Thursday, 16 September 2010

Nissan Micra

Have you ever wondered what it is that makes a car last for a long time?

I mean, you have classic designs, like the Lamborghini Countach, which was in production for 26 years. It was a stroke of genius from the small Italian manufacturer that propelled them into the big league. In truth, it wasn't superceded until 1990 because it didn't need to be.

In fact, the design was still as contemporary in 1990 as it was in the 1970s. Can you imagine someone producing a design for a car that would look as modern and as sexy in 2036? Nor can I. But that's what Mercello Gandini did. You can see it's influence in pretty much all the Italian supercars right the way through to when the Countach was retired, and Lamborghini, athough now owned by Audi, still have some influence from it.

So what does this have to do with the Nissan Micra?

Well, it may surprise you to learn that the first Micra was produced in 1982. 28 years ago. OK, the design changed radically in 1992, but since then, things have pretty much been the same. The 1992 model still bears a hell of a resemblance to the 2010 model. OK, between 2003 and 2007 it went a bit off track, but the Micra is now back to what it was.

And it's cheap. 

Seriously, how many cars can you buy ust now for under £9,000? Particularly the last few years have seen car inflation go through the roof, so now it's nigh on impossible to buy a car for under £10,000.

The longevity of the Micra is testament to it's design. It has lasted this long because it is a nice, straightforward design. Nothing fancy, nothing garish, nothing showy. Just clean, sendible and above all else, easy on the wallet. 

Because, although you only spent £9,000 on your car, which is peanuts by today's standards for new cars, sometimes it's nice not to let the world know how much of a bargain you got.

Classic design. Horrendously underrated car.

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