I guess there’s more than one of these Nissan vans left in the US that didn’t actually get bought back by Nissan in one of the biggest and most expensive buy-backs ($200 million) of its kind. TheProfessor posted this one at the Cohort, and I found one in Eugene a while back. I wrote up the full story on these here, but here’s the capsule version:
During the great minivan wave of the mid eighties, the Japanese manufacturers obviously wanted to play too. So they adapted their existing old-school little vans for the US market, which actually took some doing. In the case of Nissan, the larger 2.4 L four was shoehorned in, and along with smog controls, A/C, etc., the engine compartment temperature became uncontrollable, and fires erupted way too often. Nissan had four recaalls, before they threw in the towel, and offered to buy back all the vans, for a healthy price ($7000). But obviously, not everyone took Nissan up on their offer.
Ironically, the similar Toyota van has developed a rep as being about as un-killable as it gets. They’re everywhere still here.