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The Nissan Prairie. Just as strange as the AMC Pacer

Nissan Prairie
ER Classics Desktop 2022

And those Pacers are now also in high demand. While in and shortly after their time, they were worth nothing twice. The Nissan Prairie was seen as just such a weird rabbit. So who knows how to search for them?

Nissan and the Nissan Prairie

The company's roots lie in 1933, when Jidosha Seizo Yokohama merged with Nissan Motors Co. Until the Second World War the entire model pallet consisted of one type that was sold under the name 'Datsun'. After the Second World War, the business was resumed with the construction of Austins under license.


We're going to do it ourselves

The helm changed in 1957: Then it was decided to invent and make its own model line of cars. From that idea the Nissan's, Datsuns and PMCs were born and exports to Europe were started in the 1982s. The brands had the tide and Datsun grew into an automotive world power. In XNUMX the brand was sufficiently established here and so the factory took over the import in the Netherlands. Datsun Nederland was renamed Nissan Motor Nederland.

New! The Nissan Prairie (1982-1988)

The Nissan Prairie made its debut at the Paris salon in 1982. The car was based on the Lancia Megagamma concept car that was created by Giorgetto Guigiaro / ItalDesign in 1978. The dimensions and motorization fit in perfectly with the Japanese legislation that prescribed rules regarding dimensions and motorization. Nissans Prairie stood on the platform of the Nissan Sunny and had the four-cylinder engine from the Nissan stanza. The car caused some fuss because of its shape, or lack of shape and the absence of the B style. From a technical point of view, the Prairie explicitly belonged to the new generation of 'space vehicles'.

Box up on box

The 'double box' had a standard front-wheel drive, but was optionally available as an 4WD. The rear doors were designed as sliding doors. The rear seat was foldable to generate more load volume. By default, a Prairie had two rows of benches, but a third row was optional. The chair system made it possible to change the seats into a - sort of full - double bed.

The volume advantage was exemplary in the Prairie. The construction without a B-pillar made the car - which here usually came with an 1800 cc engine - a bit jerky on poor road surfaces.

Now for little

In 1985, a Nissan Prairie v1,8 SGL with five doors here cost 24.975 guilders. If you currently find a tidy copy, you will be able to deposit euros between the 1500-2000. And if the Prairie ever gets enthusiastic followers like the Pacer did? Who knows may say. But left or right: the Nissan Prairie was quite a special appearance in its time. It was not a stunner, but the sales continued smoothly. The technical parts provision is still reasonable. But for sheet metal and upholstery, searching on ebay is getting harder. The range is not very large. Fortunately there are not many seekers either.

In terms of price, everything remains under control. And that is very nice at a time when people grumble about how expensive classics have become.

Nissan Prairie in party package. With horns

One Comment

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  1. That evokes nice memories. At the end of the 80 years At the beginning of the 90 years I was busy with Drive In disco and Karaoke. In addition to a closed trailer, the spacious Prairie was good for transporting a complete set. Rear seat out and load. A friend of mine (at the time proud owner of a VW Corrado) will have less good memories. On a route with various roundabouts (which seemed to have just been invented at the time), he was unable to release me with my old Prairie. Only with a longer straight stretch did the distance above the 100 km / h increase.
    Not the nicest car I have ever had, but a very practical one in which I have made many kilometers.

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