If I had come across this picture posted at the Cohort by johnh875 without a caption identifying it, I would have been utterly stumped. The best I might have come up with is its Japanese origin. But it would have been a stretch to connect it to the last generation Nissan Silvia, the S15, which went out of production in 2002. For what it’s worth, this wasn’t even built by Nissan per se, but by Autech, its tuner division, and based on their Spec-S version of the Silvia.
Of course, once I knew what it was, I started seeing the Silvia hidden in there; or at least my brain rationalized that. We never got this final generation of Silvia, but I did include it in my survey of Silvias a few years back at the old site. I’ll have to refresh that and bring it over. In the meantime, if you’d like to indulge in a little bit of even more vintage Silva love, which also includes a shot of the regular S15, head right this way.
The S15 was the most beautiful silvia ever made in my opinion but the verietta look like a very short japanese el camino.
I knew it was an S15 Silvia/200SX having seen the whole car, but I didn’t know they did a folding hardtop version, so did a bit of research to fill in some details before uploading the photos. I only took a couple of shots of the rear of the car, as the front is ‘normal’ S15 as known & loved by drifters/wannabes everywhere. The rear end is a bit Sir Mixalot…
This reminds me greatly of the current Chrysler 200 hardtop convertible. I’m glad to see that the horrendous cut line of the trunk lid is evident here, too, as it is on other hardtop convertibles. It looks like an awful scar.
Upon first glance, I thought it was some sort of tarted up El Camino wannabe, now it reminds me of some 40’s business coupes, the ones with the real long trunks. I can’t un-see it now.
Whoa. My first thought was, “who’d turn a Corvette into an El Camino?
Yes, the Aussies. Exhibit A: (Google 2013 HSV Maloo R8 for detailed evidence!)
These Variettas are seriously rare! Even with our sea of JDM used imports I’ve only ever seen one Varietta on the road here. It looked (very) marginally better (less worse?) in the metal.
On the subject of rarely-seen Nissan convertibles, did the USA (or any other market) get the Z32 300ZX factory full convertible? The one below has popped up for sale here on trademe (http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/nissan/300zx/auction-649965999.htm), and is apparently one of only 3 in NZ, so is presumably nearly as rare worldwide as the Silvia Varietta.
The Varietta’s are fairly rare, but there are a few our there, I’ve dealt with (only) a couple in my time. They tend to be a bit troublesome with the window regulators and the folding roof mechanism. There’s at least one around that’s been converted to the turbo enging and manual.
The Z32 Convertible would probably be similarly rare here, I’m not sure about the claim that there’re only 3 in the country, I’ve seen a few around, but haven’t seen any for ages, so probably most of them have been written off, could well be that there are only 3 left. That one for sale looks like one that got put into the wall at Hampton Downs at Nisfest in 2010……
USA got the Z32 in convertible, t-top, and my pick – tin top.
I can give a fun fact on the Varietta!
Cloth seat models had a fabric designed to mimic the reflectivity of butterfly wings (in a bluish purple hue). Leather seats were much more common, however…
The S13 convertible was also courtesy of Autech, for those unaware.
The photo I’ve included is from the Varietta brochure, as I’ve collected tons of JDM catalogs over my years. The postage is what really kills the bank account!
Also, not sure why the photo is flipped in my post, but if you click on it, all is well.
I’ve got S15 brochures for the JDM, NZ, Australian, UK and French markets, but no Varietta brochure so am instantly envious of yours! I also have loads of brochures (5,000+) in the ol’ collection. Most were Australian/NZ-market but I started collecting JDM brochures a couple years ago – I’ve only got 100ish so far though, and most are Prince/Datsun/Nissan seeing as that’s what I drive and like. I buy most of mine from other Kiwi collectors on our trademe internet auction site, so the postage is within NZ and usually inexpensive. Once or twice a year I do a couple bulk purchases from one or two of the international traders on eBay too – postage for bulk purchases works out better per brochure than doing them 1-2 at a time.
If you ever want to sell any of your collection – especially Prince/Datsun/Nissan items – do let me know!
I saw one of these in a Perth carpark recently.
To be fair, I had no idea what it was either.
I spot a white VT Commodore Olympic Edition in the background. A car that (without the Olympic etc…) will be a future CC down here.
The S15 Silvia is a gorgeous car, but that roofline on the cabriolet is horrendous.