Buy this Jaguar MkII lookalike based on a Nissan Micra!
With Halloween fast approaching, why not buy something to give Jaguar enthusiasts a nasty scare? This 1997 Mitsuoka Viewt should do it
If you wake up in the morning and think you are an onion, drink 40 litres of super strength lager on a daily basis or squint really hard, what you have here is a tasty Jaguar MkII. However, to everyone else, this is a second-generation Nissan Micra. In a Jaguar MkII costume.
The Nissan Micra MkII is not without merit. Besides offering the dependability most Jaguar owners can only dream of, the humble Japanese supermini simply refuses to die, even when provoked with an outright lack of mechanical sympathy. You can pilot a Micra like a maniac and it’ll forever start upon the first turn of the key.
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Yet, despite the reliability, the Micra has always looked a tad repugnant. It’s schizophrenic stance always left customers feeling like they’d bought second best. Well, that all changed in 1993 with the arrival of Mitsuoka’s Viewt.
Over the humble Nissan running gear rested the shape of Sir William Lyon’s iconic MkII Jaguar. Hear that sound? That’s him still turning in his grave at 5000rpm. Its mere sight sends seasoned Jaguar aficionados into an all-out rage. Cries of ‘stolen image’ and ‘my eyes are soiled’ can usually be found spewing from the mouths of babe.
We think it’s brilliant, however. The Viewt offers all the advantages of Micra ownership, but with a shrunken shape devoid of ‘Jaguar tax’ when it boils down to asking price.
Granted, it’s hard to accept the Viewt upon first viewing. It just feels plain wrong. Yet, instead of offering the diluted charm of any British knock-off, the Viewt instead slices through the initial gawping to plant a flag directly on your heart. A bit like discovering your child parading around in your best work shoes. And who could possibly be mad at that?
The fact of the matter is, the Viewt set off a chain of events where larger Japanese manufacturers were encouraged to produce retro-styled versions of their own machines. Except, it didn’t stop there. The retro revolution continued to gather pace and firmly led global manufacturers into the same spirit. From the Mitsubishi-produced Pajero Junior and Chrysler PT Cruiser to the current Fiat 500, they can all trace some form back to the Mitsuoka Viewt.
So, fancy owning a retro piece of Japanese curiosity? Ever fancied living inside a Tim Burton movie? This is your chance, as this example is heading for auction! Get a closer look.
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