Stock Number: 4293
Call it cute, quirky, or weird, but no matter what you say the Pao is one of a kind. With its super retro styling, it screams 1960’s beach cruiser, yet with all the practicality of a new car. With a limited production run of only 3 years, the entire first come first serve allotment was filled within 3 months. Finished in one of the more unique colors, the Olive Gray (DJ0) paint turns heads everywhere it goes (as if the styling didn’t already.) Admittedly the color doesn’t show as well in photos as it does in person, the color really is a deeper olive green hue than the more common Aqua Gray ones that we’ve had in the past.The paint shows exceptionally well for its age, free of any notable blemishes barring your typical stone chips and small scratches associated with daily driving. The wild body lines have been kept up just as well, free of any notable dents or dings. The body has been kept completely stock, even down to the factory optioned fog lights. One of the key elements that make these such perfect summer cars is the power fabric rag top. As one would expect, the convertible Pao isn’t like your traditional drop-top. The power top opens up like a sunroof on steroids retaining its trademark shape. This also means it can be fitted with a split-folding rear hatch. The top glass can be opened separately and creates a rather impressive amount of cargo space.
The interior retains its stock, super retro vibe but has seen the full leather treatment. Typically fitted with a cloth and painted metal, this one has the rare factory caramel leather. The dash is covered in a matching dash pad and lower tray to keep the look flowing. The seats, and interior as a whole for that fact, have been exceptionally well maintained. There’s no cracking or typical wear that you would find on most leather seats. While the interior is a bit sparse you still have all of the key elements to make it a comfortable ride. Heat and air are controlled by convenient slide controls right next to the classic wood grain Nardi steering wheel. Below them is the first partnership with Panasonic to make a super retro radio that even has a selection for top open or closed volume selection. It even has optional door-mounted cup holders which were a rarity in Japan. With its split-folding rear hatch, you can easily access luggage or groceries in the back, and for the times you need some extra storage the rear seat fold-down doubling your cargo capacity.
Power comes from the, equally cute, 1 liter MA10S. After all, this was built to be a fun little runabout, not a track terror. With only 71K verified miles the engine starts quickly and happily hums along. Paired with a 3-speed automatic makes this a blast around town, even if it is just running errands. The transmission happily pops into gear and goes through the gears with ease. The suspension is well built for soaking up bumps, ensuring a pleasant afternoon cruise. Since we got our hands on it we’ve put a new set of tires and a typical oil change to make sure you can drive it home today. With those new tires and it’s lightweight design the steering and braking in this little guy are great. The Pao turns heads everywhere it goes and is assured to make a fuss every time you leave it in a parking lot. There’s no doubt that you’ll be hard-pressed to come across another one at a stoplight, so be prepared for the questions everyone will have. But honestly, with a car this cool can you blame them?