As an owner/operator of a Nissan Pao, I feel like I’ve earned the right to scrutinize auctions and prices and pass all kinds of miserably biased judgments, just like I do with parents, since I also own/operate a human kid. There’s a nice clean Nissan Pao on Bring a Trailer as we speak, so let’s see if we can guess what it’ll end up selling for.
Over the past few years, Pao prices have seemed to have gone up slowly but steadily; auction prices for these were once around $2,500 to $3,000 or so, but now average auction prices seem to be around $5,000 up to about $10,000 for very nice/low-mileage ones.
Dealer prices are, of course, a good bit more, since all of the importing costs and hassles are taken care of. Duncan Imports, where I got my Pao, is now selling nice ones for between $9,000 and $15,000 or so, and this seem to be roughly on par with most JDM resellers.
Aside from general condition, there are two big Pao-related options that affect price. First, whether it’s a manual or auto — the three-speed auto is much more common, but the rare 5-speed manual is much more desirable. With only 51 or so friendly ponies in that engine, a manual really helps. Plus, the fifth-gear overdrive is much better for highway speeds. I have a manual, and can confirm that it’s worth it.
Then there’s the canvas roof—I loved the idea of the canvas opening roof, but was warned that leaking is an issue, which is why I have a hardtop. I think the canvas tops are desirable, but the specter of leaks means they don’t add much to the price, usually.
This one on BaT is at $6,700 now, with over five hours to go. It’s a manual tin-top, in very clean shape, has the desirable original radio and stretcher-like parcel shelf, even. There are aftermarket mods, too: coilovers (I bet those help), a shock tower brace (I bet that mostly just makes changing the air cleaner or adding brake fluid an ass-pain), some headlight visors (I’m not crazy about those), and I think the rear indicators have been made more red instead of amber, for some (misguided) aesthetic reason.
You can see above what it looked like before it had the headlight visors, and again, I think it just works better without them.
There are some little bits of rust, but overall this 84,000-mile example seems really well maintained.
One important detail is the window rubber, which looks surprisingly good all around. Mine’s terrible, and it’s very hard to source, so that’s a big thing in favor of this Pao.
OK, so, if I had to guess, I bet this’ll come in at just under $10,000. Like, $9,500 or so. That’s my guess. That seems like a reasonable and fair price for an auction, so perhaps I’ll be very wrong.
What do you think? How good are we at guessing this stuff? Usually, I kinda’ suck at it, but I feel like this may be more in my league? We’ll see, I guess.