The March of Time

When I started this website, the first generation Nissan Micra was not a particularly old car. The oldest ones in the UK were around seventeen years old and the youngest a mere eight. They were just everyday transport for the multitudes back then and thus not really of great interest. As always, the years fly by and attitudes change 20 years on. What was once common has all but disappeared and the original premise of simple, fun motoring has been lost. Three more generations of Micra have come and gone since that first K10 model and the model line has evolved and grown. The current 5th generation K14 model is very far removed from its ancestor. It’s not exactly “Micra” for a start. Perhaps the time has come to show the old K10 a little love…

Launched in October 1982 in Japan as the Nissan March, the car arrived soon after on the European market badged as a Micra, with the earliest ones registered in the UK in June 1983. It was enormously successful in Europe, as the styling was well suited to European tastes and the car delivered a very competent package in the supermini segment. Well engineered, well made and very reliable, the K10 remained in production until 1992… an extraordinarily lengthy production life for a Japanese car at the time. These days, the sight of a K10 in the wild is likely to grab my attention, all the more so if it’s a really early one, as they have become so scarce. Those first few months of K10 sales saw the Micra sporting Datsun badges, just before Nissan finally dropped the brand throughout its export markets. The badging wasn’t all that was different on them, as prior to 1985, the cars had numerous small differences in their design.

The lovely example pictured here is currently up for sale in Switzerland and is one of the last to wear the early styling. Remarkably, despite being a late 1984 car, it also carries Datsun badging…

The changes that came in for 1985 included a re-designed tailgate with larger rear lights and chunkier bumpers. The amber front indicator units were replaced by clear ones and even the surface shape of the bonnet was altered. None of the changes really added anything beneficial at all to the car and in many cases only diluted the purity of the original design, which is Italian in origin… the basic shape having been initially penned by none other than the legendary Giugiaro. A story for another time perhaps?

Early K10s like this are now very thin on the ground, so this Swiss car is a rare opportunity to get one before they become extinct. It looks to be in outstanding condition even though it has a reasonable 95,000km on the odometer… and it’s in a lovely shade of Bordeaux Red too. If you fancy preserving this gem, you can find the vendor at:

Phone +41 (0)32 378 10 84

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s