Friday, 11 September 2015

Livin' on a Prairie..

..whoa... we're halfway there.. 
..whoaa... livin' on a...


Yep, a it's a 1988 M10 Nissan Prairie.
You may know it as a Stanza Wagon; but for me - as it was in Japan - this is a Prairie.
Final year for this M10-chassis, first-generation car too; being introduced back in 1982.

The Prairie was to Nissan what the Shuttle was to Honda, the Tercel to Toyota, the Nimbus (Chariot) to Mitsubishi, and so on..

..but its the Prairie in particular that I find most amusing. A Civic Shuttle is cool nowadays, and the Tercel has a definite following; but the Prairie... ooh...

..I think its that side profile..
The slab sides, long bonnet, tiny wheels, and glass-houses' combination of high-roof-and-low-beltline..

..just makes it look like a 5dr version of Postman Pat's Royal-Mail-supplied work car.
Get a tall hat.

At the other end (may as well refer to this as the front, because why-the-hell-not..), we've got rubiks-cube tail-lights separated by around 5feet of minimalist garnish, and one very tall rear screen. The blackout, with an admittedly quite tasteful and subtle Prairie text, forces the wiper to have a strangely odd arm-to-blade ratio. Would like to see the hilariously graceful arc this creates..

The Prairie's one main 'trick' though?

 ...No B-Pillar..!

Something that's fairly common nowadays on freestyle cabs, various vans, the FJ-Cruiser, and even Mazda's RX8; but it was obviously a bit of a selling point at the time!
As in other markets, Australian cars had the seatbelt in the traditional position (unlike this Japanese door-mounted version), so wile not quite as amazingly open as this... you still definitely would have noticed something's missing..!

Seriously.. God only knows how tragic this would be in a side impact. Although knowing how.. uhh.. sturdy(..?) the Pulsar's from the era were.. I have a fair idea..

I'm thinking an empty tissue-box.

That's been left in the rain.

Moving on...
We've got a simple two-spoke wheel, and a complete gauge set; as well as a split-sliding bench seat, dash-mounted handbrake, and amazing column 4-speed manual only adding to the openness in this beige paradise..

Turning that 4speed manual - whats delivering upwards of 60kw through those front wheels - is a fiery CA18S four. Yep, the same engine that has held back better cars in its time.. it has to have a 'home' somewhere right? 
May as well be this.


I cant help but playfully pick on these things.. they just look so damn goofy. 
I genuinely almost bought a neat silver one of these 5 or 6 years ago - and I seriously fear the day I see an immaculate original one come onto the market. Its safer not to look.

Luckily then that this Prairie is a little over 8,000km away, currently for sale at a dealer in Japan for a couple hundred thousand yen. While even a few thousand dollars seems like a lot for a Prairie; where would you find one when you want one? A little money for a whole lot of unique!

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