As a replacement for the original Micra, the second generation model simply built on its success and maintained its status as Nissan's best selling UK car of the ‘90s. The 16V 1.3-litre engine offers spritely performance and a high level of refinement. Commended for its excellent interior space, reputation for reliability, fuel economy and decent driving manners, the car was enhanced further in 1998, with a stronger body, airbag, immobiliser, colour-coded bumpers and a revised interior.
This 1998 car is a number (believed to be under 40) of Japanese built Cabriolets imported directly by Nissan GB to evaluate the feasibility of selling the car as part of the main lineup. The car retains its ‘March’ model badge, as JDM spec cars Micra’s were labelled as such, but it’s all 100% K11 ’Bubble’ Micra. It comes with full-service history and It has seen just one previous owner and is fitted with PAS, electric roof, aerial and all-round electric windows.
Bought by her late husband, the current owner was seeking an automatic cabriolet and at the time it was the only car that met her requirements. This 1998 example was sold by West London Nissan in Hanwell with around 900 miles on the clock when the car was 8 months old. It has mostly been used for local journeys, although the car has also been allowed to stretch its legs and had adventures further afield. She informs us the car is surprisingly agile, particularly in 'Sport' mode, and has been delighted by the cars utter dependability. Due to the change in the London emission ULEZ laws (and the retirement of her mechanic), the owner has been forced to sell the car, despite it passing its MOT every year without fail.
The Nissan has seen the typical traits of careful ownership, evident by its fastidious servicing regime. The owner has stated that nothing has gone wrong with it during her ownership, with just a minor throttle issue and a new battery being the main issues over the 22 years of her ownership. The car comes with its original service book, which confirms it as a UK specified model and has Nissan service stamps up to 2006, and thereafter maintained by a trusted local specialist. It also comes with just a handful of garage receipts, which also confirms the engines complete reliability. It has an MOT to November 2021.
The seats are good and do not show much in terms of wear or damage, with the fabric in clean condition with just a minor mark spotted on the right-hand side of the rear seat. The door cards are good, with no significant scuffing noted and the carpets and original mats are in good condition. The dashboard is decent with a few minor marks on the grey plastic, mostly on the passenger side. All of the dials and controls are in good condition and all are functional with the exception of the air-conditioning, which is likely to need re-gassing. All four electric windows lower and raise with no issues or motor strain, the electric hood raises and contracts with minimal fuss, again with no signs of problems with the motors. The steering wheel and gearstick are in good condition with limited signs of wear. There are numerous scratches on the rear plastic trims - these were caused by a slight lack of foresight by the owners husband a few years back, who elected to use the car to take some items to the recycling centre and unfortunately damaged the trim in the process. The inside of the hood is good, with no damage to the fabric but the area around the rear glass has perished and condensation was noted on the glass, suggesting a leak. No drips were observed coming from the hood and the interior was dry. The roll bar plastic trim are in good order.
The structure of the car is good, with the floorpan in good shape with a few minor corrosion patches noted underneath. None are flagged up as advisories but worth treating sooner rather than later. The sills, inner wings and suspension mounts look solid, with some surface corrosion noted around some small prescribed areas of the engine bay, again not significant or structural but worth checking. The boot well is in good condition, with no corrosion but has collected a small amount of water - likely to have come through via the hood leak. Externally the body is straight, with no notable corrosion spotted on the panels. They are all flush fitting, with good panel gaps and a decent fit throughout. The doors open and close with no issues, hinges, struts doing their thing well, although the driver's door struggled to stay in place on a slight incline. The car has a few minor dents and scuffs, with the majority of interactions seen on the doors. All can be resolved by a specialist. The bumper scuffs are also minor and all treatable. The car has had a repair to the near-side rear panel but the quality is excellent with no evidence of damage. The metallic turquoise paint finish has a decent lustre and despite its years of outdoor storage, has resisted the elements well. The front nearside wing may have seen some paint in the past. The car was recently subject to a thorough valet, but small signs of natural elements can still be seen in places - the new owner can use their toothbrush and crawl underneath the car to resolve this. The paint has a few expected minor blemishes in places, but is generally free from significant chips, particularly on the doors. The bumpers are good, with no plastic cracks, just a few light scrapes and the odd paint imperfection observed. The trim is good, all complete and in decent condition, with a few minor scrapes noted on the bumper rubbers. The glass rubber and door seals are good, with no perishing or cracks, although a small section of the nearside trim on the windscreen is loose but doesn’t appear to be letting in water. The hood is not the original item, the car was originally supplied with a tan mohair item, which was replaced at some point. Overall, it's in good condition, although it has seen a temporary repair below the rear glass. The hood has come loose from the base of the glass and has allowed a little water to ingress into the boot. It hasn’t been leaking for long and the owner has made tentative enquiries to repair it but it should probably be the first job for the new owner to investigate, while the sun is out. The tinted glass is good, with minor edge damage noted on the off-side rear glass but not enough to distract, otherwise, the rest of the panes have no significant damage, chips or scratches. There were no issues with the laminate. The front headlamps show minor signs of ageing, with a little fogging evident but not flagged up as an advisory yet. All the other lenses are good. The alloy wheels have picked up a few minor scrapes over the years but nothing that can’t be repaired. The Uniroyal tyres are all less than 5 years old, with one being a very recent fitting. All have years of life ahead of them. The passenger door mirror has seen a temporary repair, and new glass will be required.
The engine runs as smoothly as a sewing machine. Once the engine is fired up, it runs as sweetly as it would have done when new, with no evidence of camshaft noise. The car doesn’t produce any form of smoke and the cooling fan did not cut in. No knocking, tapping or leaks were noted to come from the engine. The electrics appear to be in full working order, as mentioned the battery is new and well up to the task of dealing with the cars numerous electrical functions. The steering is power-assisted and functions well, although it's said to squeak in damp weather - possibly a belt issue. The car drives well, with no knocking or problems said to come from the suspension - the absorbers functioning with no problems. The ACVT Auto gearbox shifts well, with no slippage. The exhaust has some corrosion on the silencer but does not appear to blow excessively - something to keep an eye on, but like with the K11 Micra's outstanding parts availability, it will be a simple task to rectify. The brakes work well, with no noises noted during their operation, the handbrake is well up to the job.
Originally sold on its merits of build quality and finish, the car has retained its qualities, enhanced by the added novelty and exclusivity of its promise of open-air motoring. With low-mileage and solid K11's now starting to attract attention, this plush and premium version of the Micra should appeal to those who have a thing for the Micra, or possibly strike a chord with someone who is looking for a solid, dependable, well priced open-top car with a hint of cuteness. As an economical, dependable and usable supermini, it excels. As an open-top car with the integrity and safety of a late '90s shopping car, it is almost peerless.
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