By Andy Lilienthal
Yes, there really was a Nissan called the S-Cargo. Yes, it looked like a snail. Yes, it is awesome in its own way.
Introduced in 1989, the S-Cargo was a small delivery vehicle with a 1.5-liter engine making 72 hp and mated to a three-speed automatic transmission. The retro styling combined with the snail-like looks made the S-Cargo ( think "escargot," e.g. cooked snails) a fun little van.
The S-Cargo was made for commercial delivery duty and was produced at the Pike factory in Japan alongside other retro Nissans, such as the Be-1, Pao, and Figaro. All were right-hand drive and intended for the Japanese home market.
Nissan only produced the S-Cargo until 1992, and now that these vehicles are over 25 years old (at least the early models), they can be legally imported in the United States.
In the video below, you can see this one from all angles. Bonus points for the porthole window and replica Corvette Saw Blade wheels.
I think what I like most about the S-Cargo is the amount of personality and creativity that was jammed into this little runabout. From the snail detail on the mudflatps, to the "eye stalk" headlamps, this is just a fun little vehicle. FYI, there are some Canadian versions for sale for around $5,000–$6,000 USD.
I have not seen one in person, but I'd jump at the chance.