What is the Nissan Be-1?
The Nissan Be-1 holds a special place among car enthusiasts, not only for its rarity but also for its distinctive design. As the first of the four Nissan Pike cars, the Be-1 made its debut in 1987, capturing the attention of automotive enthusiasts worldwide.
What is the origin of the Be-1?
The Be-1 was based on the first-generation Nissan Micra, which was introduced in Japan in 1983. Nissan’s design team, along with industrial designer Naoki Sakai and an Italian design studio, submitted proposals for the car’s design. Ultimately, Sakai’s B1 design was chosen, along with the name “Be-1,” marking a departure from traditional Nissan branding.
What are the features of the Be-1?
The Be-1’s design takes inspiration from late 1970s aesthetics, featuring flush front and rear lamps and a sleek overall appearance. It came in four distinct colours: Pumpkin Yellow, Hydrangea Blue, Onion White, and Tomato Red. These vibrant hues perfectly complemented the car’s retro charm, capturing the spirit of the era.
Nissan offered two customization options for the Be-1. Firstly, owners could choose between a standard tin roof or an open-top version with a canvas roof. Both roof options were available with either a manual or automatic transmission, providing buyers with the flexibility to tailor their Be-1 to their preferences. 10,000 cars were built in total from 1987-1988, but since demand was so high for the Be-1, buyers were decided through a lottery organized by Nissan. The cars were assembled, partially by hand, by contract manufacturers Takada Kogyo. Takada later also built the Pao and Figaro, as well as some small-series Isuzu and Subaru products.
The Be-1 was available in 4 colours: Pumpkin Yellow, Tomato Red, Hydrangea Blue and Onion White. The Pumpkin Yellow Be-1 came with body-coloured steel wheels with black hubcaps, the other colours came with white steel wheels with black hubcaps.
What is the specification of the Be-1?
Under the hood, the Be-1 was equipped with a 1.0-liter inline-four engine, generating 51 horsepower. While not designed for blistering speed, the Be-1 excelled as a fashionable city car, providing nimble and efficient performance for urban environments. The engine was mated to either a five-speed manual or a three-speed automatic transmission.
The Be-1’s chassis boasted rack and pinion steering, independent suspension with struts in the front, and a 4-link and coil spring setup in the rear. Disc brakes were used in the front, while drum brakes were employed in the rear. This configuration ensured a comfortable and responsive driving experience, perfectly suited for navigating city streets.
Inside the Be-1, you’ll find a minimalist yet functional cabin. One notable feature is the large centrally-mounted speedometer, reminiscent of classic Mini designs. The interior design focused on simplicity and practicality, offering a spacious and comfortable environment for occupants.
The Legacy and Collectability of the Nissan Be-1
The Nissan Be-1, along with its Pike car siblings (the Figaro, Pao, and S-Cargo), are revered as iconic examples of postmodern design. Their unabashedly retro aesthetic, drawing inspiration from legendary vehicles like the Citroën 2CV, Renault 4, Mini, and Fiat 500, has solidified their status as highly sought-after collector’s items.
The Nissan Be-1 stands as a testament to Nissan’s innovative design approach and its commitment to creating unique vehicles that captivate automotive enthusiasts. With its distinctive retro-futuristic design, customization options, and efficient performance, the Be-1 remains a rare gem for those who appreciate automotive history and individuality.
As time goes on, finding a well-preserved Nissan Be-1 becomes increasingly challenging, making it all the more desirable for collectors and car enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re drawn to its nostalgic charm or its standout design elements, the Be-1 continues to embody the spirit of automotive creativity and imagination.
Here at The Figaro Shop we are so excited to have this pumpkin yellow Nissan Be-1 for sale. She needs some tender loving care, and we would love to work with one of you on bringing this Be-1 back to her sunshine glory days of 1987 (with some 2023 thrown in for good driving measure). Get in touch with Christian on email@example.com for more information.