Nissan Brings Motorsport Machine Back From Dead

After exactly 30 years away from the public eye, Nissan has brought one of its most iconic motorsport machines back to life.

Nissan Patrol

The stunning 1987 Nissan Patrol Fanta Limon Paris-Dakar rally car has been fully restored to its former glory, and made an emotional return to its spiritual home in the sand dunes of the Saharan desert.


The Nissan’s legendary status is second to none, writing its very own chapter in Dakar mythology. It took victory in the diesel category, and was the first diesel car to ever finish in the race’s overall top 10, taking ninth spot. Today, all the top cars are diesels.


The Fanta Limon car has been given a new lease of life thanks to a dedicated team of engineers at Nissan’s European Technical Centre (NTCE) in Barcelona, Spain. For more than two years they restored the car after work and at weekends, turning it from a rusting wreck in a Spanish museum to a highly capable off-road racer.


Pedro Diaz Illan is Manager of the Electrical and Electronics Engineering team at NTCE, and the only member of the original 1987 team still working there. “That was a proud moment. Our brains, hearts and souls have gone into this project and it has not been easy. But to see the car in the desert again was just fantastic.”