I think the shipping company had the window down and couldn’t get it up after the battery died. They did their best to cover it up with shrink wrap and it all worked well as a hurricane had passed through while waiting for customs to clear and the inside was still dry. I got it on the trailer and brought it home with no issue at all. In fact, I think that since the car was open on the cruise over here that most of the smell had dissipated from being open for 6 weeks.
Interior – As you noted, the interior was really dirty but not as bad as I had expected. I removed every last interior panel and stripped them of the paint that was originally applied to them which had broken down and become really sticky. Apparently this happens to all Figaros. The floor mats cleaned up better than I expected. The carpet looks brand new. The door panels look like new after a really thorough scrubbing. I added some bolster to the seats and had a company re-dye the seats and repair the crack in the dash so all looks near new. You wouldn’t recognize the inside now!
Mechanical – It didn’t click in my mind that the car had only 25k miles on it. My neighbor is my mechanic and he hasn’t had a chance to touch the car yet as all that it needed was a new battery. The old gas in the tank made it sound rough at first, but after a fresh tank and a few revs, it sounds amazing. I wasn’t expecting such a throaty sound from the exhaust of a 1 liter turbo. I’m really happy. Having Nissan Micra related running gear has made it really easy. I’ve connected with a British owner’s club and that will help me get all the future parts I need. I’m guessing some tie rod ends will clean up the suspension, but it isn’t bad at all as is. Actually it is really smooth on the road and is eager to go faster than I want.
Exterior – This is the only place I was a little disappointed, but to be honest, the interior and mechanicals definitely make up for it and then some. There are four places where we have some corrosion points – two in the roofline where water accumulates in the soft top, one from a repair job in one of the back quarter panel top and the back window panel of the convertible top. Three out of four of those are actually common issues with the car. At some point in the future I’ll have all those repaired and a respray (which should raise the value of the car even more than the cost incurred). The back window panel has new/improved parts available from the UK that will prevent the same issues from happening in the future.
After I cleaned it all up, it looks amazing. Frankly, I’m the only one who has noticed the corrosion on the roofline as you have to remove a rubber gasket to see it. Needless to say, this isn’t something I would have expected you to see.
I went to a large car show in the area and parked it next to 15 Lamborghini’s. Let’s just say that mine was the only one of the 16 cars in that row that drew a crowd. It is impossible to drive anywhere without having conversations with multiple people. It is that good.
The only way it looks better is when my wife drives it. Nancy totally looks the part behind the wheel. She lived in Japan for a few years so, although she doesn’t remember Figaros, she can definitely appreciate driving it. We’ve translated all of the registration stickers on the front and back to English and have narrowed down the prefecture where the car was last parked (Gifu).
With that said, I’m trying to figure out my next move. Depending on some future income options and how well I can sweet talk my wife, I may want a Nissan Pao to add to the collection (or another Figaro to buy and flip here in the US to build up cash for a Pao). That probably won’t be until the end of the year, but don’t be surprised if I come back with another car request in the near future. Now that I know the ins and outs of bringing one over, we can do this much easier with much less worry on my part.
Long story short… thanks for being a part of this adventure with me. I’m really happy with the end result and couldn’t ask for a better. Hopefully we’ll do this again in the near future! I’m still watching the auctions and waiting for the right car, my bank account, and my ability to sweet-talk my wife all come into alignment! When it happens, let’s do this again!
All the best,
Selwyn (Florida, USA Customer)