Nowadays, it seems like vehicles have become super-sized. Even modern “compact” sedans appear to dwarf the full-size cars of a few decades ago. The sport-utility market has evolved the same way, but back in the 1980s, you could get a go-anywhere rig that could still fit inside just about any carport or garage.
“Runs and drives just like a little Suzuki should,” the listing says. “Starts every time and has no leaks.” The seller goes on to list some of the upgrades that have been added, including an ARB front bumper with a winch, brush guards, HID lighting, a 3.5-inch lift, a King soft top, and bucket seats.
The Samurai 4×4’s roots can be traced to the Japanese-market kei-class “Jimny” that first went into production in April 1970. The vehicle’s objective from the beginning was to demonstrate go-anywhere capabilities with compact proportions. A second generation, with a body style as seen in today’s featured vehicle, debuted in 1981 and was badge-engineered under a number of nameplates around the world. It was even marketed as a Chevrolet in some markets, and a Holden in others.
It wasn’t until 1986 that the Jimny, labeled a Samurai, made it to the United States. It had a carbureted 1.3-liter inline-four that made 63 horsepower and 74 lb-ft of torque. Fast it was not – but that didn’t matter. The Samurai’s prowess came in its ruggedness and traction in rough terrain. Vehicles came standard with manual-locking front hubs, and auto-locking hubs were offered as an option.
Today’s featured Samurai comes with upgraded with Thorley headers for a little extra power, and in the photos, we also see a snorkel, some diamond plate body trim, and a full-sized spare tire. I think what impresses me the most about it is how clean the vehicle is, top to bottom, inside and out. Even the interior of the engine bay looks like it’s almost too clean to take to the trails.
To me, this might be an ideal (economical, affordable, and practical) alternative to some of the gas-guzzling SUVs around the roadways.
The asking price is $13,500 or best offer, which includes a few more bonus items such as an additional carburetor, spare oil and air filters, and a service manual.
My favorite thing might be the “SUZUKEY” keychain pictured on the driver seat.